CBS Sports Network Shoots for the TOPS With Four-Hour NFL Pregame Show
By: Karen Hogan, Associate Editor
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 2:40 pm

CBS Sports Network isn’t just entering the NFL pregame-show arms race; it’s positioning itself to be TOPS.

That’s the name of the CBS Sports Network’s four-hour pregame show — short for That Other Pregame Show — announced today at CBS’s annual NFL on CBS Media Day. The weekly football program will debut on Sunday Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. ET.

CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus, who broke the news at CBS’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, said, “Somebody asked me a while ago, is there room for another pregame show on Sunday morning when there’s so much NFL programming on? I said, there is if the show has a different perspective, a different feel, and is a different kind of broadcast.”

TOPSCBS Sports Network plans to break from the familiar pregame-show format, presenting a fan-focused take on all the week’s NFL and college action, headlines, and hot-button issues, giving viewers all the latest information as it happens. The show will feature various opportunities for social-media interaction, and the last hour of the show will focus on all things Fantasy Football.

That Other Pregame Show, originating out of a studio a mere 15 ft. from The NFL Today set, will take a significantly more casual approach than the Eye’s flagship NFL show.

“We’re coming out of our Studio 44, directly across the hall from our main Studio 43,” said Harold Bryant, executive producer/VP, production, CBS Sports. “Throughout the show, we are going to take hits from the remotes. We’ll go out to Phil Simms and just [have] a conversation. It’s not going to be prepackaged; we want to make this show more interactive, more fun, and just get these guys’ opinions.”

That Other Pregame Show will be hosted by Adam Schein along with 11-year NFL veteran Bart Scott, long-time Oakland Raiders executive Amy Trask, CBS Sports Radio’s Brandon Tierney, and CBSSports.com fantasy analyst Nathan Zegura, with LEAD OFF’s Allie LaForce reporting. Analysts from The NFL Today — Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe, and Bill Cowher — as well as host James Brown and Insider Jason La Canfora, will regularly contribute. In addition to Simms, NFL on CBS announcers will join the broadcast from their game sites. Shawn Robbins and Andrew Finger will produce That Other Pregame Show.

With the announcement, CBS further incorporates CBS Sports Network into its broadcast plans for marquee sports events. That Other Pregame Show joins NFL Monday QB (which returns for a second season on Monday Sept. 9 at 5 p.m. ET) on CBS Sports Network.

This season, CBS Sports Network will directly compete with the NFL programming stalwarts — CBS included. But McManus feels The Other Pregame Show is up for the challenge.

“It’s not going to be what you see on the NFL Network. It’s not going to be what you see on CBS. It’s not going to be what you see on ESPN. It’s going to be That Other Pregame Show,” says McManus. “We’re excited about it. It’s going to evolve, it’s going to change, and the good thing is, when you have as much program time as we have, it’s going to be a lot of fun for our crew.”

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