Veteran sports broadcaster Jim Rome has signed a deal with CBS. Under the multi-year pact, he will host Rome, a new half-hour show airing weekdays at 6 PM on CBS Sports Network and a new sports and entertainment series on Showtime. Additionally, Rome will contribute to CBS Sports’ coverage of the NFL, NCAA basketball and U.S. Open Tennis Championships, and other events. He will make his CBS Sports debut during coverage of the 2012 NCAA Final Four with Rome launching on CBS Sports Network on April 3. It will feature news and opinion on the day’s hottest sports stories with rants, debates and guest appearances by some of the biggest names in sports. The show will originate from Orange County, Calif. where Rome’s daily radio show also originates from. The Showtime series will premiere in late Fall 2012. “Jim is a high profile, marquee talent who elevates our overall sports coverage and is a perfect fit within the growing platforms of CBS Sports and Showtime Sports,” said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus.
Rome spent the last 6 years at ESPN, his second stint at the sports cable network where he spent a total of 8 years. In the past 6, he hosted his own talk show, Jim Rome Is Burning. “I had a great run at ESPN where they treated me well and supported me, but the opportunity to work with CBS was too good to pass up,” Rome said. “I’ve always watched Showtime and have admired their attitude and their brand, and to do a show for them was a dream opportunity.”
Showtime has been beefing up its sports lineup in the past few years with boxing, MMA, the pickup of Inside The NFL, sports docu series The Franchise, which has been renewed for a second season, and now the Jim Rome show. “We were interested in expanding in sports, but just like our scripted shows all have strong and distinct personalities, we felt we needed a defining personality in sports,” Showtime’s entertainment president David Nevins said. “Jim was the top person whom we targeted. We’re looking to build the show into a regular presence on the schedule beyond 12-week bursts, and it has the opportunity to become a signature show for us.”
Both of Rome’s CBS shows will be produced by Generate Entertainment in association with dick clark prods. DCP CEO Mark Shapiro and Rome are long-time friends. The two worked together at ESPN where Shapiro served as programming chief and was instrumental in bringing Rome back to the network. In addition to his TV shows, Rome, repped by CAA and attorney David Feldman, will continue to host his nationally-syndicated daily radio program, The Jim Rome Show.