With Wednesday's announcement that CBS had gained exclusive network rights to telecast major-league baseball starting in 1990, some familiar broadcasters are likely to be knocked out of the broadcasting box.
Vin Scully, Tony Kubek, Bob Costas, Tim McCarver, Jim Palmer and Al Michaels will be replaced by voices from CBS's stable of announcers, which includes Brent Musburger, Dick Stockton, Johnny Bench and Jerry Coleman.CBS will pay more than $1 billion for the new contract, and a source at CBS said that the network would not be interested in bringing over announcers from NBC and ABC, which have shared the television rights to baseball since 1975.
NBC has covered baseball since 1947. CBS has not televised baseball since 1964. "This is our new package," the CBS source said. "We want to go with our own guys."
Costas was stunned and disheartened by the news. "I'm definitely very, very disappointed," he said from his home in St. Louis. "Baseball always has been and always will be the most important thing to me in broadcasting." Costas has a long-term contract with NBC but sounded as if he wished he did not. "If I were a free agent I'd go where the baseball is," he said.
CBS' No. 1 man most likely will be Musburger, the host of the "NFL Today." "I've worked for CBS since 1968 and we've never been blessed with major-league baseball," Musburger said. Musberger has done baseball broadcasts for the CBS Radio network.
The source said CBS would be interested in McCarver. If CBS cannot lure McCarver away from ABC, it will have to find an analyst. Tom Seaver had been negotiating with NBC, but apparently those discussions will now end. He is highly thought of by CBS officials.