Showtime has tapped several National Football League veteran on-air announcers to host its inaugural season of Inside the NFL.
James Brown, CBS Sports announcer and The NFL Today host; Phil Simms, CBS’s lead analyst for its National Football League telecasts; and Cris Collinsworth, longtime Inside the NFL panelist, and member of NBC's Sunday Night Football studio squad and analyst for NFL Network, will quarterback Inside the NFL on Showtime, which debuts Sept. 10 and runs each Wednesday through Feb. 11, 2009.
“CBS Sports produces Inside the NFL for us, so we tapped into those relationships to assemble the best team,” said Ken Hershman, senior vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports. “James Brown and Phil Simms are fabulous choices on that front, and Cris Collinsworth is one of the longest running participants on the show, which gives us an anchor back to the show itself that we thought was valuable.”
Hershman said the network will look to rotate a fourth guest personality throughout the show, although he would not reveal specific names.
The show moves to Showtime this season after HBO Sports, which had aired the series since its inception in 1977, pulled the plug in February after wrap up coverage of Super Bowl XLII. Showtime has a two-year deal for the show, with the option for a third.
“We think it brings the most powerful sports franchise in the country in the NFL to Showtime and we think it’s the perfect complement to our existing sports lineup and our original programming lineup,” Hershman said.