Q&A with Sean McManus
The chairman of CBS Sports recently negotiated an extension of the network’s NCAA basketball contract through 2032 and a new Thursday night NFL deal
Since being named chairman of CBS Sports in 2011, Sean McManus has overseen all operations across CBS Sports properties. That has included negotiations for high-profile events such as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the PGA Tour and Thursday and Sunday NFL games, as well as the rebranding of CBS Sports Network. Since joining CBS in 1996, he has held a variety of key roles, including president of both CBS Sports and CBS News from 2005–2011. In April, CBS and Turner announced an eight-year, $8.8 billion contract extension for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament through 2032 that includes all digital rights to the championship. And in February, the NFL awarded CBS a new package of Thursday night games as well.
In this interview with SportsTravel’s Jason Gewirtz, McManus discusses the NCAA renewal, growth at CBS Sports Network and his connection to barrel jumping.
CBS and Turner recently announced an eight-year extension for the NCAA men’s basketball championship just a few years into the current long-term deal. Was it your idea to extend or did the NCAA approach you?
It really started with a meeting with David Levy, who runs Turner Sports, about a year ago. We thought the deal was working so well for CBS, Turner and for the NCAA, quite frankly, that we decided to come up with a proposal. The time just seemed right. It’s an event that has exceeded all of our expectations with respect to revenue, television ratings and promotional opportunities.
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