CBS College Sports Network Prepares for Kickoff

By Alex Weprin Comment

CBS College Sports Network will be adding new shows, new faces and new technology to its college football programming lineup this season.

Last week SportsNewser spoke to former Texas tech football coach Mike Leach about joining the lineup, and CBS College Sports executives share his enthusiasm.

“We are really proud of some of the new folks we have on board, specifically Mike Leach and Roger Twibell on the talent side,” Steve Herbst, the executive VP and GM of CBS College Sports Network tells SportsNewser. “It enables us to get a coaches perspective out there. We have got Coach [Phillip] Fulmer here in the studio, but it allows us to have a coach out in the field.”

The network isn’t just adding new faces to its telecast, it is also adding new programs and technology.

The “magic wall” that has become a staple of TV news will make its way to the CBS college football studio this season, giving analysts a new way to present stats.

The network is also adding two new shows: a studio show which will run down the network’s programming that week, and a documentary series, “Football Confidential.”

“Football Confidential” will present a behind the scenes look at college football, following three Conference USA teams on the practice fields, in the locker room and elsewhere.

“It is not unlike [HBO’s] “Hard Knocks” or some of the other shows you have seen out there,” Hersbt says. “I think they have proven that people have an insatiable appetite to go behind the scenes, to look behind the curtain.”

Other ideas in development include a weekly show that would look at what is happening in the world of Olympic sports, which rely heavily on college athletes.

While college football and basketball have always been major draws, CBS College Sports Network is also planning to expand its presence in other sports.

“We are looking to really start to bulk up on hockey, and then in the Spring we are looking to bulk up lacrosse,” Herbst says. “We feel like hockey and lacrosse have been two of the areas where we are seeing enormous interest, and attraction from advertisers as well.”