Tony Romo could be in line for a huge payday but it would take a shift away from CBS and to a rival network to make it happen. Romo, currently doing color for CBS on its football broadcasts, will reportedly get a huge offer from ESPN to switch networks and become the centerpiece of its own football broadcasts, perhaps on Monday Night Football and beyond.
Front Office Sports reported on Sunday that Disney is preparing to offer Romo the largest contract for a sports broadcaster, somewhere in the range of $10-14 million per year, to leave CBS once is contract expires and take over in the booth at ESPN.
ESPN is preparing an offer that would make Tony Romo the highest-paid sportscaster in TV history, with a multi-year deal that would pay him between $10 million to $14 million annually, said sources.
ESPN declined to comment. A representative for Romo could not be reached for comment.
If signed by ESPN, Romo could succeed Booger McFarland as the analyst on “Monday Night Football,” said sources.
This number is huge for a broadcaster, but it certainly lines up with numbers he was reportedly expecting last year. As the report indicated, locking up Romo would’t necessarily just be for the immediate future of Monday Night Football, as negotiations for the next TV contracts with the NFL will start in 2020-21 and packages could be shuffled around. If ESPN (and ABC) is interested in getting Sunday afternoon packages, like CBS and Fox have, that deal could be a steal to have Romo as the centerpiece of ABC’s top broadcast team. At the very least, it’s easy to assume Romo signing up with ESPN would put him on the network in a variety of ways that go far beyond calling a single game a week.
The report stated that CBS has the right to match any offer Romo may get, and that negotiations for any new deal may not take place until well after the Super Bowl early next month, but it’s an early look at what will be a fascinating offseason for NFL broadcasts. ESPN continues to search for a winning combination, and the success Romo has had in his post-playing days as a broadcaster makes him an intriguing prospect. ESPN tries to replicate Romo’s success with former Cowboys teammate Jason Witten last year, but it paled in comparison to what Romo has done on CBS.
There’s a lot at play here, including how much Romo enjoys working with Jim Nantz and the crew at CBS. The network could offer its own massive deal to Romo, and given the near-universal praise he’s gotten while in the booth it makes sense to keep a winning team together. But it’s already clear Romo will be a hot property, and Disney is apparently willing to put forth the money to bring that property in and revamp its own football broadcasts.