Gambling will be completely ignored on any NFL game broadcast on CBS

CBS will not mention gambling during NFL broadcasts in 2018. (AP Photo)
CBS will not mention gambling during NFL broadcasts in 2018. (AP Photo)

Don’t expect to hear any sly references to gambling during NFL broadcasts on CBS in 2018. Announcers for the network will not mention point spreads or teams covering the spread on any broadcast, according to Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated.

CBS president Sean McManus told Traina the news at the company’s NFL Media Day.

CBS decision on gambling comes at a time when gambling is legal

A Supreme Court decision in May essentially legalized gambling. It’s now up to each state to decide whether to allow gambling.

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While some states have jumped at the opportunity, the NFL has been cautious in its response to the news. Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement after that ruling that was more focused on “protecting the integrity of our sport.” Goodell also mentioned that the league has considered the issue for some time, and will address the changes in a “thoughtful and comprehensive way.”

Gambling isn’t normally talked about on NFL broadcasts

During most broadcasts, you’re not going to hear an announcer directly address a point spread or an over/under. However, there are announcers who will sneak gambling references into broadcasts in creative ways.

NBC’s Al Michaels has admitted to slipping gambling references into his broadcasts. That’s become such a punchline that even Joe Buck teased Michaels during a game last season.


Gambling talk during sports broadcasts a divisive issue

Responses to Traina’s tweet have been met with mixed responses from fans. Some are upset that CBS will just ignore the issue. Others don’t feel making allusions to gambling is necessary during a game.

This is still a new issue for sports leagues and television networks. CBS’s first response was to limit gambling conversation during games on the network. That view could evolve as everyone gets more comfortable with the new normal.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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