SEC on CBS Is Key Piece of CBS Sports Network Integration

CBS doesn’t possess a deep college-football portfolio, but the package it does have is the envy of the industry.

When the SEC on CBS returns this Saturday — No. 1 Alabama visits Arkansas (3:30 p.m. ET) — viewers can expect the usual classic look and feel from the broadcast in addition to a boost in coverage across the network’s various platforms.

All the buzz around CBS Sports the past few months has been about boosting and further integrating the CBS Sports Network into the media company’s overall mission. Enhancing the prized SEC package is a major piece of that puzzle.

“We’re trying to connect the CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports to aid and abet each other with resources and ideas, programming — wherever it makes sense,” says Craig Silver, coordinating producer, college football, at CBS Sports. “Hopefully, every year, it gets further down that road.”

On CBS Sports Network, SEC Today, SEC Express, and SEC Tonight Presented by Geico all return, along with new show This Week in SEC Football.

CBS is also bringing back its SEC on CBS Cruiser to further supplement its on-site game-day coverage. The 4G-enabled vehicle allows CBS Sports Network to do hits on Thursday and Friday from wherever the crew is. On Saturdays, however, any work from the cruiser will need to run off standard transmission technologies through the game broadcast’s mobile unit because the 4G network does not work as effectively at crowded stadiums.

The production team, lead by Silver and director Steve Milton, continues to work with long-time mobile-unit partner F&F Productions. For the third straight year, F&F’s GTX-16 HD will be home to the SEC on CBS crew. It’s the same truck that works the US Open tennis tournament for CBS.

Last year, CBS added camera positions perpendicular to each goal line. The view was unique for a college-football broadcast and gave the broadcasters — and even the officials — a direct line of sight on any and all scoring plays that break the plane.

“It worked out great,” says Silver, who has produced SEC on CBS broadcasts since 1996. “The attempt is to still do that where we can; not every stadium is equipped for it. For example, we are going to Fayetteville [AR], and we weren’t there last year, so we’re hoping to find a location and work it out.”

CBS Sports will stream the Alabama-Arkansas game, as well as the entire 2012 SEC on CBS football schedule live on CBSSports.com. The games are available exclusively on CBSSports.com and CBS Sports Mobile and can also be accessed through a link on the Websites of all CBS affiliates.

Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, CBS Sports’ lead college-football announce team, will call the action, with Tracy Wolfson reporting from the sidelines at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

College Football Today, the network’s pregame, halftime, and postgame studio show returns with host Tim Brando and analysts Spencer Tillman and Tony Barnhart. Leading off the day (2:30 p.m.) is a CBS College Football Special, which provides a comprehensive look at the biggest storylines and news of the 2012 season.

From the studio, Vin DeVito produces and Linda Malino directs.

New this season as part of CBSSports.com’s SEC coverage are live pregame, halftime and postgame shows originating from the Website’s Ft. Lauderdale, FL, studio. The postgame show will feature a weekly interview with Danielson.

Earlier this week, CBS Sports announced its selection for its Sept. 22 game. The production team will be in Columbia, SC, when new SEC member Missouri visits South Carolina.