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Greg Gumbel Speaks Out On NFL Announcers: Fans React

Troy Aikman and Joe Buck on FOX.


There's been a slew of big-name NFL announcers moving to different networks to sign lucrative extensions this offseason. But one announcer - CBS' Greg Gumbel - isn't convinced that those big contracts were necessary.

Appearing on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Gumbel said that he's never felt that an announcer brought extra fans to watch games that they wouldn't have already watched. He feels that announcers largely cause people to tune out of games, not tune into them.

"What does tickle my thought process is, I’ve never felt in my entire life there is an announcer who can bring someone to the TV set to watch a game that that viewer wasn’t already going to watch. And I believe the only thing a broadcaster can do is chase people away," Gumbel said.

“I know this for a fact because—I won’t name them—but there are three or four announcers, ‘Oh, I’m really interested in watching, oops, nope, click, gone.’ I truly believe that. I don’t think that someone is tuning in just to hear a particular person call a football game.

NFL fans had a mixed reaction to Gumbel's assessment though. While some agreed that announcers generally don't add much to the experience, some feel it does play into which game they choose to watch:

It's a little unfalsifiable to say that announcers have limited impact on viewership. There really isn't any way to quantify what makes someone more or less likely to watch games - especially given that nearly all games are regionally locked.

But Greg Gumbel might be onto something when he suggests that an announcer is more likely to make people tune out than turn in. How often do we see people endlessly complaining about particular announcers during games?

Nevertheless, the NFL's media partners are making money hand over fist right now. Even if announcers don't add much value to them, they can still try and one-up each other by taking top talents from one another.

What do you think of Greg Gumbel's statement here?