While former NFL quarterback Tony Romo was never able to secure his legacy with a Super Bowl trophy, he did just end up the highest paid sports analyst of all time, signing a historic long-term contract with CBS worth 17+ million dollars per year over the course of 10 years.
How did this come to be?
Avid fans of the sport know that Tony Romo has become the go-to must-hear football analyst over the past couple seasons. His incredible ability to predict what’s going to happen before it happens, while providing interesting and valuable insight on the strategy of the game has gotten so much attention that he’s even been dubbed “Romostradamus”.
After taking the broadcast world by storm, one would have to assume he would be set to make a killing when his contract expired this past February. However, the end result was a shock to many, including current NFL stars who make far less than Romo will now enjoy.
What exactly made the timing so ripe?
First, knowing that Romo’s contract with CBS was about to end, ESPN determined that signing him at a historic price before the 2020-2021 season would be a well made investment in their hopes of reviving their struggling Monday Night Football franchise. This created enormous leverage for Romo to encourage CBS to outbid their rival to retain him.
Second, Peyton Manning, after retiring as an all-time great NFL quarterback, was the next high-profile former player major networks were hoping to secure. However, despite being offered millions, and what would have probably been the highest paid sports analyst contract of all time pre-Romo, Manning decided he’s simply not ready or interested, creating even more Romo leverage.
Third, the looming multi-billion dollar negotiations between the NFL and major networks to renegotiate broadcasting rights as a follow-up to the currently being negotiated players agreement with the league. This agreement is set to redefine revenue sharing, and potentially bring future seasons to 17 or more games, an increase on the current 16 game format. Since the individual networks would like to be in a strong position in comparison to both the NFL as well as their competitors, having Romo as a top broadcaster makes him an incredibly valuable asset.
It is important to note that while Tony Romo could have let his contract with CBS expire before agreeing to a new one he did not.
All of this leads one to wonder – could Romo have known that conditions would be so ripe? So, amazingly, impressively ripe?
This would be hard to imagine. But at the same time, this is the man who made his name in broadcasting through his uncanny predictions and ability to express the future before it happens, all while looking on above the playing field.
Some do, after all, call him “Romostradamus”.