Inside the NFL: Showtime Saves Sports Show, Changes Expected

Inside the NFLA few months ago, HBO enraged devoted viewers by dropping the venerable Inside the NFL sports show. The pay-per-view network felt that, though the 31-year-old series was innovative in its time, the television landscape had changed and it had become obsolete. There was some talk that another outlet might pick up Inside and that has now come true.

Showtime has announced that they’ve made a deal for the football series to move to its Wednesday night schedule this fall. They’re partnering with both CBS Sports and the NFL to produce the program.

Matthew Blank, CEO of Showtime Networks, said, “We’re thrilled to be joining the successful partnership of CBS Sports and the NFL in presenting the show to our subscribers. It’s a perfect fit with our original scripted series and sports programming.”

Regular viewers of Inside the NFL may be surprised to find that there will be some new faces on the broadcast for this fall. The show’s talent list won’t be announced until next month, but at least a few of last season’s contributors won’t be returning. Actually, most of the series’ on-air reporters are expected to be pulled from the CBS Sports talent pool. Names being tossed around include James Brown, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe, and Phil Simms. Marino has co-hosted the program in the past.

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Sportscasters like Bob Costas and Cris Collinsworth (who currently work for CBS competitor NBC Sports) aren’t likely to continue with the program. Both Showtime and the CBS network are owned by the CBS Corporation.

Inside the NFL is scheduled to kick off on Showtime on Wednesday, September 10th at 9pm. The series will then run throughout the NFL season and finish its 32nd season on February 11, 2009. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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10 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Anonymous says

    Inside the NFL

    Our comment is about the Season Finale 2/11/2009, which we just finished watching via TiVo, Friday 2/13/2009.
    The BEST way to get rid of Phil Sims “Pet Peeves” is to GET RID of PHIL SIMMS. Phil Simms is as useful as an Old Dirty Mop to try to spruce up a clean a floor. Phil comes across as an old Dirty Mop. Phil Simms is absolutely NO good in this position and hope that you will not be blinded by that one comment read on the show tonight praising Phil. Was that written by Phil under a code name or they must have confused the crew and names. Phil contributed the most negative atmosphere and seemed to disagree with everyone, that ONLY HE was the right one. The only good thing Phil did all season was to win the pick segment, pure luck. We can not stand Phil Simms on this show PLEASE cut him from the crew for Inside the NFL next season (We also did not like him as announcer but we could watch a different game or turn on the radio. On the other hand and the direct opposite was the addition this season of Warren Sapp. Warren was an excellent addition to the Inside the NFL team. We will look forward to seeing Warren on Inside the NFL next season. James Brown was ok but think you could do better with a Football Player not a person from basketball and also find someone with more charisma with the audience. Chris Collinsworth was and is fantastic and the main reason we continued to watch when Showtime took over the show. If it had been just Phil Simms we would not have made it through the first show of the season before we turned it off.
    We do NOT understand why Dan Marino was not brought along with Chris Collinsworth.
    Please bring back Dan Marino, he is SO MUCH BETTER than Phil Simms. We should not even use Phil’s name in the same sentence. Who was responsible for not keeping Dan and bringing on Phil? Maybe that decision maker should be cut.
    Our Plea to you for next season on Inside the NFL, fall 2009, is please keep Chris Collinsworth, Warren Sapp and bring back Dan Marino. We will leave the MC up to you keep James Brown for another year, give him a second chance maybe or bring on a past Football Person player or coach, a Football person.

    At the start of this past season we too were very upset when HBO dropped Inside the NFL. What were they thinking? We feel very strongly that this was an incorrect decision, a real loss of a great number of faithful viewers, and that it must have been made by someone out of touch totally with NFL Fans.

    THANK YOU SHOWTIME for picking up Inside the NFL weekly program. We will look forward to your improvements over the off season. Please do take into consideration what we have taken the time to write to you about. Please do CUT PHIL SIMMS! If you would take a true survey we are sure you would find 90% of the people who watched this season would agree, CUT PHIL SIMMS from Inside the NFL program.
    Thank you for listening (reading) and thanking you in advance for cutting Phil Simms.

  2. Steve says

    I am one that does not like your new program on Showtime and abore the actions of HBO. After more than 30 years HBO had a following that cried when it went off. And I don’t give a darn about what some programing president thinks about todays tv programing when it come to sports. I finally got to learn all the teams names both towns and mascots names when they turned it off. I am going to turn both Showtime offf and Hbo off

  3. Chris Fan says

    The main thing I do not like about the Showtime version….they only tell 6 picks instead of the whole week football predictions!! I just signed up yesterday to Showtime for this one show!!! Does anyone know where Chris Collingsworth has his full picks?

  4. Anonymous says

    I agree, HBO really goofed up on this one as I have switched to Showtime and I hope others follow suit. I wish they had Chris Collingsworth and the weekly online picks.

  5. says

    How about adding Warren Sapp or Tiki Barber to the list of analysts? They’re both hard hitters with a real heart for the sport!!! Maybe having a retired guest NFL coach as a weekly guest might also lend a little experienced perspective.

    Thanks for keeping this show alive for ALL OF US HARD CORE FOOTBALL LOVERS!

    Lynn I. Swanger

  6. says

    Great , I could not believe HBO, they must have listen to the drive by media that that show was bad. Any loyal NFL fan loved to see how NFL Films put together the weeks game with unbeliveable camera work. Following the ball in flight was amazing the first time I saw it over 25 years ago. I just hope they bring in some talent to host the show. Dan Marino is a natural and Chris Carter should be available, James Brown would be great as host with someone like Micheal Irvin or Emmett Smith or even Dion Sanders would work. Get Bobby Goodrich to produce or Direct, the former SMU Mustang knows Football! Verne Lunquist would also work. I’m very happy this going to happen I have watched the series since selling chair backs at the Cotton Bowl for the Cowboys, and I think it is a GOOD Business since since the Fanasty Leagues have formed the past 10 years. It is a must see for a fan!

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