News: Gumbel, McAfee, 2026 World Cup, and more

News: Gumbel, McAfee, 2026 World Cup, and more

Greg Gumbel is staying with CBS, but leaving the network’s NFL coverage. Plus: A sports media star may be on the move again; the 2026 World Cup will keep the four teams per group format; and more sports media news.

Greg Gumbel re-signs with CBS, relinquishes NFL role

CBS Sports has reached a contract extension with broadcaster Greg Gumbel, who will step down from his NFL play-by-play role with the network but remain host of CBS’s college basketball studio show, as first reported by John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal. Gumbel has been part of the NFL’s play-by-play roster since the network resumed airing games in 1998 and was the first African American play-by-play voice to work a Super Bowl, calling the game for CBS in 2001 and 2004. (Ourand 3.15)

Pat McAfee may leave FanDuel

According to New York Post columnist Andrew Marchand, sports media personality Pat McAfee could leave his four-year, $120 million deal with FanDuel halfway through its term. McAfee, The Athletic‘s 2022 “Sports Media Person of the Year,” has had talks with other companies — including Amazon — about his future. Recently, the FanDuel watermark was removed from The Pat McAfee Show and a FanDuel Super Bowl ad featuring Rob Gronkowski and Adam Vinatieri conspicuously left out McAfee. McAfee’s other commitments include College GameDay and occasional college football “Manningcasts” for ESPN, with whom he has a multi-year agreement. (Marchand 3.15)

2026 World Cup changes format, to include record 104 games

FIFA announced that the 2026 World Cup will include 104 games after deciding to continue with the four team group format. The originally planned format was to have 16 groups of 3 teams. However, following concerns of collusion in a three team group format and the excitement of the group matches in Qatar, the FIFA Council unanimously approved the amendment to change course. The 2026 groups will see the top two teams advance, with the addition of the eight best third place teams joining them in the knockout round of 32. (ESPN 3.14)

Plus: Stanley Cup schedule, NWSL TV schedule, and Irvin lawsuit update

The NHL announced that the Stanley Cup playoffs will start on April 17, with the Stanley Cup Finals tentatively starting on June 3 on TNT. … The NWSL announced its 2023 TV schedule on Wednesday, with CBS airing the final in primetime November 11 for the second consecutive season. … Michael Irvin has re-filed his $100 million lawsuit against Marriott amid the release of video showing his encounter with a hotel staffer on CCTV footage. (NHL 3.15, Awful Announcing 3.15, Front Office Sports 3.14)

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