INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Big Ten Network announcer Gus Johnson calls the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Indiana Hoosiers during the first round of the 2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 10, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
On Thursday, Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch reported that Gus Johnson was leaving CBS after the two sides could not agree on a new contract. Johnson is known best for calling college basketball games for the network, but he also has announced NFL games. The Detroit Lions aren't often on CBS since they are an NFC team, but they are on it every now and then (they have two games on CBS in 2011).
This news was immediately disappointing because I'm a huge fan of the games he calls during March Madness. Thankfully it appears all hope of a new contract between Johnson and the network may not be lost just yet. The New York Daily News reported later on Thursday that Johnson has been offered a deal by Fox, but he hadn't yet presented that offer to CBS to match. If the offer were matched, it's possible he could return to CBS. If not, he would likely move to Fox and call NFL and Pac-12 games.
The LA Times has more on the potential Fox deal.
Two people familiar with the negotiations but not authorized to speak publicly said Johnson and CBS have so far been unable to agree on a new contract and that he now is in discussions with Fox. One of the people said Johnson is discussing "a significant role" in Fox's college football coverage, which has recently been expanded with the Pac-12 and Big 12.
Johnson already calls college basketball games for the Big Ten Network, which is partially owned by Fox. Personally I'd like to see him do college football games for BTN and NFL games for Fox if he doesn't return to CBS, but it sounds like he is in line for a gig with Pac-12 games. At the very least I hope he is able to do NFL games as well, because I would certainly like for him to be the announcer more often when the Lions play.