The 2021-22 Serie A season begins on Saturday, and CBS announced some of its coverage plans for the Italian top flight on Thursday.
The most significant hiring made by CBS is Matteo Bonetti, who covered Serie A for ESPN when they had the streaming rights to the league. He’ll work as both a match and studio analyst, while Andres Cordero, already working for CBS and calling Concacaf matches for the network, will serve as the top Serie A play by play broadcaster for the network.
Additionally, Fabrizio Romano (who hosts a podcast for CBS and serves as an insider for the company) will work in the studio for Serie A coverage, and Jo Ankier and Marco Messina have been hired for studio work.
And while the coverage begins this weekend with Matchweek 1, full coverage from the New York studios won’t start until Matchweek 3 on September 12th, following the first international break of the season.
Serie A coverage will be centralized on Paramount+ this season, though some matches will air on CBS Sports Network (and potentially CBS broadcast). There is one cable match in each of the first two weeks – Udinese-Juventus in Matchweek 1, and Genoa-Napoli in Matchweek 2. Each begins at 12:30 PM ET on Sunday, but once we get into (American) football season, the future of that window will undoubtedly be a question.
World Soccer Talk noted something interesting about the CBS coverage this season – they’ll have Italian language commentary of some games. I don’t know how many people will use that feed, but the option is still welcome.
Over the course of the last year, CBS has made some impressive hires to bolster their soccer coverage, tempering the fears of some that they wouldn’t take the sport seriously. The network’s plans for Serie A, despite the Paramount+ paywall (a significant change from….the ESPN+ paywall), seem to be continuing in that positive direction.