Brent Musburger will be the radio voice of the Oakland Raiders for Compass Media starting this year.
Brent Musburger is also the main face of the Vegas Sports & Information Network, headquartered in the Raiders future home of Las Vegas. Typically, a broadcaster being so involved in gambling, and so clearly gambling himself, might present a hurdle to calling NFL games.
In this case, though, Musburger actually brought it up during his contract negotiations with the Raiders. That’s according to Brent himself, from an interview with New York’s WOR radio, when asked if he’d been asked to put aside his personal gambling.
Transcription via SI’s Jimmy Traina:
“It has not been brought up to me and I insisted in my negotiations with the Raiders that I would not have to adhere to the NFL rules. I’m aware of the rules that exist and I understand why the players, the coaches, the people in the front office can’t, but I’m in the middle of doing gambling shows for VSiN, I participate in the Super Contest at the Westgate. So I wasn’t going to hide the fact that I take an occasional position.
I’ll probably stay away from the Raiders not because of any rules or anything, but because of a bias factor. You don’t want to do that if you’re gambling on football games. The truth is, I live here in Nevada and it’s perfectly legal and I bet at the Southpoint, I bet at the Westgate, I bet at the stations. I’m not a big-time bettor at all. I’m a recreational bettor. I enjoy it. It enhances the experience to me. But there have been no restrictions placed on me.”
This is yet another example of how the world of sports broadcasting is changing to accommodate the rapid advance of legalized sports betting across the country. We already had one legendary broadcaster, Al Michaels, mention that he’s still going to drop in his customary winks and nods to the gambling world, even if it’s less verboten now.
Musburger is even more tied to the world of sports gambling, and at this point it’s pretty clear he’s not going to leave that behind. He’s found a pretty good match in the Raiders, a franchise on its way to Las Vegas in a couple of years, and therefore one that’s only going to be further tied to the world of sports betting. The industry as a whole is only going to be more open to it as well.
If anything, Musburger is on the forefront of the movement.