- Ed Molina
- Dec 07, 2013 11:25 AM EST
A bidding war for free agent National Football League (NFL) quarterback Tim Tebow may be brewing for his services, though not for his skills under center.
ESPN, Fox Sports, and CBS Sports are all interested in signing Tebow to their college football broadcast teams, in hopes of attracting the the audience that has made him Bing’s most popular athlete in 2013 on their search engine, finishing ahead of Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, professional golfer Tiger Woods, and the Miami Heat’s LeBron James.
ESPN is looking for Tebow to be one of the faces of their new SEC Network that is launching on August 21, 2014, as part of a show similar to ESPN’s highly-popular College Gameday, with Tebow joining Rece Davis and Paul Finebaum during the pre-game and post-game shows.
CBS Sports also wants Tebow as a part of their weekly SEC on CBS game, which has been putting up high ratings, airing the top three rated college football games this season (University of Alabama vs Texas A&M University, Louisiana State University vs Alabama, and last week’s Alabama vs Auburn University Iron Bowl game).
Fox is prepared to feature Tebow not only in their college football coverage but also their NFL telecasts, giving him more air time compared to CBS Sports and ESPN, using him to attract viewers to their new Fox Sports 1 network that launched this year. CBS Sports’ and ESPN’s offers may be more tailored to Tebow being that he has roots in SEC football, having won two BCS title, two SEC championships, and a Heisman Trophy with the University of Florida.
“If there is a bidding war for his services, then he would make more than your traditional ex-Heisman Trophy winner who is trying to get into the business,” said Steve Rosner, a partner at 16W Marketing and represents announcers such as Phil Simms, Boomer Esiason, Cris Collinsworth, and Brian Griese, to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.com. “Coming out of the chute, I’d be extremely surprised if Tim Tebow would earn anywhere close to seven figures.”
Tebow has been a free agent quarterback since being released by the New England Patriots at the end of the 2013 preseason, after getting previous cut by the New York Jets, who traded for him in 2012. Tebow was not offered a deal by any NFL teams after he was released by New England and rejected a $1 million offer from the Russian football team Moscow Patriots, who play in the American Football Championship of Russia, as well as an offer from the expansion arena football team LA KISS, co-owned by Gene Simmons.
Tebow was recently offered a short-term, $200,000 four-month contract by Milano Seaman of the Italian Federation for American Football. Tebow is likely to turn that offer down, as he waits for his agent Jimmy Sexton, to finish negotiating contracts for his college coaches clients during this time period, before focusing on the former Heisman winner’s new television venture.