Brent Musburger is calling tomorrow’s Kentucky/Georgia game alongside Jay Bilas, his final game for ESPN. Last week, the news that Musburger is leaving ESPN was spun mostly as a retirement, but turns out it’s far from that. According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Musburger is embarking on a new career in Las Vegas, where he’ll be the host of a new multichannel network dedicated to sports gambling, VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network).
The news shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s listened to Musburger call a game over the years, but the broadcasting icon will host a two-hour show, Thursday though Monday, from a custom-built studio in the Sports Book of the South Point Hotel Casino and Spa in Las Vegas. VSiN will launch on SiriusXM radio (Sirius channel 215, XM channel 204) and on the SiriusXM app (channel 961) nationwide on Feb. 27. On Sunday, Musburger will host a special early edition of his show, My Guys in the Desert, on SiriusXM Rush (channel 93) from 3—6 p.m. ET.
In the interview with Deitsch, Musburger insisted that his comments about Oklahoma player Joe Mixon during the Sugar Bowl had no impact on his exit and part of his decision to leave ESPN was his understanding that talking about sports gambling on their network is taboo (even if he managed to slide in some innuendos in each broadcast):
“I did not want them to be in the middle [of gambling issues]. I am sure they have had some phone calls about [gambling] comments that I have made on the air over the years. It certainly never came back to me, but I have no doubt it happened. I just wanted no connection whatsoever. I will tell you that my relations with ESPN and everyone there could not be better. We have been completely up front in this process. I leave with nothing but good feelings about these people. I never had a bad day for them and enjoyed it very much.”
Happy trails, Brent. I’m going to set the over/under on how many bottle of bourbon you’ll receive at tomorrow’s game at seven.