Earlier today Jason McIntrye of TheBigLead.com broke the news that Jim Rome was moving his weekday Jim Rome is Burning television show from ESPN to the CBS Sports Network. (ESPN has since confirmed Rome’s last TV appearance on behalf of the company will be January 27.)
In response to Rome’s show no longer airing weekdays at 4:30p ET on ESPN2, SbB has learned that ESPN2 weekday offering Numbers Never Lie will be moved from 3:30p ET to 4 and Dan Le Batard is Highly Questionable will be pushed back from its normal ESPN2 weekday 4p ET airtime to 4:30.
ESPN will likely eventually fill the 3:30p ET weekday slot on ESPN2 with another original programming production.
Multiple sources Friday indicated to SbB that as part of his new deal with CBS, Rome has agreed to make regular appearances on CBS-owned Showtime.
SbB has been told that Rome will be the centerpiece of an aggressive move by Showtime Sports into the increased production of original sports programming under new executive vice president and general manager Stephen Espinoza.
Before Rome struck the CBS deal he had former ESPN programming chief Mark Shapiro, who worked on Rome’s original ESPN2 show as a production assistant, approach NBC about a similar arrangement.
NBC, which recently launched a 24-hour sports programming channel, passed.
UPDATE: Multiple sources tell SbB that a primary reason Rome departed ESPN was that network executives wanted to move his TV show to ESPN’s production facility in Los Angeles and force the ESPN2 show host to drop his non-ESPN, television-only production team.
SbB has been told that shooting the show near Rome’s Orange County home, while also footing the bill for Rome’s personal TV production unit, was costing ESPN upwards of $7 million per season.
For Rome’s TV show to continue on ESPN, the network would’ve no longer been obligated to defray such production costs.