Jim Nantz’s familiar introduction of “Hello friends” will continue to be heard on CBS for years to come.
Nantz and CBS Sports reached agreement on a new deal Thursday. The deal was first reported by the “Sports Business Journal”
CBS spokeswoman Jen Sabatelle confirmed the agreement but did not comment on the terms.
The 61-year old Nantz has been with CBS since 1985. He has been the lead announcer for the NCAA Tournament since 1991 and has worked the Masters since 1986. He has also been the lead voice for the network’s coverage of the NFL since 2002 and called his seventh Super Bowl last month.
Nantz’s contract, which was worth $6.5 million a year, was going to expire this spring. Some wondered if he would choose to leave CBS after his NFL partner Tony Romo signed a new contract worth $17.5 million a year, but that wasn’t the case.
A big reason for that is Nantz’s love of calling the Masters. He said last year that he would like to be calling the tournament until 2035 and possibly beyond. Nantz would turn 75 that year, and that would also be 50 Masters calls for him.
“I used to joke around in speaking engagements: I know my retirement date already. God willing, my health stays well, and CBS willing, that April 8, 2035, would be the way I would love to close out my career,” he said. “But here we are all of a sudden and that’s now well within sight. I’m feeling really young. Got a couple of young kids who are 4- and 6-years old. That date is way too close for me to be talking about retirement. So, I would like to push it out for another, who knows, several years at least.”