Likely TV ratings winner from Manning/Tebow: CBS

Whether Peyton Manning thrives with the Denver Broncos or Tim Tebow proves himself with the N.Y. Jets, CBS has to be happy.

CBS has the NFL's AFC TV package. Jets' controversy can only help TV ratings in the USA's top TV market, while Manning's early games in Denver will likely be of national interest -- at least for awhile.

And there's the rub for CBS, as the NFL prepares its 2012 schedule expected out next month. The TV-savvy league often moves teams affected by big off-season buzz -- the Broncos and Jets are now classic examples -- off CBS and Fox Sunday afternoon regionalized coverage and into primetime TV slots on NBC or ESPN. Don't be surprised if the Broncos and Jets end up there early on. How about Week 1 game in primetime between those two teams?

And more gravy for CBS: Manning is gone, but there will still be a Colts quarterback that draws national curiosity when the team drafts Stanford's Andrew Luck.

Spice rack: Fox's MLB coverage, which starts April 7, will get a half-hour pregame show jointly-produced with MLB Network, at MLBN's studios, hosted by MLBN/Fox's Matt Vasgersian, with analysts Mitch Williams, Eric Byrnes, Harold Reynolds and Kevin Millar. ... FIFA to launch YouTube channel with some free World Cup highlights. ... ESPN's Skip Bayless says he was once a "dominant" basketball player, that he loves Charles Barkley even though Barkley says he hates him and opens up on whether he really believes his on-air takes.... Vin Scully's long slow goodbye.

This article was written by Michael Heistand and appeared in USA Today.

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