In 1987, Gayle Sierens became the first woman to provide play-by-play commentary during an NFL telecast. It took 30 years for the NFL to see a second woman get the opportunity, when Beth Mowins took the microphone for the second game of ESPN’s week one ‘Monday Night Football’ doubleheader.
Following Mowins’ ESPN broadcast, she signed on to join CBS for three games this season, starting with the Browns-Colts matchup on September 24th. This Sunday, Mowins will team with Jay Feely in Buffalo, to call the divisional game between the Bills and Dolphins for CBS. It will be Mowins third game of the season, and second with CBS.
“When someone brought up Beth Mowins name my thought was why hadn’t we thought about that before,” said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus in a September article by SI. “We had conversations with her agent who had a conversation with ESPN. It was a pretty easy process. ESPN was pretty supportive of giving Beth an opportunity. Given the NFL is the number one sport on television, I think they were very gracious about allowing her to be associated with CBS.”
Mowins, a pioneer in the industry, began calling nationally televised college football games for ESPN in 2005. Game three in the NFL for Mowins is much less of a news story, which is a testament to her quality of work.
“Beth was hired not because she’s a woman but because she’s a terrific play-by-play personality,” said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus in September.
It took 30 years for a woman to call an NFL game after Gayle Sierens’ groundbreaking performance in 1987. It will not take 30 years before the third woman gets her opportunity, Mowins’ four broadcasts this season will open doors for other women to join the industry.