Veteran sportscaster Mike Tirico will join NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” booth next fall, mating with analyst Cris Collinsworth in the latest shake-up among the announcers who call acting the television’s most watched sport.
Tirico fills a vacancy on the departure of Al Michaels, who is expected to join Amazon to call “Thursday Night Football.”
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“When Mike joined NBC Sports in 2016, it was our plan for him to become our primetime Olympic host and play-by-play voice for Sunday Night Football,” Pete Bevacqua, president of NBC Sports, said in a statement. “We’re excited to have Mike for Cris Collinsworth full time in the booth this season.”
NBC confirms speculation about the future of their “Sunday Night Football” stand with an NFL meeting scheduled to take place later this week. The show has long been Michaels’ chicken house. But his contract ended after the network’s Super Bowl broadcast earlier this year, leaving sports fans and executives wondering how the network could tackle the problem.
Tirico takes as it were the field as all TV networks with NFL rights seem to woo a wider audience after accepting significant increases in license fees, they will pay the league’s National Football League under a new 11-year pact that holds the majority of professional football TV broadcasts under the major traditional TV stations. In addition to Michaels’ expected move to Amazon, ESPN recently raided Fox Sports for its longtime team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.
Tirico is no stranger to the sport. One could argue that ESPN has been working to replace him ever since he left a perch on “Monday Night Football” to join NBC. He has regularly hosted NBC’s pre-game show “Football Night in Amerca”, filled regularly for Michaels and has called 20 matches with Collinsworth over the years.
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