There have been five huge off-season football media stories:
1) Amazon landing Thursday night for NFL games and hiring Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreet to contact them;
2) ESPN lured Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to Monday Night Football;
3) Fox has promoted Kevin Burkhart and Greg Olsen to replace Buck and Ekman on the main team, while securing Tom Brady as lead analyst on hold;
4) NBC’s promotion of Mike Terrico, per his contract, to succeed Michaels at Sunday Night Football;
5) The Big 10 made huge TV deals with NBC (which will broadcast a prime-time game starting next season), CBS (which will broadcast the games at 3:30 p.m. starting in 2024, to replace SEC Games, which was associated with ESPN/ ABC) and Fox (which holds the Noon Big 10 games, among other assets).
Here are several of the lesser known developments in football:
▪ Starting this season, ABC will have a “Monday Night Football” game different from the one implemented by company partner ESPN. This season, it will happen on September 19th.
Buffalo-Tennessee will air at 7:15 p.m. on ESPN that night, with Steve Levy, Louis Redick, and Dan Orlovsky announcing. Minnesota-Philadelphia will air at 8:30 on ABC, with Buck and Ekman on the call.
Beginning in 2023, ABC and ESPN will broadcast different Monday night matches three times each season.
ABC will also continue to simulcast a few Monday night football games on ESPN and two games from ESPN on the last Saturday of the regular season.
Both ABC and ESPN will broadcast Super Bowls in 2026 and 2030 (the first-ever Super Bowl live on ESPN), as well as a divisional playoff game, as well as the wild card game that ESPN has already been carrying for years.
“You can expand the reach of your game and expand the viewership,” NFL chief media officer Brian Rollap said of ABC’s increased engagement. “The broadcast was still arriving really well and we were not using ABC and its reach. Obviously, Disney was hungry to do more.”
▪ Sean Payton, who quit the Saints to take a break from training, will be a studio analyst at 11 a.m. on Fox’s pre-game show, and will occasionally act as Jimmy Johnson on Fox’s pre-game main.
▪ NBC has hired former Cowboys coach Jason Jarrett to replace Drew Bryce for two jobs – at the Sunday Night Studio with Tony Dungy, and at the Notre Dame booth, where Jack Collinsworth (Chris’ son) replaced Terrico, who will now focus entirely on Sunday night football.
Breeze walked away from broadcasting after one season.
▪ With Michele Tavoia leaving the industry for a career in politics, NBC bypassed in-house candidate Catherine Tabin (who was hired for the Notre Dame Games) and hired Melissa Stark as a side reporter, a job she last held on ABC’s Monday Night Football from 2000 to 2003.
▪ CBS hires Jason Jones to replace Jason Lacanfora as information man in the NFL – a losing battle against Adam Shifter, Chris Mortensen and Fox Jay Glazer.
▪ ESPN promoted Robert Griffin III to the role of studio analyst on Monday Countdown, joining Booger McFarland and Steve Young as lead analysts, while continuing to host Suzy Kolber.
Randy Moss, who was on the Monday show, will turn his attention to the Sunday pre-game show, joining Matt Hasselbeck, Teddy Bruschi, Shifter, Chris Mortensen, Rex Ryan and host Sam Bonder.
^ Fox promoted Daryl Johnston to the role of Analyst No. 2 to replace Olsen, who was promoted to succeed Aikman until Brady retired. Johnston climbed up and down the depth chart during his 22 years at Fox.
Joe Davis, who replaced Buck as Fox’s major baseball announcer, also became Fox’s No. 2 announcer in the NFL, replacing the promoted Burkhart.
Also new: Former college football analyst Robert Smith joins Chris Myers on Fox #6.
▪ The voice of former Marlins TV Rich Waltz is the new lead voice for college football on CBS Sports, along with Aaron Taylor.
CBS-TV’s Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson remain in the SEC teams and are expected to move to the CBS Big 10 package in 2024, when the Big 10 replaces the SEC at that 3:30 p.m. slot.
Los Angeles Clippers anchor Noah Eagle, son of CBS’s Ian Eagle, had some CBS games last season but will be working in college football for Fox this season.
▪ Jason Bennett is the new No. 2 college football announcer for Fox, paired with Brock Howard. Jos Johnson and Joel Clatt remain the leading team.
▪ Fox reassigned Urban Mayer, who had had a miserable experience in less than one season as the Jacksonville Jaguars coach, to the college football studio.
▪ Jenny Dale is the new CBS college football correspondent at SEC, replacing Jimmy Erdal, who has replaced Kay Adams as host of the NFL Network morning show.
▪ ESPN’s Jorge Sedano, who grew up and worked in South Florida, will call his first college regular-season game on the TV side when he announces UM-Bethune Cookman with former FSU Forrest Conoly at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on ACC. Spring game called in UM.
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▪ WQAM-560 has hired former Canes quarterback Malik Rosier as its new post-game analyst, along with Alex Donno.
Analyst Brian Munro (paired with Danny Rabinowitz) is pretty good, and Rosier should be, based on his candor and his objective and intelligent responses in interviews.
▪ TNT’s Charles Barkley, in an appearance with Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports, released Kevin Durant.
“All old men, get angry and we say so, [but] “He carried on the Warriors’ back to win his first two championships,” Barkley said. “But if you go back and look at his career, as the best player and being the captain that goes with that, it was a fiasco. Every time he had to be the captain and the best player, he didn’t work out. That’s what we seniors think about.
“He looks like a miserable person, man. I call him Mr. Miserable, he’ll never be happy. Everyone gave him everything on a silver platter. He was the guy in Oklahoma City, they loved him, he owned the entire state. He focused on them and won back-to-back championships (with Golden State), and he’s still not happy. Then he goes to Brooklyn, and they give him whatever he wants and he’s still miserable.”
▪ Heat and Panthers games will be available on Bally Sports Plus’ new direct-to-consumer service that allows viewers to pay to receive the channel if they do not wish to pay for cable or satellite service. Marlins Games were made available during launch earlier this summer.
Cost: $19.99 per month or $189.99 per year. Other Bally Sports Florida and Bally Sports Sun programs—including college football, basketball, high school games, and studio shows—are also on duty.
By the way, Bally Sports Florida will be launching its new weekly Dolphins show, Dolphins Today, next Friday, after the Marlins game. Hosted by Kimberly Bell. Also, the network will rerun CBS-4’s Mike McDaniel at 11:30 a.m. on Sundays starting September 11.
This story was originally published September 2, 2022 1:12 pm.