STAMFORD — Stamford-based NBC Sports announced on Tuesday that veteran broadcaster Mike Tirico will take over the play-by-play duties for Sunday Night Football this upcoming season.
The announcement confirmed rumors that Tirico, long one of NBC Sports’ most prominent on-air personalities, would replace Al Michaels as the voice of the SNF play-by-play.
Michaels held the position since 2006, but he recently left NBC Sports to serve as the play-by-play announcer for Amazon Prime Video’s broadcast of Thursday Night Football.
Melissa Stark, a host and reporter for NFL Network since 2011, will replace Michele Tafoya as the show’s sideline reporter, and color commentator Cris Collinsworth will return this fall for his 14th season as SNF analyst alongside Tirico.
On August 4 in primetime, NBC and the Peacock streaming service will air the trio’s first game together as they call the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game. Their next assignment is the 2022 NFL Kickoff Game on NBC and Peacock, which will take place on September 8.
According to a statement released by NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua, “Sunday Night Football is destination viewing, and we are thrilled to have Mike, Cris, and Melissa call the action and tell the stories that football fans have come to expect from prime-time TV’s No. 1 show.”
He is one of only four play-by-play announcers to work the primetime NFL package for a decade or more.
Having joined NBC Sports in 2016, Tirico has hosted the network’s Football Night in America, the most-watched sports studio show, both from the field and in the studio. Plus, since 2016, he and Collinsworth have called a total of 21 NFL games together. Tirico was the voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Football as the play-by-play announcer from 2006 until 2015.
What Happened To Al Michaels?
After NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl 56 in February, Michaels‘ contract with the network expired, making him one of the most in-demand announcers available.
It was reported in March that Michaels had signed a contract with Amazon Prime Video to provide play-by-play commentary for the streaming service’s exclusive coverage of “Thursday Night Football” beginning with the 2022 season. The NFL made the announcement that Michaels would join Kirk Herbstreit as the voices of the two main characters on Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” on March 23.
In Week 3 of the 2022 NFL preseason, Michaels and Herbstreit covered a Thursday game between the 49ers and the Texans, and the coverage was well-received by viewers.
Despite Michaels’ departure for a new weekly gig, his commentary will still air on NBC this year; you’ll just have to wait until the playoffs.
NBC Sports announced in May that the legendary play-by-play analyst Al Michaels had been named to an emeritus role, allowing him to broadcast and contribute to NBC’s productions of the NFL Playoffs and the Olympics.
When Did Al Michaels Leave NBC?
The New York Post reported in March 2022 that Michaels, then age 77, was in line for a promotion.
That happened after he had been with NBC for 18 years.
This season marks the debut of Amazon Prime’s exclusive coverage of Thursday Night Football, and Michaels will be front and center throughout the action.
According to the New York Post, Michaels will be working “near the Joe Buck neighborhood” for the duration of his three-year contract.
According to a second New York Post article, Buck will earn between $60 and $75 million over the next five years.
Though, Michaels will still make an appearance on NBC now and then.
Michaels was “named to an emeritus role,” according to a statement released by NBC in May of 2022.
That means he’ll keep making contributions during major events like the Olympics and the NFL playoffs.
Al Michaels Is Staying On At NBC Sports In A Limited Capacity Thanks To A New “Emeritus” Contract
Even though Al Michaels is leaving “Sunday Night Football” on NBC, he is staying with the network.
The veteran commentator is staying put at NBC Sports despite having announced in March that he would be the face of Amazon’s new StreamCast of “Thursday Night Football” this coming fall.
The company stated that Michaels, in his “emeritus” capacity, would contribute to all of NBC Sports, including the NFL Playoffs and the Olympics.
Chairman of NBC Sports Pete Bevacqua said in a statement, “Al is revered by viewers and colleagues and his music has been the soundtrack to many of the greatest moments in the history of sports television.
” That he will remain a member of the family and elevate the status of our events for years to come makes us very happy.
Michaels has reported on more major sporting events than any other sportscaster and often finds himself recounting not only the action on the field but also its place in the larger narrative.
During the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, he made the now-famous call that the United States men’s hockey team had defeated the Soviet Union.
His work earned him a nomination for a News Emmy, making him only the second sportscaster in history to achieve such a feat. Michaels is the only commentator in history to call a Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, and Stanley Cup Final on national television. He also spent 20 years as the voice of “Monday Night Football.”
For the upcoming 2022 NFL season, which begins this Thursday, Stamford-based NBC Sports, producers of “Sunday Night Football,” have hired new play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and new sideline reporter Melissa Stark.
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