“Monday Night Football” will be brought to you by Fox for the upcoming NFL season – the faces and voices behind Fox Sports, that is.
ESPN announced Wednesday that it has signed multi-year deals to feature Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the booth of one of the sport’s signature shows.
Additional details will be announced later, such as Buck and Aikman agreeing to add content to the ESPN+ streaming service. ESPN said in a news release. But one person familiar with the regulations said Buck would be paid about $15 million a year and Aikman nearly $18 million — making them among the highest paid sports broadcasters. The person spoke on the condition that his name not be disclosed, as the terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Buck and Aikman’s transition, which will seek matches for the 21st NFL season in 2022-2023, came as little surprise with Buck’s anticipated departure. Originally reported by the New York Post. Nevertheless, the official announcement once again reminded how important and lucrative football is for the networks and broadcasters that broadcast the games.
On the contrary The criticism that angered the NFL In a wide range of issues, including a lawsuit accusing the league of discriminatory recruitment practices, NFL games accounted for 48 of the 50 most-watched broadcasts during the 2021 regular season. This year’s Super Bowl, which airs on NBC, recorded the game’s best ratings in five yearswith an average audience of 112.3 million viewers across television and streaming.
If anything, the competition should be even fiercer next season as Amazon starts rolling out “Thursday Night Football.” This has mobilized some musical chairs among the predominantly male niche of football broadcasters.
Last season, ESPN’s Monday team individually selected Steve Levy as announcers, former player and spotter Louis Riddick and former quarterback Brian Griese as analysts. Griese recently left Disney-owned ESPN to become quarterback coach for the San Francisco 49ers, and the network put strong pressure to impress Buck and Aikman, who brought together six Super Bowls.
At about $18 million a year, Aikman’s salary will rival that of CBS’ Tony Romo, another former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and color analyst.
Jimmy Pitaro said, “When you have the opportunity to bring in the iconic, longest-running NFL broadcast duo, you get it, especially at a time when we are on the verge of a new era in our expanding relationship with the NFL.” ESPN and head of sports content said in a statement.
As for other broadcasters, Fox Sports is reportedly inclined to name Kevin Burkhardt as the primary NFL play-by-play announcer, while Amazon is reportedly linked to Al Michaels, who called the Super Bowl for NBC last month.