View Full Version : NFL TV Commentators/Studio Analysts article

07-12-2005, 07:44 AM
Not big news, but interesting. Most especially, I like the possibility of dumping Michael Irvin from the ESPN crew. I can't stand that punk!



Odds are strong Michaels will join Madden on NBC

With John Madden signing a six-year contract for a reported $24 million to be the lead color analyst of NBC’s Sunday-night NFL package beginning in 2006, is his longtime ABC partner Al Michaels preparing to follow in his hefty footsteps?

That’s one of many intriguing questions on the NFL’s TV front — the primary focus of “The Way We Hear It” in this issue, since most of the league’s teams have shut down for a spell and are currently making vacation time a top priority.

As far as Michaels is concerned, our sources tell us there’s an excellent chance he will join Madden at NBC as the Sunday-night lead announcer.

Michaels was expected to meet with Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports & Olympics, after the completion of the NBA finals. Michaels has let it be known that he doesn’t want to be involved in any kind of a cable package, and that he considers the Sunday-night package to be the most attractive option available to him.

The fact that Michaels’ brother, David, is a sports producer for NBC certainly won’t hurt the Peacock Network’s chances of snagging ABC’s “Monday Night Football” duo.

Almost as likely as Michaels joining NBC is the insertion of NBC sports heavyweight Bob Costas as the Sunday-night pregame and halftime studio host — a role he reportedly would very much enjoy filling. The big question at NBC is: Who’s going to be the studio analyst?

The way we hear it, NBC has more than just a passing interest in Cris Collinsworth, who got his broadcasting start with the network. But it’s unlikely Collinsworth will leave his current gig with Fox, which has the right to match any offer he might receive from another network and has no intention of breaking up its lead broadcasting trio of Collinsworth, Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.

Other than Collinsworth, there are no current commentators being mentioned on the NBC rumor mill. Should they retire after the ’05 season, we hear Packers QB Brett Favre and Ravens CB Deion Sanders could be intriguing studio-analyst candidates.

As for ESPN’s plans for the Monday-night package it will be inheriting in 2006, we hear that the current Sunday-night team of Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire are the favorites — but hardly guaranteed in their entirety. Our sources have gotten a sense that ESPN is looking to make a splash on Monday nights, and that a partial change in the booth is possible.

In the ESPN studio, Chris Berman is expected to continue as the master of ceremonies, but don’t expect the status quo in the studio-analyst department, with incumbents Michael Irvin, Steve Young, Tom Jackson and Ron Jaworski not all likely to continue to fill prominent roles.

An intriguing figure worth watching is Lions GM Matt Millen, who could become a highly-sought-after TV commentator should he lose his job in Detroit next season or leave on his own.

While Millen’s reviews as a GM have been mixed, his previous work as a commentator on TV and radio was considered consistently excellent by most critics.

07-12-2005, 07:52 AM
Holy crap, that's old