“Monday Night time Soccer” will probably be dropped at you by Fox subsequent N.F.L. season — the faces and voices behind Fox Sports activities, that’s.
ESPN introduced Wednesday that it had signed Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the Corridor of Fame former Cowboys quarterback, to multi-year offers to man the sales space of one among sports activities’ signature packages.
Further particulars — resembling Buck and Aikman agreeing to contribute content material to the ESPN+ streaming service — will probably be introduced later, ESPN mentioned in a information launch. However an individual aware of the preparations mentioned Buck could be paid almost $15 million per 12 months, and Aikman virtually $18 million — making them among the many highest-paid sports activities broadcasters. The individual spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of the phrases of the contracts had not been introduced.
The swap by Buck and Aikman, who will name video games collectively for his or her twenty first N.F.L. season in 2022-2023, was hardly a shock, with Buck’s anticipated departure first reported by the New York Publish. Nonetheless, the official announcement provided one more reminder of how essential — and profitable — soccer has been for the networks and broadcasters who ship the video games.
Regardless of criticism dogging the N.F.L. over a broad swath of points, together with a lawsuit accusing the league of discriminatory hiring practices, N.F.L. video games accounted for 48 of the 50 most-watched broadcasts within the 2021 common season. This 12 months’s Tremendous Bowl, which aired on NBC, recorded the sport’s finest scores in 5 years, with a median viewers of 112.3 million viewers throughout tv and streaming.
If something, the competitors ought to be much more fierce subsequent season, with Amazon set to air “Thursday Night time Soccer.” In order that has prompted some musical chairs among the many predominantly male area of interest of soccer broadcasters.
This previous season, ESPN’s Monday crew featured Steve Levy because the play-by-play announcer and the previous participant and scout Louis Riddick and the previous quarterback Brian Griese as analysts. With Griese having just lately departed ESPN, which is owned by Disney, to turn into the quarterbacks coach of the San Francisco 49ers, the community made a robust push to woo Buck and Aikman, who’ve known as six Tremendous Bowls collectively.
At almost $18 million a 12 months, Aikman’s wage will rival that of CBS’ Tony Romo, one other former Dallas Cowboys quarterback turned coloration analyst.
“When you may have the chance to herald the enduring, longest-running N.F.L. broadcasting duo, you’re taking it, particularly at a time after we are on the cusp of a brand new period in our increasing relationship with the N.F.L.,” Jimmy Pitaro, the chairman of ESPN and sports activities content material, mentioned in an announcement.
As for the opposite broadcasters, Fox Sports activities is reportedly leaning towards naming Kevin Burkhardt its main N.F.L. play-by-play announcer, in line with stories, whereas Amazon has been linked to Al Michaels, who known as the Tremendous Bowl final month for NBC.