Behind The Mic: NFL Hall-of-Famer Eric Dickerson Joins Fox Sports; CBS, Fox Unveil 2017 NFL Announce Teams
Behind the Mic provides a roundup of recent news regarding on-air talent, including new deals, departures, and assignments compiled from press releases and reports around the industry. In this week’s edition, Fox Sports has added Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson to its roster, CBS Sports and Fox Sports have unveiled their 2017 NFL announce teams, Tennis Channel is adding No. 1-ranked doubles player Bethanie Mattek–Sands for the US Open, two-division world champion Andre Ward will join ESPN’s coverage of two of the year’s biggest boxing events, former college and NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has joined SiriusXM, and more.
…Fox Sports has added Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson to its roster. Dickerson joins the network as an FS1 NFL analyst, contributing to a number of the network’s daily studio show offerings. Dickerson was officially introduced on SKIP AND SHANNON: UNDISPUTED, where he discussed the fate of the Cowboys offense among several other sports topics. Drafted second overall in the 1983 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, the running back quickly made a name for himself on the field. In his inaugural season, Dickerson set rookie records for most rushing attempts (390), most rushing yards gained (1,808) and most touchdowns rushing (18), earning him All-Pro, Pro Bowl, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors…
…THE NFL ON CBS debuts five new broadcast crews this season led by the CBS Television Network’s new lead announce team of Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson. CBS Sports has added play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins to the 2017 NFL lineup. Mowins will become the first woman to ever call play-by-play for the Network’s NFL games when she teams with new game analyst Jay Feely to call Cleveland-Indianapolis on Sept. 24. Pro Football Hall of Famer James Lofton also joins as new game analyst alongside Andrew Catalon. Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn continue to serve as CBS Sports’ No. 2 team and call the Network’s top game on Sundays when Nantz, Romo and Wolfson do not call a game.
The following are the Network’s NFL announcer pairings for the 2017 season (play–by–play/analyst//reporter): Jim Nantz/Tony Romo//Tracy Wolfson, Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts//Evan Washburn, Greg Gumbel/Trent Green//Jamie Erdahl, Kevin Harlan/Rich Gannon, Andrew Catalon/James Lofton, Spero Dedes/ Adam Archuleta, Tom McCarthy /Steve Tasker/Steve Beuerlein, Beth Mowins/Jay Feely
In addition to Wolfson and Washburn, game coverage includes sideline reporter Jamie Erdahl with Gumbel–Green, as well as regional sideline reporters for selected games throughout the season. Phil Simms and Nate Burleson join the show as new analysts alongside host James Brown and analysts Boomer Esiason and Bill Cowher from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City. Jason La Canfora continues to serve as the “NFL Insider.” Jim Rikhoff is the new lead game producer for THE NFL ON CBS, and Michael Arnold is the lead game director. Drew Kaliski is producer for THE NFL TODAY, while Bob Matina directs. Click here to view the full NFL ON CBS assignments for the preseason and weeks 1-4 (subject to change)….
…Fox Sports has announced its broadcast teams for the network’s 24th season of NFL coverage. After calling Super Bowl LI, play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman return for their 16th season as Fox Sports’ lead NFL broadcast team. Erin Andrews again joins the league’s longest-running duo, reporting from the sidelines. Buck, Aikman and Andrews open the season Week 1 with Fox’s first edition of AMERICA’S GAME OF THE WEEK, as the Green Bay Packers face the Seattle Seahawks in a conference showdown from Lambeau Field on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 4:25 PM ET. Play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt pairs with Charles Davis and veteran sideline reporter Pam Oliver. 2017 marks Oliver’s 23rd season of Fox NFL coverage. The crew opens Week 1 with the Chicago Bears hosting the Atlanta Falcons at 1:00 PM ET.
Three-time Super Bowl Champion Mark Schlereth spends his first season in the booth alongside play-by-play announcer Dick Stockton and sideline reporter Shannon Spake. For Week 1, Stockton, Schlereth and Spake call the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins at 1:00 PM ET. Additionally, Fox NFL game analyst Chris Spielman and sideline reporter Peter Schrager join play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman and open the season in San Francisco for the Week 1 contest between the 49ers and Carolina Panthers at 4:25 PM ET. Along with Stockton, play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert has the distinction of working Fox NFL games full-time since the network’s inception in 1994. He returns for his 24th season and works alongside analyst Ronde Barber and sideline reporter Kristina Pink. The group calls their first game from the nation’s capital; a clash between NFC East rivals when the Washington Redskins battle the Philadelphia Eagles at 1:00 PM ET.
Another seasoned group of veterans comes together with play-by-play announcer Chris Myers, analyst Daryl “Moose” Johnston and sideline reporter Laura Okmin, all of whom have been with the network for at least a decade. Myers, Johnston and Okmin travel to Detroit as the Arizona Cardinals take on the Detroit Lions Week 1 at 1:00 PM ET. Longtime play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen fills out FOX Sports’ roster alongside analyst David Diehl and sideline reporter Jennifer Hale. Rosen, Diehl and Hale open their season during Week 2 with the 49ers at Seahawks from CenturyLink Field in Seattle…
…Tennis Channel is adding No. 1-ranked doubles player Bethanie Mattek–Sands to its on-air team for its ninth year of US Open coverage Monday, Aug. 28-Sunday, Sept. 10. While the American star is recovering from a knee injury she sustained during Wimbledon, Mattek-Sands will act as an analyst for the network, resuming a similar US Open role she took with the channel while recovering from a hip injury in 2014. She will also contribute to special segments with US Open players and interact with fans through social media. Mattek-Sands joins Tennis Channel as the network plans more than 175 hours of total coverage during the fourth major of 2017, including three-hour morning show Tennis Channel Live at the US Open and one-hour evening program US Open Daily. With her partner Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, Mattek-Sands is the defending doubles champion at the US Open, Australian Open and French Open. She also captured the mixed-doubles gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with fellow American Jack Sock. In all, Mattek-Sands has won seven major doubles or mixed-doubles titles.
Tennis Channel’s US Open coverage will also include Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova, Jim Courier, Tracy Austin, and Lindsay Davenport, as well as James Blake, and Justin Gimelstob. Mary Carillo and announcer/host Brett Haber, and Steve Weissman also return, along with Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim…
…Undefeated, two-division world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward will join ESPN’s coverage of two of the year’s biggest boxing events: the August 19th Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Terence “Bud” Crawford vs Julius Indongo and the August 26th pay-per-view Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor. Ward, the current Ring Magazine number one Pound-For-Pound fighter and current Unified Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, will join ESPN’s Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas as a guest analyst for the August 19th Top Rank Boxing on ESPN “Unification” fight. On August 26th, Ward will also appear on numerous ESPN studio shows, including First Take, SportsCenter and other programs, during its extensive multiplatform news and information coverage leading up to the 12-round pay-per-view event at 9 p.m. ET….
…SiriusXM has announced that Ryan Leaf, the former Washington State University and NFL quarterback who won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year honors in 1997, has joined the roster of college football experts on SiriusXM. This marks Leaf’s first regular on-air media role since the end of his playing career. Leaf will make his debut August 16 (1:00-4:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m.-1:00 pm PT) alongside co-host Jason Horowitz and will be heard multiple times each week on SiriusXM’s 24/7 college sports channel. Leaf played collegiate quarterback at Washington State where he won the 1997 Pac-12 championship and led the Cougars to the 1998 Rose Bowl. Leaf was the 1997 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and threw 59 touchdowns during three seasons at Washington State, including 34 in his junior season. Leaf entered the 1998 NFL draft and was drafted second overall by the San Diego Chargers….
…The Vegas Golden Knights have hired their first television and radio broadcasters team. Dave Goucher will call TV play-by-play alongside color commentator Shane Hnidy on AT&T SportsNet, while Dan D’Uva calls radio play-by-play on Fox Sports 98.9 FM/1340 AM. Goucher worked as a radio announcer for the Boston Bruins since 2000 and was named Massachusetts Sportscaster of the Year in 2013 and 2014. Hnidy has been a part of the Winnipeg Jets broadcast team since 2011 as a color commentator on TSN Television, part of the broadcast team on TSN Radio 1290 AM and doing in-studio pregame and game recaps for TSN. Hnidy played in the NHL from 2000 to 2011 for the Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild. D’Uva has been the radio and TV play-by-play voice of the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch since 2012 (Las Vegas Sun).
…Pac-12 Networks has announced its talent lineup of broadcasters who will cover over 200 Pac-12 Olympic events this fall across men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, field hockey, men’s water polo and cross country. Action for the fall season on Pac-12 Networks begins this Friday, Aug. 18, with the defending NCAA Champion USC women’s soccer team at 3 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. MT against UC Davis on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Los Angeles and continues with a slate of five women’s soccer games on Aug. 18 across the Networks. Pac-12 Networks will continue this season with the Pac-12 “Game of the Week” featuring several Olympic sports on Pac-12 Network.
Providing play-by-play across Pac-12 Networks coverage of Pac-12 Olympic events this fall will include returning broadcasters Aaron Heinzen, Ann Schatz, Anne Marie Anderson, Christian Miles, Daron Sutton, Elise Woodward, Greg Mescall, Jim Watson, Joe Castellano, Kate Scott, Kevin Barnett, Kevin Danna, Krista Blunk, Leah Secondo, Mark Rogondino, Matt McConnell, Neil Sika, Rich Burk, Rich Cellini, Thad Anderson and Troy Clardy. For Pac-12 Networks coverage of over 70 Pac-12 women’s soccer games and over 30 Pac-12 men’s soccer games this fall, analysts will include Alyson Wagner, Christopher Sullivan, Cobi Jones, Danielle Slaton, Jordan Angelini, Kelly Gray, Tammy Blackburn, Temryss Lane and Tracey Bailey. The live event schedule for men’s soccer begins on Friday, Aug. 25 with Washington vs. New Mexico on Pac-12 Washington at 8 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. MT.
Women’s volleyball coverage on Pac-12 Networks also resumes on Friday, Aug. 25 with a doubleheader as defending Pac-12 Champion Washington hosts Pittsburgh at 6 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Washington, followed by USC hosting Michigan at 8 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Los Angeles. Providing analysis for the Networks coverage of over 80 live Pac-12 women’s volleyball matches this fall will be Kevin Barnett, Amy Gant, Camryn Irwin, Dain Blanton, Don Shaw, Holly McPeak, Mike Dodd and Tammy Blackburn. Providing analysis for the Networks coverage of men’s water polo this fall will be Adam Krikorian, Chris Dorst and Greg Mescall. For the Networks’ coverage of Pac-12 field hockey, Leah Secondo will provide live commentary of three events this fall…