Behind the Mic: Fox Sports Assigns Broadcast Teams for 2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stages, 2018 Big3 Season

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 announces their broadcasting team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stages as well as the Big3 broadcast team for the 2018 season, Turner Sports reaches a multi-year deal with reporter Allie LaForce, reporter Jason Goodman leaves ESPN, Thursday Night Football adds Kristina Pink as sideline reporter, and Jeff Triplette comes out of retirement to become Monday Night Football’s rules analyst

Some of Fox Sports’ broadcasters for the Group Stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Fox Sports unveiled its broadcaster assignments for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia through the Group Stage.

Veteran play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera and former U.S. MNT captain and goalkeeper Tony Meola were on the call as host nation Russia faced Saudi Arabia.

Fox Sports’ lead play-by-play announcer John Strong and lead game analyst Stu Holden made their 2018 FIFA World Cup debut on Friday, June 15, during one of the most anticipated matches of the Group Stage, Portugal vs. Spain on the Fox broadcast network. The following day, Strong and Holden called another of the World Cup’s brightest stars as Lionel Messi and Argentina took on the tournament’s Cinderella team, Iceland at 9:00 AM ET on Fox.

Also on June 15, Former U.S. WNT standout Aly Wagner made history as the first woman to call a men’s FIFA World Cup match on American television alongside play-by-play announcer Derek Rae for Morocco vs. Iran at 11:00 AM ET on Fox. That morning, Mark Followill and Warren Barton were on the call for Egypt vs. Uruguay at 8:00 AM ET on FS1.

Jorge Perez-Navarro and Mariano Trujillo made their 2018 FIFA World Cup debut on Saturday, June 16, calling Peru vs. Denmark at 12:00 PM ET on FS1. Later that afternoon, Glenn Davis and Cobi Jones called their first match of the tournament as Croatia faced Nigeria at 3:00 PM ET on FS1.

Each day during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Fox Sports presents exclusive studio coverage from its set located in Moscow’s iconic Red Square featuring a talented roster of broadcasters including hosts Rob Stone, Kate Abdo, and Fernando Fiore and analysts Hernan Crespo, Guus Hiddink, Alexi Lalas, Moises Munoz, Kelly Smith, and Ian Wright. Reporters Rachel Bonnetta, Sergey Gordeev, Maria Komandnaya, Rodolfo Landeros, Geoff Shreeves and Jenny Taft also contribute to the network’s coverage, along with correspondent-at-large Grant Wahl, rules analyst Dr. Joe Machnik, and DJ Rudenko — keeping the pulse off the pitch on World Cup Tonight

…Fox Sports announced its broadcast voices for the BIG3 3-on-3 basketball league’s second season. Charissa Thompson, Mike Hill, and Kristina Pink will rotate as studio hosts for the BIG3 during the 10-week season, setting the stage for viewers between games every Friday night. As BIG3’s new lead play-by-play announcer, veteran sportscaster Brian Custer covered a few games during the inaugural 2017 season and will now assume an expanded role for the 2018 season. Joining Custer on the desk is veteran sportscaster, Jim Jackson, who returns as lead BIG3 game analyst. As a former pro and college all-star, Jackson brought expert first-hand knowledge to the games in 2017 and will continue with a fresh brand analysis this year. Michael Rapaport, a unique voice and veteran of TV and film, will again act as BIG3’s sideline reporter, handling in-game updates and interviews with the players and coaches. He also worked the inaugural season with Jackson…

…Turner Sports has reached a multi-year agreement with Allie LaForce, who will be a reporter for NBA on TNT regular season and playoffs coverage as part of her expansive role. She will also continue as reporter for Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ exclusive coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. As part of her multi-faceted position, LaForce will also host projects across the Turner portfolio – such as CNN specials tied to NBA All-Star and the NCAA Tournament – along with select shows on NBA TV…

Jeff Goodman, an ESPN college basketball reporter for 5 years, is leaving the network and has signed a multi-year deal with Stadium. Goodman joined ESPN after previous stints with CBS and Fox Sports…

…Kristina Pink will also be the sideline reporter for Fox Sports telecasts of Thursday Night Football. The 6 year veteran of the network will join the broadcast team of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Erin Andrews

Jeff Triplette is slated to join ESPN as a rules analyst along with newcomers Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten in the Monday Night Football booth, according to Football Zebras. He will be replacing former referee Gerald Austin, who has served on the MNF team since 2012…

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