Behind the Mic: Fox Sports Discloses 2018 NFL Broadcasting Teams; Stadium Grabs 3 Marquee Names

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 unveils their broadcast teams for the 2018 NFL season, Stadium signs three stellar reporters to their line of talent, Mike Tirico will host NBC’s NFL pre game show, CBS Sports releases their teams for the college football season, Joe Buck re-ups his contract for three years, Jim Mora joins ESPN as a college football analyst along re-signed Joey Galloway and Emmanuel Acho, Victor Cruz joins ESPN after retiring from his NFL career, The NFL Network acquires Mike Giardi and MJ Acosta, Sportsnet New York signs Bart Scott for NFL coverage, Andre Ward will now be a member of ESPN’s boxing division, Andrew Hawkins agrees to a new deal with ESPN to increase their digital footprint, Tim Howard and Stuart Holden highlight B/R Football’s coverage of the UEFA Champions League, and the SEC Network adds Alyssa Lang.

Fox Sports announced its broadcast teams for the network’s 25th season of NFL coverage. This season, the Fox NFL lineup includes seven esteemed on-air teams featuring a notable blend of experienced and new personalities. The announcement was made by John Entz, President of Production and Executive Producer, Fox Sports.

Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman return for their 17th season as Fox Sports’ lead NFL broadcast team. Erin Andrews joins the league’s longest-tenured duo for her sixth season of reporting. Buck, Aikman, and Andrews will open Week 1 with Fox’s first edition of America’s Game of the Week, as the Carolina Panthers face the Dallas Cowboys in a conference battle from Bank of America Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 4:25 PM ET. Buck, Aikman, Andrews, reporter Kristina Pink, and Fox NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira comprise the NFL’s Thursday Night Football presented by Bud Light broadcast team. The team will call Thursday Night Football games broadcast on Fox and simulcast via NFL Network between Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night). The games also will be streamed on Amazon Prime and distributed in Spanish on Fox Deportes.

Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt teams with Charles Davis and veteran reporter Pam Oliver. Oliver, a 2018 Gracie Award recipient, enters her 24th season of Fox NFL coverage. The trio opens the season Sunday, Sept. 9 at U.S. Bank Stadium as the San Francisco 49ers visit the Minnesota Vikings at 1:00 PM ET.

Mark Schlereth, a three-time Super Bowl Champion, returns with longtime play-by-play announcer Dick Stockton and reporter Jennifer Hale. Stockton, Schlereth, and Hale call the Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos matchup from Mile High Stadium Week 1 at 4:25 PM ET. Kenny Albert and five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Rondé Barber partner again in 2018. Barber’s twin brother, three-time Pro Bowl running back Tiki Barber, joins Rondé and Albert from the sidelines for Weeks 1 and 2. Last fall, the Barbers became the first twin brothers to call an NFL game for broadcast television when they joined Albert in the Fox booth for the Giants at Bucs game, a meeting of their former teams.

Long time play-by-play caller Chris Myers once again teams with analyst Daryl “Moose” Johnston and reporter Laura Okmin. Each has more than a decade of NFL game experience with Fox Sports. Myers, Johnston, and Okmin call the NFC South matchup pairing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 at 1:00 PM ET.

Thom Brennaman, analyst Chris Spielman, and reporter Shannon Spake call the 4:25 PM ET Week 1 matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Longtime play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen completes the Fox Sports Week 1 roster alongside NFL Hall of Famer and game analyst Cris Carter and reporter Sarah Kustok. Rosen, Carter, and Kustok call the Tennessee Titans matchup against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium at 1:00 PM ET. Former Rams and Titans head coach Jeff Fisher will make his Fox Sports debut in Week 4 when he pairs with play-by-play announcer Dan Hellie and reporter Karyn Bryan as the New York Jets travel to the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1:00 PM ET.

Impressively, Albert, Brennaman, Buck, and Stockton have all been with Fox dating back to the network’s inception in 1994. They all called games in the first NFL on Fox season and will be back again in 2018.

Former NFL Vice Presidents of Officiating Dean Blandino will also serve as a rules analyst throughout the season — providing rules analysis and proficiency on some of the most important calls of the week.

Fox NFL Kickoff welcomes fans each Sunday at 11:00 AM ET on Fox throughout the season. The one-hour pregame show is hosted by Charissa Thompson along with 14-time NFL Pro Bowler and studio analyst Tony Gonzalez, four-time NFL Pro Bowler Michael Vick, Colin Cowherd, Super Bowl winning-defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt, and Cooper Manning, who contributes weekly segments. Peter Schrager will join the cast most weeks, with the exemption of four games in which he will be reporting from the sidelines.

Fox NFL Sunday, America’s top NFL pregame show for the last 25 seasons, immediately follows at 12:00 PM ET. Hosts Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee, and analysts Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, and Michael Strahan drive the one-hour program. Premier NFL insider Jay Glazer, comedic prognosticator Rob Riggle, and rules analysts Pereira and Blandino also contribute…

…Stadium, the first 24/7 multi-platform sports network, announced the additions of Shams Charania, Jeff Goodman, and Brett McMurphy. Both Goodman and McMurphy will be featured prominently across Stadium’s various platforms. Charania will begin with Stadium on August 23rd and will also write for The Athletic.

Charania will play a pivotal role as lead NBA Insider and Analyst, appearing exclusively across various Stadium video platforms on a daily basis throughout the year, focusing on both regular and postseason play, the NBA Draft, and NBA Free Agency.

Goodman comes to Stadium following five years as a national basketball Insider at ESPN, where he worked across various platforms to cover college basketball and the NBA. He has been considered the preeminent news breaker in college basketball, has been a part of ESPN’s on-air coverage of the NBA Draft, has worked on the network’s coverage of the Final Four and has scored and conducted in-depth interviews with many of the top coaches in the sport from Brad Stevens to Mike Krzyzewski as well as elite players such as Kevin Durant and Deandre Ayton.

With Stadium, McMurphy will continue his college football duties as a long-time voting member in the weekly Associated Press football poll along with the Heisman Trophy and several other national coach and player awards.

Charania, Goodman, and McMurphy each will contribute across Stadium’s full daily studio lineup and also work to develop additional programming initiatives built around their respective areas of expertise…

Mike Tirico has been named the new studio host for Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports since its debut in 2006. He will work alongside analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL Insider Mike Florio, from Studio 1 at NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. Dan Patrick previously served as Football Night’s studio host from 2008-2017.

For the past two seasons, Tirico co-hosted FNIA from the game site. That role will now be filled by Liam McHugh, who will be joined on site most weeks by the Sunday Night Football team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Michele Tafoya. In addition, Rob Hyland joins Football Night as the show’s new coordinating producer…

…CBS Sports Network released their announcer and studio teams for the 2018 college football season.

The announcement is highlighted by the addition of game analysts Danny Kanell, a current CBS Sports HQ analyst and former Florida State quarterback, and Ross Tucker, who starred at Princeton University. Kevin Carter, who was an All-American defensive end with Florida, will join CBS Sports Network as an in-studio analyst.

Amanda Balionis, who currently serves as a reporter for CBS’ PGA Tour coverage, also joins the network as a sideline reporter for select games throughout the season.

Carter Blackburn and Aaron Taylor return as CBS Sports Network’s lead college football play-by-play and analyst team for their fifth consecutive season, with John Schriffen joining as lead sideline reporter for 2018.

Following is the full CBS Sports Network roster of announce teams for the 2018 season:

  • Blackburn/Taylor/Schriffen
  • Rich Waltz/Aaron Murray/Cassie McKinney or Balionis
  • Dave Ryan/Corey Chavous
  • John Sadak/Randy Cross/Sheehan Stanwick-Burch (Navy)
  • Ben Holden/Jay Feely/Tina Cervasio (Army)
  • Jason Horowitz/Kanell or Tucker

CBS Sports Network returns its flagship college football studio show Inside College Football. Coverage is anchored by host Adam Zucker, who once again is joined by analysts Rick Neuheisel, Brian Jones, Randy Cross and Taylor. CBS Sports Network’s studio team also includes host Brent Stover with analysts Houston Nutt, Carter, and special appearances from Murray and Kanell…

…According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Fox Sports will place three additional years to Buck’s existing five-year deal. He will continue to call Major League Baseball games during the regular season and World Series as well as his NFL duties…

…ESPN has signed long-time football coach Jim Mora as a college football studio analyst, primarily to appear on ESPN2 studio coverage each Saturday, and additional college football-centric programming this season. Mora will appear alongside fellow college football analyst Emmanuel Acho, who has signed a new multi-year contract and will transition from Longhorn Network’s Texas GameDay to ESPN’s college football programming. Chris Cotter returns as host on ESPN2 with Mora and Acho this season who step in for Jonathan Vilma and Chip Kelly. Vilma will move to the ABC Studio for Saturday Night Football and Kelly will now serve as head football coach for UCLA.

ESPN has also signed studio analyst Joey Galloway to a new multi-year contract, as the seven-year ESPN veteran will continue to appear on ESPN Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays throughout football season alongside Jesse Palmer and Adnan Virk. The former All-Big Ten wide receiver will also appear on College Football Live in addition to studio programming surrounding ESPN’s biggest college football events…

…Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz is joining ESPN as an NFL analyst. The Super Bowl champion officially announced his NFL retirement and his new ESPN role today in a video on UNINTERRUPTED.

A seven-year NFL veteran and a 2012 Pro Bowl selection, Cruz will contribute to NFL Live, Get Up!, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and other ESPN platforms year-round. He will make his ESPN debut Wednesday (Aug. 22) during the 9 a.m. ET hour on both Get Up! and SportsCenter. In addition to his new role with ESPN, Cruz hosts The Victor Cruz Show with Paul Rivera on UNINTERRUPTED, a “barbershop talk” style conversation about sports, music, and fashion. Cruz was one of the first athletes to create a profile and develop his own content for the all-digital sports programming network founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.

…Television reporters Mike Giardi and MJ Acosta have joined NFL Network. Both will contribute to NFL Network shows such as NFL Total Access, NFL GameDay Morning, and NFL Up to the Minute, with Giardi based in Boston to cover the New England Patriots and Acosta based in the Bay Area to cover the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.

Giardi served as the primary Patriots beat reporter contributing coverage both on television and digitally. Additionally, Giardi served as the host of Monday Night Patriots on NBC Sports Boston since 2014, a show which consistently was one of the highest-rated on the network. Acosta joins NFL Network from NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 in San Diego where she covered the Chargers for three seasons as the lead sports anchor…

Cynopsis Sports is reporting that Bart Scott is joining SportsNet New York as a studio analyst for their New York Jets coverage. He will be alongside fellow analysts Ray Lucas and Willie Colon, host Jonas Schwartz, and reporter Jeané Coakley on Jets Pre-Game Live

…Undefeated two-division world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward has agreed to a new multiyear deal with ESPN. Under the agreement, Ward will serve as an on-site studio boxing analyst for ESPN.

The former Ring Magazine number one Pound-For-Pound fighter and former Unified Light Heavyweight Champion of the World will make his next onsite appearance at Atlantic City Ocean Resort Casino on Saturday, August 18th, for ESPN’s telecast of Top Rank on ESPN headlined by heavyweight contender Bryant “B.Y.” Jennings (23-2, 13 KOs) facing off Alexander “Sascha” Dimitrenko (41-3, 26 KOs), airing at 10 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. On August 25th, Ward will be onsite at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona for ESPN’s coverage of Top Rank on ESPN featuring Ray Beltrán defending the WBO lightweight title against former junior lightweight world champion, Jose “Sniper” Pedraza

…ESPN has signed SportsCenter on Snapchat host Andrew Hawkins to a new contract that includes increased duties on multiple ESPN platforms.

In addition to hosting the Monday and Tuesday morning editions of SportsCenter on Snapchat during the NFL season, Hawkins will continue to co-host Operation Football with Randy Scott and Field Yates on ESPN Radio on NFL Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. ET. Hawkins also will contribute to various ESPN shows, including NFL Live, SportsCenter, The Will Cain Show, First Take, and more…

Tim Howard and Stuart Holden have been added as analysts for B/R Football studio programming, part of Turner’s season-long coverage of the UEFA Champions League. Prematch, halftime, and postmatch studio shows will be available on B/R Live and TNT, kicking off with the one-hour B/R Football Matchday, along with B/R Football Halftime, B/R Football Extra Time (a bridge show airing between TNT match telecasts), and a 30-minute B/R Football Postmatch show.

They will join previously announced host Kate Abdo and Steve Nash, along with additional commentators and special guests, throughout the season. Additionally, Fernando Perez, a former MLB player with media experience as a MLB Network contributor and Vice correspondent, will be on site for B/R Football at select matches throughout the season, delivering a firsthand account of the unique atmospheres that surround the world’s game…

…SEC Network has hired Alyssa Lang as a host and anchor for its studio show programming. Lang joins the network as the new host of SEC Featured on Monday nights, and will have a supporting role in SEC Network’s hit studio show, Thinking Out Loud. Following football season, Lang will join the SEC Now anchor desk rotation with network mainstays, Peter Burns and Dari Nowkhah. In addition to her role with SEC Network, Lang will also serve as an anchor this fall with WCNC in Charlotte…

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