Behind the Mic: Fox Sports Pencils In Broadcasting Lineup for MLB Season; Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Joins March Madness

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 reveals their MLB broadcasting teams for the 2019 season, University of Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey joins March Madness, Mike Tirico headlines the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur, on-air personalities were announced for the FIFA Women’s World Cup by Fox Sports and Telemundo Deportes, Danica Patrick is added to coverage of the 103rd Indy 500, NBC Sports Chicago scoops up White Sox legend Frank Thomas and former manager Ozzie Guillen, and Richard Sherman becomes the first brand ambassador of SportsCastr.

FoxSports announced its lineup of on-air broadcasters for the 2019 Major League Baseball season. Whether it’s in the studio or at the ballpark, the network continues to elevate the game with signature voices and fresh faces that are synonymous with the sport’s greatest moments. Today’s announcement was made by Mark Silverman, President, Fox Sports National Networks.

Fox Sports’ latest addition to the broadcast booth is three-time World Series Champion and former Manager of the Year, Joe Girardi. Far from a stranger to sports television, Girardi offers viewers a unique look inside the game, from a managerial standpoint to on-field experience. In addition to the new role, Girardi continues to work as an analyst for MLB Network.

First-Ballot Hall of Famer and World Series Champion John Smoltz reprises his role as the network’s lead game analyst, while three-time Emmy Award-winner Tom Verducci brings his knowledge of the game into the broadcast booth during the regular season. Former National League Rookie of the Year Eric Karros and World Series Champion AJ Pierzynski round out the group of game analysts.

With an unprecedented 21 World Series under his belt, seven-time Emmy Award-winner Joe Buck returns as Fox Sports’ lead play-by-play announcer. The versatile broadcaster Justin Kutcher returns, along with one of the fastest rising stars on the sports broadcast landscape, Joe Davis. In addition, Aaron Goldsmith, Len Kasper, and Don Orsillo all revive their broadcasting roles as play-by-play announcers for Fox Sports’ game coverage in the coming season.

Highly acclaimed reporters Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi contribute to Fox Sports’ game coverage, keeping viewers up to date with exclusive inside information.

This off-season’s most sought-after free agents, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, both make their national television debut on FS1, as the network’s regular-season coverage leads off with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 30. Goldsmith, Smoltz, and Rosenthal take the call from Citizens Bank Park as the Atlanta Braves face the Philadelphia Phillies at 4:00 PM ET, while Kutcher and Karros voice the San Francisco Giants matchup against the San Diego Padres at 8:30 PM ET.

On Saturday, June 29, Fox Sports broadcasts one of baseball’s deepest rivalries in a historic setting with the inaugural Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2019 between the New York Yankees and World Series Champion Boston Red Sox live from London’s Olympic Stadium. Pregame coverage begins at 12:30 PM ET with a two-time Emmy Award-winning group. Veteran studio host Kevin Burkhardt is joined by Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, three-time World Series Champion David Ortiz and World Series Champion Alex Rodriguez on-site in London. Following MLB on Fox’s pregame show, Buck and Smoltz call the game beginning at 1:00 PM ET with reports from Rosenthal.

MLB Whiparound, the nightly in-season baseball-centric studio show, returns on Thursday, March 28 at 11:00 PM ET on FS1, as Burkhardt is joined by World Series Champions Nick Swisher and Dontrelle Willis who recap all the action from Opening Day.

Throughout the regular season, versatile broadcaster Chris Myers shares hosting duties with Burkhardt for MLB Whiparound. The aforementioned Karros, Pierzynski, Morosi, Thomas, Swisher, and Willis contribute regularly to the nightly studio show along with veteran Mark Sweeney

…CBS Sports and Turner Sports have added University of Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey as a guest studio analyst for coverage of the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship on Thursday, March 28, and Friday, March 29, on TBS and CBS, beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Brey will join the Atlanta studio team – host Ernie Johnson and analysts Brendan Haywood, Candace Parker, and Seth Davis – for Regional Semifinal coverage both days.

Brey is the all-time winningest men’s basketball coach in Notre Dame history, where he just completed his 19th season (417-221 record and 12 NCAA Tournament appearances). He has a career 516-273 coaching record and made 14 NCAA appearances in 24 total seasons leading Notre Dame and Delaware…

Mike Tirico will serve as play-by-play host for both the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and – for the first time – the Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals. Tirico has a well-established career of providing coverage from the biggest events in sports, including NBC’s Olympics coverage, Football Night in America, marquee PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour events, The Open, Notre Dame Football and NBC Sports’ inaugural coverage of the Indianapolis 500 this May.

Joining Tirico in the broadcast booth for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur will be NBC Sports golf analysts Paige Mackenzie and Gary Koch. Mackenzie, a three-time All-American at the University of Washington and former top-ranked amateur in the country, currently serves as co-host for GOLF Channel’s Morning Drive daily news program and an analyst for NBC Sports’ LPGA Tour coverage, GOLF Channel’s coverage of the NCAA Golf Championships and the Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals. Koch, a six-time winner on the PGA TOUR and four-time All-American at the University of Florida, has been a part of NBC Sports’ golf broadcast team for the past 22 years and will be calling golf at Augusta National for the first time.

Kay Cockerill, a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion, and Frank Nobilo, a 15-time winner around the world who also finished T-4 at the Masters in 1996, will be hole announcers for NBC’s coverage of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Cockerill has been a member of GOLF Channel’s live tournament coverage since 1997, serving as a course reporter and analyst for the network’s LPGA Tour and NCAA golf coverage. Nobilo, a mainstay as one of the network’s lead analysts for live tournament coverage and Golf Central Live From news programs, also has contributed to CBS Sports’ coverage of the Masters for the past four years. Steve Burkowski, GOLF Channel’s college insider who has covered collegiate golf for more than a decade, will deliver news and notes throughout the broadcast alongside NBC Sports’ reporter Steve Sands, who will conduct post-round interviews…

…FIFA World Cup champions and Olympic gold medalists highlight Fox Sports’ FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 broadcast lineup this summer. Collectively, these champions played on a total of 30 FIFA World Cup teams, amassing numerous World Cup titles, Olympic gold medalsm and legacies for club and country. The announcement was made by David Neal, Executive Producer, FIFA World Cup on Fox and Vice President of Production, Fox Sports.

Four years after its 2015 Women’s World Cup presentation, Fox Sports brings back a core group of broadcasters for this summer’s tournament. The Fox Sports studio team is led by these former internationals:

  • Heather O’Reilly – Two-time World Cup champion makes her tournament debut as a studio analyst
  • Christie Pearce Rampone – Two-time World Cup champion and longest-serving captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team
  • Alexi Lalas – U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer
  • Ariane Hingst – Two-time World Cup champion with Germany
  • Kelly Smith – England’s all-time leading women’s goal scorer
  • Karina LeBlanc – Concacaf Head of Women’s Football and World Cup veteran
  • Kate Gill – Australian Women’s Asian Cup champion
  • Leslie Osborne – Former U.S. Women’s National Team defender
  • Eniola Aluko – England striker and FA Cup champion with Chelsea

Rounding out the studio lineup are FIFA Women’s World Cup Today and FIFA Women’s World Cup Live lead host Rob Stone; Fox Soccer Tonight host Kate Abdo; and Jenny Taft, who serves as co-host and correspondent-at-large for the month-long tournament.

Fox Sports’ match coverage is led by legendary announcer JP Dellacamera and World Cup veteran Aly Wagner. Four additional broadcast teams are on the call for the presentation:

  • Derek Rae calls his 11th World Cup and is joined by former U.S. WNT defender Danielle Slaton
  • Accomplished play-by-play announcer Jenn Hildreth is on the call alongside Minnesota United analyst Kyndra de St. Aubin
  • Glenn Davis calls his seventh World Cup alongside World Cup veteran and two-time Olympic Gold medalist Angela Hucles
  • Multi-sport play-by-play announcer Lisa Byington calls action alongside Cat Whitehill, who led the U.S. WNT in minutes played at the 2007 Women’s World Cu™

Reporter Alex Curry is embedded with the U.S. WNT, providing in-depth reports, breaking news and features on the squad throughout the tournament. Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl serves as a reporter-at-large and FIFA referee Christina Unkel weighs in as rules analyst…

…Telemundo Deportes, the exclusive Spanish-language home of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 and 2019 Copa America, today kicked off the countdown to “Summer of Soccer” with the announcement of its team of commentators and analysts for this summer’s tournaments.

Five-time Emmy Award winner Andrés Cantor will spearhead the summer of soccer coverage as Chief Commentator, undertaking a unique role by simultaneously leading and delivering the action of two different tournaments, taking place on different sides of the world and featuring some of the best global soccer stars. He will be joined by Telemundo Deportes’ renowned group of commentators and soccer experts, including Ana Jurka, Miguel Gurwitz, Carlos Hermosillo, Sammy Sadovnik, Manuel Sol, Copán Álvarez, Karim Mendiburu, and Erasmo Provenza.

Jurka will serve as host based in Paris for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, alongside Carlota Vizmanos, who has been part of Telemundo Deportes’ coverage of FIFA events since 2017. Joining them from Miami will be two renowned women in soccer who will serve as game and studio analysts, bringing their expertise and experience in the field to the coverage: Deyna Castellanos, Venezuelan player and one of the most recognized young stars having been a finalist for the Best FIFA Women’s Player; and Amelia Valverde who currently serves as the head coach of Costa Rica’s Women’s National Team.

For the 2019 Copa America, Gurwitz, Hermosillo, and Argentine Claudio Borghi, will serve as the hosts, bringing viewers the latest news and updates each day from Rio. Telemundo Deportes’ talent will be joined by some of the soccer experts from last summer and represent some of the countries participating in 2019 Copa America to lend a unique “on-the-pitch” perspective to the commentating team.

These experts include: one of Uruguay’s greatest players of all time, Diego Forlán; World Cup champion having played alongside former Mexican soccer player and coach, Jesús “Chucho” Ramirez; Argentinean soccer star, Juan Pablo Sorin; former Colombian National Team player, Juan Pablo Angel; former Uruguayan striker, Sebastian Abreu; and former Mexican soccer referee, Marco Antonio Rodriguez

Danica Patrick, one of motorsports’ most popular figures, will join NBC Sports’ inaugural coverage of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge when drivers start their engines for the 103rd iteration of the race on Sunday, May 26. This year marks the first time that the Greatest Spectacle in Racing has been broadcast on NBC.

The former INDYCAR and NASCAR driver will serve as a studio analyst on race day, contributing to NBC Sports’ pre-race, in-race, and post-race coverage alongside Tirico. Patrick will also participate in NBC Sports’ coverage of Indy 500 Pole Day on Sunday, May 19. In addition to her analyst responsibilities, Patrick will help promote the Indy 500 by appearing across numerous NBCUniversal programs and platforms in the days and weeks leading up to the race…

…NBC Sports Chicago has announced Chicago White Sox legend/First Ballot Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Thomas will be joining the network as a game day studio analyst on White Sox Pregame Live presented by Aurelio’s Pizza & “Subaru White Sox Postgame Live beginning this MLB season. In addition, “The Big Hurt” will also make occasional appearances on the network’s popular weeknight 7:00 PM CT game start lead-in program, Baseball Night in Chicago. The announcement was made by Kevin Cross, Senior Vice President/General Manager, NBC Sports Chicago.

Thomas’ first appearance as the network’s new White Sox studio analyst will take place on Opening Day (Thursday, March 28), as the White Sox travel to face the American League Central Division rival Kansas City Royals.

Along with Thomas, 2005 World Series champion/’05 American League “Manager of the Year”Ozzie Guillen will also be joining the network as a game day studio analyst on the same shows…

…SportsCastr, the live-streaming company that lets anyone become a live color commentator, announced that NFL star Richard Sherman has joined the company as its first Brand Ambassador. The Super Bowl XLVIII Champion and four-time Pro Bowler will use SportsCastr to share exclusive content with fans, and will collaborate with the company’s leadership team on growth efforts, features, and initiatives.

Last summer, The NFL Players Association (NFLPA), via its athlete-driven accelerator the OneTeam Collective, acquired a minority stake in SportsCastr. Richard Sherman was introduced to SportsCastr through this partnership. He joins the company’s team of advisors, including David Stern, NBA Commissioner Emeritus; Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University Head Basketball Coach; Vernon Davis, two-time NFL Pro Bowler and Redskins tight end; Steve Smith, NBA All-Star and NBA TV Analyst; Donald Schupak, former Managing Partner of the ABA’s Spirits of St. Louis; Andrew Schupak, SGI MB CEO; and Eric Bechtel, IdeaQuest Founder. The company is led by CEO Kevin April.

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