Behind the Mic: Fox Sports Rolls Out Broadcast Lineup for 2021 MLS Season; Tony Reali Enters 20th Year at ESPN With New Contract
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 talent lineup for the 2021 MLS season, Tony Reali enters his 20th year at ESPN with a new deal, and more.
Fox Sports Assembles Elite Broadcaster Lineup for 2021 MLS Season
With the 26th season of Major League Soccer around the corner, Fox Sports has announced its elite broadcaster lineup for the 2021 regular season. Play-by-play announcer John Strong and analyst Stu Holden return as Fox Sports lead MLS game broadcasters, while host Rob Stone and analysts Alexi Lalas and Maurice Edu provide studio coverage throughout the season. Edu also contributes as a game analyst alongside JP Dellacamera. Cobi Jones serves as a game analyst and is joined by play-by-play announcer Adrian Garcia Marquez, while game analyst Warren Barton teams with play-by-play announcer Jake Zivin on the call during the season. Dr. Joe Machnik returns as the network’s rules analyst.
Fox Deportes’ game broadcasters include play-by-play announcers John Laguna, Rodolfo Landeros, Raoul “Pollo” Ortiz, and Jorge Perez Navarro and analysts Mariano Trujillo, Martin “Pulpo” Zuñiga, and Claudio Suarez. Host Giselle Zarur handles studio coverage alongside Laguna, Trujillo, and Landeros throughout the season. (Fox Sports)
Tony Reali Enters His 20th Year At ESPN With New Deal
Around the Horn host Tony Reali has a new multi-year contract as he enters his 20th year on-air for ESPN.
In 2000, Reali began working as a researcher and writer for the sports-themed ESPN quiz show Two Minute Drill. After Pardon the Interruption debuted in 2001, Reali assumed the role of “Stat Boy,” the end-of-show ombudsman responsible for any omissions or errors made by Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon. On PTI, Reali exhibited a knack for artfully correcting sportswriters. That led to 10 or so fill-in opportunities on Around the Horn in 2003 before he was named the full-time host in February 2004. (ESPN)
Adnan Virk Joins WWE as New Voice of Monday Night Raw
Adnan Virk is now the new play-by-play voice of Monday Night Raw.
In addition, Virk will continue his on-air host role across MLB Network’s programming this season. Additionally, he hosts The GM Shuffle podcast with Michael Lombardi on the Cadence 13 network and the popular movie podcast “Cinephile” with Meadowlark Media. Previously, Adnan worked at ESPN where he primarily covered college football and baseball. He was also a studio host for ESPN’s college football coverage and a play-by-play announcer and studio host for the network’s coverage of Major League Baseball. He has guest hosted SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, Olbermann, ESPN’s coverage of the College World Series, and Mike & Mike. Virk also hosted backstage Oscar’s coverage for ABC’s “The Oscars: All Access.” (WWE)
Charles Davis, Joel Klatt Joining NFL Network’s Draft Coverage
NFL Network announced their on-air talent for the 2021 Draft in Cleveland and joining the crew of standbys are a pair of analysts from other networks: Charles Davis of CBS and Joel Klatt of Fox. Additionally, Stanford head coach David Shaw joins the broadcast for the first round on Thursday.
This year, the Draft will once again be held in a traditional setting in Cleveland (Awful Announcing)
Golf Personality Charlie Rymer To Host New Show as Part of CBS Sports Network’s Monday Night Block of Golf Programming
Charlie Rymer, former professional golfer and now popular television personality, will debut his new show, the Charlie Rymer Golf Show, on Monday, April 19 at 8:30 PM, ET as part of CBS Sports Network’s new Monday night block of golf programming.
The show features Rymer as he interacts with celebrities and hometown neighbors, both on and off the course, with his typical charm and charisma. The half-hour show will run for 16 episodes, with the first eight airing this spring and the second eight running this fall.
Rymer spent more than 10 years on the PGA TOUR and, after his playing career, spent more than a decade with Golf Channel. He has broadcast live events across a variety of networks for the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Korn Ferry Tour and LPGA Tour. Rymer, who currently resides in Myrtle Beach, S.C., was elected to the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame in 2016. (CBS Sports)
CBS Sports Reveals All-Star Announce Team for Superstar Racing Experience Inaugural Season
CBS Sports has revealed its all-star announce team for the inaugural Superstar Racing Experience (SRX) season, which debuts this summer airing live on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+. The brand-new racing series will run on six consecutive Saturday nights in primetime beginning Saturday, June 12 (8:00 PM, ET). The announce team features veterans of the motorsports television industry as well as current and former drivers.
Lindsay Czarniak, Allen Bestwick, Brad Daugherty, and Matt Yocum will work all six races on the SRX schedule and bring viewers inside the made-for-TV racing series. Czarniak serves as host of the series, with Bestwick providing play-by-play of each race. Daugherty serves as a roaming analyst, offering exclusive access to the inner workings of the series and showcasing the SRX experience. Yocum is the series’ pit reporter providing behind the scenes content with the drivers and crewmembers telling their stories at the track and beyond.
Each race will also feature a driver analyst, with Danica Patrick, James Hinchcliffe, and Dario Franchitti each joining the broadcast team for two races on the schedule. Patrick is scheduled to kick off the series as the driver analyst at Stafford Motor Speedway on June 12, as well as Knoxville Raceway on June 19. Hinchcliffe is scheduled to join for the races at Eldora Speedway (June 26) and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway (July 17) while Franchitti is scheduled to lend his voice to the races at Lucas Oil Raceway (July 3) and Slinger Speedway (July 10). (CBS Sports)