Behind the Mic: Tom Brady To Join Fox Sports as Lead NFL Analyst After Retirement; $357 Million Deal Becomes Most Lucrative in Sports Broadcasting History
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, Tom Brady is joining Fox Sports as a lead NFL analyst after retirement, NBC Sports assembles their commentary team for the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, and more.
Tom Brady To Assume Fox Sports’ Lead NFL Analyst Role After Retirement
According to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Tampa Bay quarterback and seven-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady will be joining Fox Sports when it’s time to hang up the cleats. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch announced that Brady agreed to a long-term deal worth $375 million over 10 years and will be Fox Sports’ lead NFL analyst alongside play-by-play commentator Kevin Burkhardt when he retires.
The news comes a few months after former Fox duo Joe Buck and Troy Aikman departed for ESPN as the network’s new Monday Night Football booth. After two decades and six Super Bowls together at Fox, the pair will be joined by the longest-tenured sideline reporter in the history of MNF, Lisa Salters and officiating analyst John Parry.
NBC Sports Assembles Commentary Team for 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500
NBC Sports has announced its team of race and studio commentators for its comprehensive coverage of the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, May 29, on NBC.
NBC Sports host Mike Tirico and studio analyst Danica Patrick return to Indianapolis 500 coverage for the fourth consecutive year, contributing to pre-race, in-race, and post-race coverage. One of the most versatile voices in sports, Tirico hosted NBC Olympics’ primetime coverage from Tokyo and Beijing as well as NBC Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl LVI all within the past year. In the fall, he will begin his first season as play-by-play voice for NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football. Patrick, one of motorsports’ most popular personalities, is a former INDYCAR and NASCAR driver who became the first woman to lead laps and earn a top-five finish in the Indianapolis 500 in 2005.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., one of racing’s most popular personalities and an NBC Sports motorsports analyst, will contribute to pre-race coverage alongside motorsports reporter Rutledge Wood, and will join Tirico and Patrick on the Peacock Pit Box on pit road for segments during the race.
For the fourth consecutive year, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” will be called by NBC Sports’ lead INDYCAR play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey and analyst Townsend Bell, while fellow INDYCAR on NBC analyst and long-time INDYCAR driver and fan-favorite James Hinchcliffe makes his debut in the Indy 500 broadcast booth. Marty Snider, Kevin Lee, Dave Burns and Dillon Welch will serve as pit reporters.
NBC Sports Names Maria Taylor as Host of Football Night in America
Maria Taylor is the new host of Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports. Football Night is NBC Sports’ flagship studio show, preceding Sunday Night Football — primetime television’s No. 1 show for an unprecedented 11 consecutive years — each week during the NFL season. Taylor debuted on the program as a co-host in 2021.
In the last 12 months, Taylor – who was named one of 2021’s “Most Powerful Women in Sports” by Adweek – has hosted many of the most-watched events and programs in sports. Following her move to NBC Sports in July 2021, she hosted the Tokyo Olympics, Super Bowl LVI Pregame Show, and Beijing Olympics and Paralympics. Just prior to joining NBC Sports, she also hosted the primetime network broadcast of the NFL Draft and the NBA Finals.
In addition to her hosting roles, Taylor is executive producing and currently in production on an eight-part documentary series on the history of the Black quarterback in the NFL that will stream on Peacock.
United States Hockey Hall of Famer Doug Weight Joins NHL Network as an On-Air Analyst
United States Hockey Hall of Famer and 2006 Stanley Cup Champion Doug Weight has joined NHL Network as an on-air analyst. Weight made his debut on Thursday, May 12 on NHL Tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET alongside host Erika Wachter and analyst Brian Lawton. Weight will also appear on NHL Tonight this Friday, May 13 at 6:00 p.m. ET and on Saturday, May 14 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
NHL Network’s NHL Now and NHL Tonight continue to provide wall-to-wall coverage before and after every Stanley Cup Playoff game. Hosts Jamison Coyle, Jamie Hersch, Jackie Redmond, and Wachter, along with analysts Ken Daneyko, Stu Grimson, Scott Hartnell, E.J. Hradek, Billy Jaffe, Mike Johnson, Mike Kelly, Steve Konroyd, Lawton, Bill Lindsay, Mark Parrish, Tyson Nash, and Mike Rupp will continue to contribute to NHL Network’s coverage throughout May.
Weight joins NHL Network following serving as the New York Islanders head coach for the 2017-2018 season. Weight’s decorated 19-year NHL career included stops with the New York Rangers (1991-1993), Edmonton Oilers (1993-2001), St. Louis Blues (2001-2006, 2006-2007), Carolina Hurricanes (2006), Anaheim Ducks (2007), and Islanders (2008-2011). As a four-time All-Star, Weight amassed 1,033 points, with 755 assists and 278 goals in 1,238 games played. Weight tallied 16 points in the Playoffs for the 2006 Stanley Cup Champion Hurricanes. In his final NHL season, Weight won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for “the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
The Warren, Michigan native Weight was drafted in the second round with the 34th overall pick by the Rangers in 1990, having previously played two seasons at Lake Superior State. Weight represented the United States at nine major international competitions throughout his professional career, including three Olympic Winter Games (1998, 2002 and 2006), three IIHF Men’s World Championships (1993, 1994 and 2005), two World Cups of Hockey (1996 and 2004) – winning a gold medal in his first appearance – and one IIHF World Junior Championship (1991).
ESPN Re-Signs NBA Reporter and Analyst Ros Gold-Onwude
ESPN has re-signed NBA reporter and analyst Ros Gold-Onwude to a multi-year extension. She will continue her NBA and WNBA duties, which include co-hosting pregame and halftime of the 2022 NBA Finals on ESPN Radio. Gold-Onwude will also provide contributions on multiple platforms including NBA Today and Hoop Streams.
NBC Sports Washington Names Chris Miller as Primary Wizards Play-by-play Broadcaster
NBC Sports Washington has named Chris Miller as the new primary play-by-play announcer for the Washington Wizards. Miller is a multi-time Emmy Award-winning host, reporter and commentator and 15-year network veteran. He joins analyst Drew Gooden courtside for Wizards broadcasts in 2022-23.
An Indiana State University graduate, Miller joined NBC Sports Washington, then known as Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, in 2007 after six years working for NewsChannel 5 (WEWS) in Cleveland, where he was weekend anchor and sports director from 2001 to 2007.
Previously, he was sports anchor for KGAN-TV (CBS) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for four years. Miller also earned experience as a college football sideline reporter for ESPN and CSTV. Miller replaces Justin Kutcher, who held the position the past three seasons.
Throughout his tenure with NBCSW, Miller has led or contributed to extensive original content, including magazine shows, specials and digital features, covering the Wizards, its players, the NBA and the sport of basketball.
Miller was recognized with a regional Emmy Award in 2014 for The Real Beal, a special profiling Wizards star Bradley Beal, and earned an Emmy nomination for a digital video series on former Wizard Rod Strickland’s time with the team. Miller also served as longtime host of the WizardsTalk podcast.
Miller was NBCSW’s lead Wizards reporter for its former daily news programs, SportsNet Central, which he also anchored, and contributed coverage of the team to the network’s other programming. He also spent several seasons as a host for NBCSW’s gameday shows for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and covered nearly every Washington-Baltimore area team and event as a reporter.