Behind the Mic: NBC Sports Names Al Michaels to Emeritus Role; Carlota Vizmanos Joins Telemundo Deportes as Premier League Host
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, NBC Sports names Al Michaels to Emeritus role, Carlota Vizmanos joins Telemundo Deportes as Premier League host, and more.
NBC Sports Names Al Michaels to Emeritus Role
Iconic broadcaster Al Michaels, who joined NBC Sports in 2006 as the play-by-play voice of Sunday Night Football and played an integral role in the show becoming among the most-watched and most-honored shows in television history. Michaels will continue to broadcast and contribute across NBC Sports’ high-profile properties, including the NFL Playoffs and the Olympics.
One of the most renowned sports broadcasters of all time and the commentator called “TV’s best play-by-play announcer” by the Associated Press, Michaels earlier this year completed his 16th season as the voice of NBC’s Sunday Night Football – primetime’s #1 TV show for an unprecedented 11 consecutive years. In addition, SNF has been honored a Sports Emmy-record 11 times for Outstanding Live Sports Series.
This season, Michaels will call Thursday Night Football for Amazon Prime Video – his record 37th NFL play-by-play campaign in primetime.
In February, Michaels called his 11th Super Bowl – marking the most play-by-play assignments for the event by a television commentator, joining former CBS and FOX announcer Pat Summerall (11).
More than four decades earlier, Michaels made what is widely considered the most iconic call in U.S. sports television history – “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” – on the U.S. men’s hockey team’s dramatic upset victory over the USSR at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
Following another historic broadcasting moment in which Michaels deftly demonstrated his expertise and versatility, he became just the second sportscaster in history to receive a News Emmy nomination for his coverage of the San Francisco earthquake during the 1989 World Series.
In addition to the 11 Super Bowls, Michaels has worked nine Olympics and called eight World Series.
In December 2020, Michaels was honored with the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Michaels is one of only five distinguished broadcasters to be recognized with the baseball honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Award (Dick Enberg, Lindsey Nelson, Jack Buck, and Curt Gowdy).
One of television’s most respected journalists, Michaels has covered more major sports events than any sportscaster, including 20 years as the play-by-play voice of Monday Night Football. He is the only commentator to call the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and host the Stanley Cup Final for network television. In addition, Michaels called the classic 1985 championship boxing match between Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns and “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler.
Among his many accolades, Michaels has captured eight Emmy Awards – seven for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-Play and one in 2011 for the Lifetime Achievement Award, and has three times (1980, 1983 and 1986) received the NSSA Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association; he was inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in 1998. Michaels was named Sportscaster of the Year in 1996 by the American Sportscasters Association, and, in 1991, he was named Sportscaster of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review.
Carlota Vizmanos Joins Telemundo Deportes as Premier League Host
Carlota Vizmanos has joined Telemundo Deportes as the network’s lead host for Premier League coverage, including the pre- and post-match shows La Liga Premier: Extra and 3er Tiempo, starting this upcoming 2022/23 Premier League season.
Vizmanos has worked on various sports properties for Telemundo Deportes, including the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Copa Libertadores in Madrid and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Her new role is highlighted by her main position as the lead Premier League host, but her duties will continue to expand across Telemundo Deportes’ roster of premier global events, including FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023.
Prior to joining Telemundo Deportes, Vizmanos served as host for Real Madrid TV’s daily newscast for eight years, covering sports news and events for the channel operated by the Spanish football club. Since joining Real Madrid in 2014, she covered UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and Copa del Rey as well as special awards events, such as the Best FIFA Football Awards.
In addition to her work with Real Madrid TV, Vizmanos served as the main anchor for TVE’s Estadio 1, a Spanish primetime program covering LaLiga, the men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system. She made her debut in sports broadcasting in 2012 on Al Primer Toque, a nightly sports show on Onda Cero, one of the biggest radio stations in Spain.
Vizmanos hold a master’s degree in television from Nebrija University. Born and raised in Madrid, Spain, Vizmanos will relocate to the U.S. for her new role. Her husband, son and two dogs will join her in Miami for this new chapter in her career.
Fox Sports Unveils Lead NFL Broadcast Team For Its 2022-23 Season and Super Bowl LVII
FOX Sports has named three-time NFL Pro Bowler Greg Olsen as this season’s lead NFL analyst, joining renowned play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt in the booth. Veteran reporters Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi, along with trailblazing rules expert Mike Pereira, round out the team as they prepare for the network’s top regular and postseason games – culminating with FOX’s 10th all-time Super Bowl presentation.
Olsen was tapped by FOX Sports in 2021 to become the network’s No. 2 NFL game analyst, embarking on his rookie season alongside Burkhardt. The pair garnered high praise for their work and chemistry – a relationship that dates back nearly two decades to Olsen’s playing days at Wayne Hills High School. Burkhardt, at the time with WGHT, called a few of Olsen’s games and worked closely alongside his father, the team’s coach, to break down film. The New Jersey natives also previously crossed paths in 2017 when Olsen became the third active player in FOX’s history to serve as a game analyst.
Although Burkhardt and Olsen are no strangers to the NFL’s championship game – Burkhardt having previously called three Super Bowl world feeds and Olsen serving as an NFL studio analyst for FOX Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl LIV in Miami – Super Bowl LVII will be the first time they each call the national broadcast, respectively.
Alongside the new faces in the top NFL booth is a network mainstay as Andrews returns for her 12th season on the sidelines. The veteran reporter – who recently became the first female recipient of the prestigious Pat Summerall Award – has covered three Super Bowls and 10 NFC Championships. She continues to contribute exclusive interviews, such as her highly anticipated sit-down last season with Aaron Rodgers, and reports from FOX NFL’s top games each week.
Rinaldi, a 17-time Emmy Award winner and one of the industry’s most preeminent correspondents and storytellers, also returns to the field as a sideline reporter for FOX NFL’s lead broadcast team. Since joining FOX Sports in 2021, Rinaldi has already produced a number of extraordinary, thought-provoking pieces for the network including “Blood Brothers” and “In His Shoes.”
ESPN Signs Multi-Year Extension with Renowned Journalist Lisa Salters
ESPN has signed renowned journalist Lisa Salters, who’s been with the network since 2000, to a multi-year extension. She will continue as the lead NBA sidelines reporter, including the NBA Finals on ABC, and as the longest-tenured sideline reporter in Monday Night Football history.
Former Referee Mark Clattenburg Joins Fox Sports as New Rules Analyst
Fox Sports has signed former referee Mark Clattenburg as a rules analyst. Known as a legendary official, he has been a part of notable matches like the 2012 Football League Cup Final, the 2012 Olympics Men’s Final, the 2013 FA Community Shield, the 2014 UEFA Super Cup, the 2016 FA Cup Final, the 2016 UEFA Champions League Final, and the 2016 UEFA European Football Championship.
Clattenburg will be a part of the upcoming UEFA Nations League on FS1, including Belgium vs. Netherlands on June 3, Croatia vs. France on June 6, Belgium vs. Poland on June 8, Portugal vs. Czech Republic on June 9, Austria vs. France on June 10, and Republic of Ireland vs. Scotland on June 11.
CJ McCollum Joins ESPN as Multi-Platform NBA Analyst
ESPN has signed CJ McCollum as a multi-platform NBA analyst. McCollum, New Orleans Pelicans star and current NBPA President, made his debut on Thursday, June 2 – the date of NBA Finals Game 1. McCollum appeared as part of NBA Finals: Celebrating 75, ESPN2’s alternate presentation for NBA Finals Game 1, which will celebrate the NBA 75th Anniversary Season.
As part of his analyst role, McCollum will work closely with ESPN to develop a new podcast that will be available on all streaming platforms throughout the year. Additionally, McCollum will serve as game analyst for ESPN’s coverage of NBA Summer League, while also contributing studio analysis on a year-long basis. He’ll provide insights to NBA Countdown, NBA Today, SportsCenter, Get Up and First Take, among other platforms.