Behind the Mic: Fox Sports Lays Out Talent Lineup for NFL Season; ESPN Rolls Out Broadcasters for Inaugural LaLiga Coverage
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 2021 NFL broadcaster lineup, ESPN highlights their talent for their first-ever season of Spain’s LaLiga, and more.
Fox Sports’ 2021 NFL Broadcaster Lineup Anchored By Leading Veterans and Dynamic New Voices
Coming off a season in which the Fox NFL Sunday NFC property ranked as the No. 1 NFL package, Fox Sports embarks on its 28th season of NFL coverage this fall with an impressive lineup of game and studio talent comprising a robust blend of unmatched experience and dynamic new voices.
The NFL’s longest-tenured on-air duo, 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman celebrate their 20th consecutive season together this year. They are joined by reporter Erin Andrews, the first woman to be singularly honored with the Pat Summerall Award, the centerpiece of the annual Legends for Charity Dinner benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Reporter Tom Rinaldi, a 17-time Sports Emmy Award winner, joins the crew for all America’s Game of the Week editions. Mike Pereira, former NFL Vice President of Officiating, returns as rules analyst, offering his distinctive takes on the most crucial calls of the week.
Thursday Night Football (TNF), the No.1 weekday and No. 2 primetime show last year, returns to Fox for the fourth year beginning in Week 5, with multi-sport star Kristina Pink again joining Buck, Aikman, Andrews, and Pereira from the sidelines.
Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt welcomes newly retired three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, in his first season as a game analyst, as his teammate. Pam Oliver, the longest-tenured NFL reporter in her 27th season, handles reporting duties for the crew.
Multi-sport play-by-play announcer Adam Amin, in his second season with Fox, again is paired with three-time Super Bowl champion Mark Schlereth in the booth. Shannon Spake joins the duo with reporting duties.
Veteran play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert, celebrating his 28th season of Fox NFL coverage, is together again with Super Bowl champion and Pro Bowl linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the second year. Sara Walsh and Lindsay Czarniak share reporting duties.
In his 21st season of NFL on Fox coverage, veteran play-by-play caller Chris Myers pairs with three-time Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowler Daryl “Moose” Johnston. Jennifer Hale reports from the sidelines.
Kevin Kugler returns for his second full season handling play-by-play duties, teaming with newcomer and former NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez in his first season as a game analyst. Laura Okmin reports from the sidelines.
Acclaimed Fox Sports play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson adds select NFL games to his robust schedule this year, calling matchups alongside Aqib Talib, former NFL cornerback who made his game analyst debut last season in two games for Fox. Megan Olivi covers the sidelines.
Additionally, Fox NFL rules analyst and former NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino joins the various broadcast crews throughout the year with his perspective on pivotal game calls. Also contributing to Fox NFL game coverage throughout the season is play-by-play announcer Joe Davis.
Fox Deportes, the Spanish-language leader of NFL coverage, broadcasts 12 regular-season NFL games live, including 11 Thursday Night Football matchups plus three postseason games. Renowned play-by-play announcers Jorge Pérez Navarro and John Laguna join former NFL offensive lineman Rolando Cantú, Rodolfo Landeros, and award-winning broadcaster Jessi Losada on the coverage. (Fox Sports)
ESPN Assembles an All-Star Roster of Hosts, Commentators, Analysts and Reporters for LaLiga Santander Coverage
ESPN has assembled an all-star roster of play-by-play commentators, hosts, analysts and reporters for its upcoming English and Spanish-language coverage of LaLiga Santander. The lineup of personalities combines over 30 current ESPN experts with new faces from across Latin America, Europe and the United States, including world-class players who have competed at the highest levels of global football.
English-language play-by-play commentary for LaLiga on ESPN+ and ESPN networks will be led by popular, highly-respected broadcasters Ian Darke, Derek Rae, Adrian Healey, Rob Palmer, and Sebastian Salazar.
Fernando Palomo, Jorge Ramos, Ricardo Ortiz, and Mauricio Pedroza will headline Spanish-language play-by-play coverage on ESPN+ and ESPN Deportes.
Earlier this week, ESPN announced a team of six analysts renowned from their careers as former LaLiga players. Former Atlético Madrid’s Luis Garcίa, Real Madrid’s Steve McManaman, and RCD Espanyol’s Pablo Zabaleta will share lead roles as English-language analysts. Former Atletico Madrid’s Diego Forlán, former Valencia CF’s Mario Kempes, and Real Madrid legend Hugo Sánchez lead the team of Spanish-language analysts. Also joining as Spanish-language analysts will be ESPN Deportes’ versatile voices Andrés Agulla, Carolina De Las Salas, Alex Pareja and Hernán Pereyra, Former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper and the first American goalkeeper to play in LaLiga with Rayo Vallecano Kasey Keller, Former Venezuelan National Team player Alejandro Moreno, and former professional soccer player Stewart Robson, will contribute as English-language analyst.
ESPN’s English-language studio hosts are Dan Thomas and Kay Murray. The duo will co-host ESPN FC, ESPN’s signature soccer program with news, analysis and highlights show. Agulla, Cristina Alexander, and Ricardo Puig will serve as Spanish-language studio voices on Fuera de Juego.
Six Spain-based reporters will handle coverage from site throughout the season, including LaLiga insiders Martin Ainstein, Rodrigo Faez, Moises Llorens, Sid Lowe, Manu Martín, and Gemma Soler. London-based football reporter Alexis Nunes will also report from site. (ESPN)
Nate Burleson Reaches New Multiplatform Agreement With CBS Across News, Sports, and Entertainment
CBS has announced a new long-term, multiplatform agreement with versatile announcer and former NFL player Nate Burleson across CBS News, CBS Sports and ViacomCBS’ Nickelodeon.
Beginning in September, Burleson will join CBS This Morning as co-host with Gayle King and Tony Dokoupil, anchoring the Network’s flagship morning program, 7:00-9:00 AM, ET weekdays.
Burleson joined CBS Sports in 2017 as analyst on The NFL Today, the CBS Television Network’s NFL pregame, halftime and post-game show. He will continue in his analyst role alongside host James Brown and co-analysts Phil Simms, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason on Sundays during the NFL season.
The agreement also includes select yearly appearances on Nickelodeon in a variety of capacities. Burleson made his successful Nickelodeon debut earlier this year with the special kids-themed production of the NFL Wild Card Game.
Burleson’s role with NFL Network, where he most recently served as a host on the Emmy-nominated Good Morning Football, will expand to include a larger variety of programs and platforms. Throughout the year, Burleson will appear on various NFL Network shows such as NFL GameDay and NFL Total Access, and on-location coverage of events such as Super Bowl week, NFL Honors and training camp, as well as maintain a larger presence on NFL Media’s social media and podcast offerings. (CBS Sports)
Versatile ESPN Veteran Holly Rowe Named to ABC Saturday Night Football Commentating Team
Longtime ESPN commentator Holly Rowe will join the ABC Saturday Night Football team this fall. Rowe will take on the sideline reporter role for the franchise, joining play-by-play commentator Chris Fowler and analyst Kirk Herbstreit as she kicks off her 26th season covering college football for ESPN and ABC. She will begin her new duties in August as part of her existing multi-year contract, and this new assignment continues Rowe’s reporting presence from kickoff of the college football season through the conclusion of the College Football Playoff.
Covering a wide variety of sports for ESPN, Rowe joined the network full time in August 1998 after appearing on select ESPN telecasts in 1997 and ABC Sports in 1995-96. In addition to her college football responsibilities, Rowe is one of the lead ESPN reporters on Big Monday men’s college basketball, the NCAA Women’s Final Four, the Women’s College World Series, NCAA indoor and beach volleyball national championships, collegiate gymnastics and the WNBA. (ESPN)
Genie Bouchard Joins Tennis Channel
Genie Bouchard, who reached the Wimbledon singles final in 2014, is joining Tennis Channel as a studio analyst this summer while she recovers from shoulder surgery. Her first on-air appearance will be today during the network’s coverage of the Citi Open in Washington and the Mubadala Silicone Valley Classic in San Jose, CA. Bouchard will offer commentary every day this week and continue to work for the network during the initial days of Canada’s National Bank Open presented by Rogers.
Bouchard will interact with Tennis Channel analysts and former players Lindsay Davenport, Paul Annacone, Chanda Rubin, and Jimmy Arias. (TennisConnected)
NFL Veteran Shaun King Joins VSiN, The Sports Betting Network
Shaun King, former NFL quarterback and member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl XXXVII championship team, has joined VSiN, The Sports Betting Network as co-host of The Night Cap. King will join co-host Tim Murray to cover sports betting markets around the country each weeknight from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET.
King played six seasons in the NFL, including five with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and one with the Arizona Cardinals. He was considered among the first true dual-threat quarterbacks in NCAA football during a standout career at Tulane before being selected by Tampa Bay in the 2nd round (50th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft. He also was a member of the Super Bowl XXXVII Champion Buccaneers.
Following his tenure in the NFL, King began a career in sports media. From 2007-2010 he served as an ESPN studio analyst for NFL and NCAA football appearing on First Take, NFL Live and ESPNews. He was also ESPN’s lead analyst for Arena Football League coverage and worked as a game analyst for Bright House Sports Network in the Bay Area. King has served as an NFL analyst for NBC Sports Network, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports Net and Versus and co-hosted the King David Radio Show on 1010 AM in Tampa. (VSiN)
NFL Network Adds Cameron Wolfe as Reporter
Veteran NFL reporter Cameron Wolfe has joined NFL Network. Based in Florida, Wolfe will contribute reports and news as a national reporter on a variety of NFL Network programming such as NFL Now, NFL Total Access, and Good Morning Football, as well as provide content on the NFL’s digital platforms such as NFL.com and the NFL app.
Wolfe joins NFL Network from ESPN where he covered the Miami Dolphins (2018-21) and Tennessee Titans (2017-18), as well as the sport of boxing. In his role with ESPN, Wolfe served as a reporter writing features, breaking news and adding analysis on ESPN’s TV and radio programs.
Prior to joining ESPN, Wolfe covered the Denver Broncos for two seasons for The Denver Post, the first of which culminated in the Broncos’ win in Super Bowl 50. (NFL)