This is pretty huge news in the world of sports broadcasting: According to SportsBusiness Daily, Mike Tirico, who has been with ESPN since 1991, has agreed on a contract to join NBC this summer.
Tirico’s best known as the play-by-play man for Monday Night Football, and has been for a decade. The SBD report pegs him as likely to take over that role for NBC’s limited Thursday Night Football package, but that’s surely just a start. Tirico is a clear standout, and I think it’s safe to assume that he’ll be first in line to replace Al Michaels on Sunday Night Football. (Michaels’s current contract is up after the 2017 season.)
Tirico also represents a potential heir to Bob Costas for NBC’s Olympics coverage.
Tirico’s got a past at ESPN, being accused of—and suspended for—multiple instances of alleged sexual harassment. But they were long enough ago, and occurred before the internet, that they haven’t affected his rise through the ranks.
Tirico is very, very good at a job that very few people are good at, and the NFL’s premier product—SNF—feels like it was inevitable all along.
Who will replace Tirico in the Monday Night Football booth with Jon Gruden? SportsBusiness Daily says an early favorite is Sean McDonough, who would be an excellent choice.