It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a dramatic change in football commentator teams. We’ve had some one-off changes, like when Tony Romo replaced Phil Simms. We’ve also had the turnstile of Monday Night Football announcers since Jon Gruden returned to coaching a few years ago (a stint that ended mid-way through last season). For the 2022 season, though, football on television is getting quite the facelift.
The New Thursday Night Football
Let’s start with Thursday Night Football, which Amazon has exclusive rights to in 2022. There won’t be simulcasts on FOX or NBC. You’ll either need to be a subscribers to Prime, or miss out, and it’s going to be that way for the next 11 years.
Amazon wanted to court a buzz-worthy team of announcers, and the other day, it was announced that they have signed Al Michaels, ending his stint as the play-by-play man for Sunday Night Football. Kirk Herbstreit will be Michaels’ commentating partner.
With Michaels departing NBC, that lead us to our next network: what happens to Sunday Night Football?
Sunday Night Football
When Michaels has missed games over the past year or two, Mike Tirico has filled in for him to pair up with Cris Collinsworth. That will be the permanent duo for he 2022 season on NBC.
ESPN Steals From FOX
The other big change is between ESPN and FOX. Troy Aikman’s contract was up, and ESPN wanted to finally get their announcer team back on track by signing Aikman to a very lucrative deal. Aikman had called games with Joe Buck on FOX since 2002, and the duo would’ve loved to stay together. As it turns out, they will. FOX let Buck out of his contract one year early, meaning the new Monday Night Football team will be Buck and Aikman. Manningcast will also return for the 2022 season.
As for FOX, their No. 2 announcer team was Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olson. It remans to be seen whether FOX will promote them to the top team or try to do something out-of-the-box to create a little more buzz. FOX also has the Super Bowl next year.
Perhaps the bigger loss for FOX is that Buck won’t be doing the MLB playoffs or World Series games either.
CBS remains consistent with Nantz and Romo.
What do you think of the TV announcer and network changes, Browns fans?