When Fox reportedly offered Peyton Manning an eight-figure contract to serve as the face of its Thursday Night Football package, the network indicated just how much it values those games… and the broadcasters who call them.
Well, Troy Aikman was paying attention to that message.
Per Michael McCarthy of Sporting News, Aikman wants a raise if he and Joe Buck are assigned to call Thursday Night Football in addition to their usual Sunday afternoon responsibilities, as appears likely. McCarthy quotes a source saying that Aikman could be in like for at least a 50 percent increase in pay.
It’s not exactly shocking that Aikman would ask for more money if asked to call to the majority of Fox’s 15-game TNF slate, given that he and Buck would be adding substantial travel, preparation, and airtime to an already-full schedule. He knows, of course, that Fox has the money laying around after the network waved a huge payday in front of Manning, who reportedly turned down the offer because he didn’t want to call games involving his brother Eli.
When a TMZ reporter asked Aikman last month whether Manning was worth $10 million a year, Aikman replied, “I hope so, because that means I’m worth a little more, because I’m doing more games than he is.”
Fox has not officially announced who will call Thursday Night Football, which the network spent $3.3 billion to acquire, but the New York Post has reported that Aikman and Buck are the inevitable choice. Per the Post, the sides are currently negotiating terms and hope to have a deal done by May. It’s unclear how many Thursday night games the duo will call, given their Sunday schedules and Buck’s baseball obligations in October.
From Fox’s perspective, Aikman obviously doesn’t provide the same splash that Manning would have, given that he’s been calling games for the network for more than 15 years. But he’s a capable analyst with a Hall of Fame resume of his own. That’s a fallback plan worthy of a raise, if you ask us.