When Fox won the rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package earlier this year, there was some question of how NBC would utilize Mike Tirico, who had previously called TNF games. Tirico still served plenty of roles at the network, from Olympic leading man to Sunday Night Football studio host, but he seemed to suddenly have a hole in his schedule.
Well, it sounds as though Tirico plans to fill some of that time by hanging out on the links. John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports Monday that Tirico will host an hourlong magazine show on the NBC-owned Golf Channel before major events, with the first episode airing at 9 p.m. on July 17, two days before the start of the British Open. Subsequent shows will reportedly precede the PGA Championship in August and all four Majors next year. Via SBJ:
“The timing of it works out well since now I’ve moved a little bit more to studio stuff for the moment than actually calling events,” Tirico said. “It’s a general career progression, and it will be a lot of fun.”
“I still love calling events, and that’s probably the thing that I enjoy doing the most,” he said. “But this time of my career at NBC and Golf Channel, it kind of lends a little bit more in the studio. I love the opportunities to do both things.”
Tirico, of course, is no stranger to golf coverage, having hosted NBC’s coverage of the sport since joining the network in 2016. Before this year’s Masters, he spoke to Awful Announcing’s Jay Rigdon about the (often rewarding) challenges of covering golf.
“Golf is the most difficult sport to cover because it’s the one sport played over acres, and with multiple balls in play at the same time and a whole bunch of different people scoring,” he said. “You have to have so many eyes, so many ears coordinating what is happening out on the golf course. If I’m broadcasting a football game, it’s all happening right in front of me. There’s one ball, two teams, we can keep score very easily. Golf is so different.”
Tirico’s new gig with Golf Channel show continues his progression from full-time play-by-play man to professional studio host. In addition to Vantage Point, Tirico hosts NBC’s Football Night in America pregame show, its biannual Olympic coverage and its Triple Crown horse-racing broadcasts. Beginning in 2019, he will also reportedly host NBC’s Indianapolis 500 coverage, in the network’s first year airing the event. In addition to his various hosting duties, Tirico serves as the television voice of Notre Dame football, his only remaining regular play-by-play role.