NBC has officially announced the news that leaked out in the last week of the Olympics, that Al Michaels will do double duty this season and call Sunday and Thursday Night Football. Do not feel bad for Mike Tirico who was seemingly the odd man out after signing with NBC supposedly to call TNF this season. He’ll be the on-site host Football Night in America and SNF while Bob Costas will host TNF.
After word got out that the NFL not just wanted, but required NBC’s SNF team to call TNF, it was pretty much etched in stone that Michaels would be calling both packages. However, Tirico who with Cris Collinsworth called NBC’s two NFL preseason games this past week showed that he’s more than up to the task and showed what will be a very strong team when he takes over SNF when Michaels decides to retire.
In addition, he will call two late-season TNF games that will air on NFL Network that will conflict with Michaels and Collinsworth’s schedule (Dolphins-Jets on 12/17 and Ravens-Steelers on 12/25). Tirico’s partner for those games will be Doug Flutie.
Tirico has been named as the game site host for Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football and for the most part replaces Bob Costas who slides over to host Thursday Night Football. Costas and Tirico will co-host the NFL season opener at Denver on Thursday, September 8 and Bob will travel with the SNF crew to host the season premiere at Arizona.
Costas will be seen on FNIA and SNF for selected games, but Tirico should do the bulk of the SNF schedule. Costas will host Thursday Night Football at the game sites and he’ll be joined by Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison.
As for the rest of the crew, it remains the same. Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya will be the Sunday Night Football announcing crew. Michaels, Collinsworth and Heather Cox will call Thursday Night Football.
Returning for another season will be Dan Patrick as host the studio portion of Football Night in America on Sundays and he’ll be joined as usual by Dungy, Harrison, Peter King and Mike Florio.
This is the best-case scenario for NBC after the news leaked about the NFL nixing Mike Tirico on Thursday Night Football for this season. He does have two late-season games, but it certainly isn’t what the network was hoping for. But at least he will be busy this season with the Sunday Night Football crew.