One of the signs that the new football season is almost maybe just about finally upon us after months of waiting is the release of the network broadcasting teams for the coming season.
Seeing the announcer depth charts, especially for Fox and CBS, also tell an interesting story regarding where the talent stands at the major networks and the impact of some of the free agent moves from the previous year.
Fox is the first network to reveal their NFL announcing assignments for 2016 and the two names that jump out on the list are former ESPNers – Chris Spielman and Shannon Spake – both new hires by Fox Sports.
Here are the full teams and some more notes below. In a greater formality than Michael Phelps winning a gold medal, the teams are led by Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, and Erin Andrews once again….
1) Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews
2) Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch and Pam Oliver
3) Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Laura Okmin
4) Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis and Peter Schrager
5) Chris Myers, Ronde Barber and Jennifer Hale
6) Dick Stockton, Chris Spielman and Kristina Pink
7) Sam Rosen, David Diehl and (rotating reporters) Shannon Spake/Holly Sonders
* The only change among the top four broadcast pairings is NFL reporter Peter Schrager moving up the ladder and replacing Tony Siragusa on the team with Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis. It’s been a big summer for Schrager as he now stars on NFL Network’s new morning show along with the NFL on Fox promotion on the sidelines.
* Spielman’s partner for the NFL on Fox is longtime broadcaster Dick Stockton. It’s a bit further down the ladder than I thought Fox would place Spielman given how good he is as a game analyst. However, he did say on Twitter that he’ll also work three-man booths with the Brennaman/Davis team.
Looking forward to it. Also working with Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis in a 3-man booth. https://t.co/vjEBhjdeuJ
— Chris Spielman (@chris_spielman) August 9, 2016
* David Diehl, who used to work with Stockton, now joins Sam Rosen full-time. Lsat year, Rosen worked with a rotating quartet of analysts that included Chris Cooley, Matt Millen, Kirk Morrison, and Brady Quinn. Cooley and Morrison won’t return this season, but Millen and Quinn will both be back as analysts. On the sidelines, Spake will alternate with Holly Sonders as the reporter.
Fox Sports has the broadcast rights to this season’s Super Bowl, their eighth as a network, which will air on February 5th 2017.