Though this has been apparent for days now, ESPN has officially confirmed Joe Buck and Troy Aikman as their new Monday Night Football booth.
Lisa Salters and John Parry will remain in their current roles, according to ESPN’s release:
ESPN has signed acclaimed play-by-play commentator Joe Buck and leading football analyst Troy Aikman to multi-year deals, as the NFL’s longest current booth pairing and Pro Football Hall of Fame members will become the new voices of Monday Night Football. The iconic duo’s 2022 Monday Night Football debut will mark their 21st NFL season in the booth together, matching the legendary Pat Summerall and John Madden’s all-time record as on-air NFL partners. In their two decades together, Buck and Aikman have called six Super Bowls, surpassing all other pairings/booths except for Summerall and Madden. Accomplished commentator Lisa Salters, Monday Night Football’s longest-tenured sideline reporter, will return for her 11th season on the series. John Parry will be the officiating analyst once again.
This is truly a wild swing for this offseason’s game of broadcasting musical chairs. It makes sense ESPN would sign both men up for multiyear deals, too. The announcement does hint at Buck and Aikman doing more within the ESPN family of networks/streaming content, but it’s mentioned in a limited way:
As part of the agreement, Buck and Aikman will both contribute content to ESPN+, with more details to be announced at a later date.
That could mean anything from starring in a pre-taped ongoing series or contributing to other live coverage, so we’ll have to wait and see on that front. In any case, it’s hard to argue with the move from ESPN’s perspective; the latest round of NFL rights bidding put ESPN/ABC back in the mix in a much bigger way, and now they’ve poached a competitor’s top booth to go with it.
Considering the ups and downs the network has had trying to make a MNF booth work, having Buck and Aikman locked in for the next few years at least is a big win.