Jason Benetti will remain one of the busier men in sports broadcasting for the foreseeable future. In addition to his duties as the White Sox play-by-play voice on NBC Sports Chicago, Benetti calls MLB, college basketball, and college football games for ESPN, and thanks to a new contract extension, he’ll continue to do all of that going forward.
Phil Rosenthal had the scoop in the Chicago Tribune:
ESPN has signed Benetti to a multiyear contract extension, so the TV voice of the Chicago White Sox will continue to call college football and basketball along with Major League Baseball on the side for the sports media giant.
“I enjoy doing it,” Benetti said of his busy announcing schedule. “I miss doing it when I don’t have games, and I think the enthusiasm is easy to push through the screen.”
Benetti is truly a versatile voice, doing everything from anchoring ESPN’s Statcast stream for the MLB Wild Card round from his home to, say, calling the Maui Invitational with Bill Walton. That versatility hasn’t gone unnoticed, either.
“He has a very unique way of knowing what makes a great presentation and how to get there,” said David Ceisler, the ESPN senior coordinating producer who works with Benetti on college basketball. “That also has to do with the game and who’s sitting next to him.
“I’m not afraid to put him on any game with any partner,” Ceisler said. “He’s as big a player on our staff as anybody. We have some seasoned teams that have worked together longer, but I know there are producers and analysts who are excited when they see his name on the schedule. He’s a go-to guy for me. He really is.”
Benetti is always a welcome presence, and that he can excel in such a variety of roles is a testament to how good he is. Being able to handle a long baseball season requires a very different rhythm than, say, calling Big Ten buzzer-beaters in February, but Benetti manages to do both and he typically does both very well. It’s a deserved deal, and his decision to work as often as he does is a win for viewers both locally and nationally.
(If you’re curious, Jason joined the Awful Announcing podcast last year to talk about his career and why he loves doing what he does.)