In one of the more jaw-dropping sports media moves in history, Joe Buck is reportedly moving from Fox Sports to ESPN, where he’ll team up with Troy Aikman to call Monday Night Football.
Per the New York Post, Buck has been allowed to talk to ESPN by Fox, who is prepared to let him out of his contract one year early. Like Aikman, Buck is expected to get a five-year deal from ESPN, though his salary won’t be as exorbitant as Aikman’s.
On Friday, Fox granted Buck permission to talk with ESPN, according to sources. A deal is expected to come to fruition shortly.
With Fox, Buck had one-year at $11 million remaining on his contract. Fox, though, is letting him out early as a good gesture for his years of service to the company. He is expected to sign a contract in the five-year, $60-$75 million range with ESPN, according to sources.
Earlier this week, Aikman said that his talks with Fox couldn’t reach a “fair value,” which led to his eventual departure to ESPN on what the Post reports is a five-year, $92.5 million deal.
Buck and Aikman will give ESPN the caliber of MNF broadcast team it has lacked since Mike Tirico left the company for NBC. It also gives the network a top tier
As for Fox, they now have three significant roles to fill: lead NFL play by play broadcaster, lead NFL analyst, and lead MLB play by play broadcaster. The easy solution on the NFL side would be to bump everyone up a notch, but with all due respect to Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen (who I really like as a broadcasting team!), it’s tough to imagine them calling the Super Bowl in 11 months. Could Fox potentially lure Al Michaels away from Amazon, his oft-linked next home over the last few months?
On the MLB side, it seems like this will now be Joe Davis’ time to shine, just as it was Buck’s time to shine on the MLB package more than two decades ago. He’s essentially been Fox’s #2 MLB play by play broadcaster over the last couple of years, and giving him the top job makes sense.