In the wake of Joe Buck leaving for ESPN, Fox Sports had a prime seat to fill as their lead NFL play-by-play voice.
That’s a huge platform, given how reliably strong NFL ratings are, and while Fox has a fairly deep list of internal candidates, there was always the chance for a shock outside move. (After all, we just saw that with Buck.) Instead, though, they’ve gone with a very reliable inside man: Kevin Burkhardt, who last season worked in Fox’s #2 booth with analyst Greg Olsen.
This is according to Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, who reports Burkhardt is about to sign a long-term deal that will see him calling two of the next three Super Bowls:
Now, Burkhardt will be named the No. 1 voice on Fox’s NFL games, The Post has learned. Burkhardt and Fox are finalizing a new long-term contract, according to sources, that will make him the voice of the network’s Super Bowls.
Burkhardt is a solid choice, and there’s at least a chance that Fox ends up simply moving their #2 booth of Burkhardt and Olsen to the prime position. That would give them the benefit of familiarity, not that Burkhardt isn’t talented enough to work alongside any analyst Fox might consider. And according to Marchand that choice is still up in the air:
While Olsen is a top candidate, he is not guaranteed the spot, as Fox has been determined to look at all candidates. It made overtures to Tom Brady, according to sources, prior to Brady returning to football.
The move could also see Fox split its championship properties and go with a different voice for the World Series. While Buck has called the World Series for more than two decades, and he’s been the network’s top NFL voice since 2002. According to Marchand, though, rising star Joe Davis is the frontrunner to take over on the baseball side of the equation, despite Burkhardt having also hosted World Series coverage for Fox.
Considering Fox likely wants to ensure they keep both Davis and Burkhardt, if this is indeed the route they take it’s hard to blame them.