Fox Sports reportedly has a significant name in mind to join its college football coverage.
Per Jeff Agrest of the Chicago Sun-Times, Jason Benetti and Fox are in discussions about Benetti becoming Fox’s #2 college football announcer, teaming with Brock Huard.
Notably, per Agrest, Benetti will continue on as the White Sox play-by-play broadcaster on NBC Sports Chicago, and he will also continue calling college basketball games.
White Sox TV voice Jason Benetti is in talks with Fox Sports to become their No. 2 college football announcer, sources say. He would leave his longtime play-by-play job at ESPN and join Brock Huard in the booth. Benetti would continue calling the Sox on NBC Sports Chicago.
The move to Fox will give Benetti higher-profile college football games. At ESPN, he has called mostly Group of Five games, along with several big-name bowls. Fox will continue to be the primary rights holder for the Big Ten, which will add UCLA and USC in 2023, and still has Big 12 and Pac-12 games. Benetti also will continue calling college basketball.
Benetti’s national profile has grown in recent years. Last summer, he made his Olympics broadcasting debut for NBC, and followed that up by being named the play-by-play broadcaster for NBC’s MLB game of the week on Peacock.
The blurb that Benetti would team with Huard, who left ESPN for Fox in 2019, gives us a significant hint about Fox’s plans for both their college football and NFL coverage this fall. Since joining the company, Huard has teamed with Joe Davis (funky 2020 pandemic season aside) as the #2 team. If Benetti is brought in to work with Huard, that would give more credence to the rumors that Davis will be Fox’s new #2 NFL broadcaster, a role opened up following Joe Buck’s departure to ESPN and Kevin Burkhardt’s promotion to Buck’s top job.
I feel like these are the natural steps forward in the careers of both Benetti and Davis, and a pretty good way to replace Buck in the network’s announcing hierarchy. As for ESPN, they’re so deep in the college football talent pool that losing Benetti would change too much of what they have going on (last season, he called Friday night games with Andre Ware), but losing a broadcast of his caliber will sting a bit.