Al Michaels Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

NBC will carry three games during the NFL Playoffs. None of them, however, will feature Al Michaels.

According to The New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand, Michael isn’t included in NBC’s playoff plans, which will see the network air three games during the opening Wild Card weekend. NBC’s Sunday Night Football team of Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and sideline reporter Melissa Stark will handle two of the games — including the Peacock exclusive — while the network’s No. 1 college team of Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge and sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen will handle the other game.

NBC Sports confirmed the assignments to The Post, with the news apparently coming as a surprise to Michaels.

“It’s in my deal,” Michaels told The Post. “Where are you hearing that from? That’s part of my deal. Are you hearing something that I’m not hearing?”

The 79-year-old Michaels had called Sunday Night Football for NBC from 2006-2021 and currently calls games with Kirk Herbstreit for Amazon Prime Video’s broadcasts of Thursday Night Football. Last season, Michaels called NBC’s broadcast of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card round — with many feeling his and Tony Dungy’s call of the comeback didn’t match the moment.

It’s unclear whether the critical reception to the broadcast played a role in Michaels — who remains in an “emeritus” role at NBC — being removed, but as recently as November, he was under the impression that he’d be calling a playoff game for NBC this season. As Marchand noted, “there has long been tension between Michaels and top NBC executives,” with the network opting to replace the broadcasting legend with Tirico on Sunday Night Football, despite Michaels’ desire to stay in the role.

While there’s no questioning his credentials, Michaels has come under fire in recent years for a perceived lack of enthusiasm during broadcasts. Nevertheless, he has already committed to returning to the Amazon broadcast booth for the 2024 season, which is currently the final year of his contract with the company.

[The New York Post]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.