Don’t expect to see Dan Patrick on Sunday nights next fall. According to Andrew Marchard of the New York Post, Patrick will not return as the host of NBC’s Football Night in America, the studio show surrounding Sunday Night Football.
Patrick had been hosting the show for the last nine seasons.
Patrick told The Post he recently made the decision. He said that NBC offered him a new, five-year-deal in December, but, at 61, he said he did not want to make a commitment.
“I didn’t want to do it and not love doing it,” Patrick said.
He also told Marchand that he’s nearing a renewal of his radio show contract with AT&T and DirecTV for three more years. NBC’s licensing agreement for Patrick’s radio simulcast on NBCSN likely won’t be impacted by Patrick’s decision to leave FNIA.
NBC didn’t confirm (nor deny) Marchand’s report. Mike Tirico is the logical choice to replace Patrick as the host for NBC, and giving him a more prominent role would likely end the rumors of NBC “sharing” him with Fox to call Thursday Night Football. The only other logical in-house option for NBC that I can think of to replace Patrick is Liam McHugh, who served as a Super Bowl host for NBC while Tirico was in South Korea for the Winter Olympics. Bob Costas made the decision to step away from the NFL, opening the door for McHugh.
While this may seem like a bit of a jarring move on paper, in reality, it won’t change all that much for NBC. Yes, Patrick was a recognizable face in a prominent role, but his departure won’t cause a huge domino effect for NBC’s NFL coverage and won’t drastically change the network’s programming.