In a logical and expected move, NBC has chosen Maria Taylor as the next host for their flagship NFL studio show Football Night in America.
Taylor had already been a part of the show last year after leaving ESPN for NBC, working as a co-host alongside Drew Brees. Taylor replaces Mike Tirico, who is now in the Sunday Night Football booth alongside Cris Collinsworth. That means this announcement is tied to the seemingly neverending NFL broadcasting changes this offseason.
NBC revealed the news in a fairly standard release:
Maria Taylor is the new host of Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports, NBC Sports announced today. Football Night is NBC Sports’ flagship studio show, preceding Sunday Night Football — primetime television’s No. 1 show for an unprecedented 11 consecutive years — each week during the NFL season. Taylor debuted on the program as a co-host in 2021.
NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood: “Maria is the perfect choice to carry the legacy forward of anchoring the most-watched studio show in sports.”
In the last 12 months, Taylor – who was named one of 2021’s “Most Powerful Women in Sports” by Adweek – has hosted many of the most-watched events and programs in sports. Following her move to NBC Sports in July 2021, she hosted the Tokyo Olympics, Super Bowl LVI Pregame Show, and Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.
There is one fun line, though, which is worth highlighting as it’s about as much of a subtweet as you’ll ever see in a network press releases, whether intentional or not:
Just prior to joining NBC Sports, she also hosted the primetime network broadcast of the NFL Draft and the NBA Finals.
Just prior, indeed!
Taylor is obviously a talented host, and she’s navigated a fairly impossible set of circumstances over the past year or so. Jumping right into NBC’s coverage of the Beijing Olympics and then the NFL season would be a lot for any professional, much less coming directly after her departure from ESPN and all that entailed.