Mike Tirico

NBC’s transition from the Bob Costas/Dan Patrick era on Football Night in America/Sunday Night Football is now complete. NBC announced today that Mike Tirico will replace Dan Patrick in the studio, while Liam McHugh takes the co-host role and will at game sites for most of the season.

When Patrick announced he was leaving the weekly studio show he’d hosted from 2008-2017, the conventional wisdom had Tirico and McHugh as the favorites to slide into new roles on Football Night in America. That’s now official. From NBC’s release:

Mike Tirico has been named the new studio host for Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports since its debut in 2006. He will work alongside FNIA analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison, and NFL Insider Mike Florio, from Studio 1 at NBC Sports’ International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn. Dan Patrick previously served as Football Night’s studio host from 2008-2017.

For the past two seasons, Tirico co-hosted FNIA from the game site. That role will now be filled by Liam McHugh, who will be joined on site most weeks by the Sunday Night Football team of Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, and Michele Tafoya. In addition, Rob Hyland joins Football Night as the show’s new coordinating producer.

NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood said Tirico “was the logical choice to move into the Football Night studio.” And in addition, he thanked Patrick “for his outstanding work as co-host of Football Night for the past 10 seasons. His teamwork, professionalism, and friendship will be missed.”

As for the on-site Sunday Night Football production, Tirico officially took over for Bob Costas in 2016 and now McHugh will take over for Tirico. McHugh has been the main host for NHL on NBC and Notre Dame Football broadcastst. He’s been with NBC Sports for a long time, dating back to the days when NBCSN was known as Versus.

McHugh is not a stranger to the NFL. Along with Patrick, he co-hosted NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl LII back in February and occasionally hosted Thursday Night Football’s pregame show.

The new version of Football Night in America premieres Opening Weekend when NBC airs the Atlanta at Philadelphia season opener on September 6 and Chicago at Green Bay on September 9.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.