Thanks to a variety of reports (and common sense) NBC’s new Sunday Night Football booth has been apparent for a while now.
The addition of Melissa Stark to replace the outgoing Michele Tafoya was the final piece to that particular puzzle, and today NBC made the news official with a release. There aren’t any surprises. As expected, in addition to Stark, it will be Mike Tirico finally taking over play-by-play duties, alongside holdover Cris Collinsworth.
From NBC’s release:
Tirico and Collinsworth have teamed to call 21 NFL games (19 regular season, two preseason) since Tirico joined NBC Sports in 2016. Stark, NBC Sports’ newest team member, served as sideline reporter for ABC’s Monday Night Football for three seasons (2000-02), and has been a host and reporter for NFL Network since 2011.
“Sunday Night Football is destination viewing and we are thrilled to have Mike, Cris and Melissa call the action and tell the stories that football fans have come to expect from primetime TV’s #1 show,” said Pete Bevacqua, NBC Sports Chairman.
The trio will work its first game together at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in primetime on Thursday, Aug. 4 on NBC and Peacock. On Thursday, Sept. 8, Tirico, Collinsworth and Stark will call the NFL Kickoff Game on NBC and Peacock.
Tirico remains one of the strongest and most versatile broadcasters in sports, and he’ll be a welcome addition back to the world of primetime NFL calls. This truly has been a tumultuous offseason in the world of NFL television. The only top booth to remain the same is at CBS, while FOX, NBC, and ESPN all saw big changes (or direct ports.) Plus there’s Amazon building a new booth from scratch and going with Al Michaels to lead it.
It’s hard to imagine a future year matching this one in terms of sheer turnover. Things will settle down now for a while, most likely, but turning on NFL games this fall will feel a lot different all around.