More pieces are falling into place for NBC’s Big Ten coverage.
Per the New York Post, Noah Eagle, who has worked for CBS and Fox over the last couple of years, will be the primary play by play voice of the Big Ten on NBC. His partner is a true shocker – ESPN’s Todd Blackledge, a fixture on the network’s college football coverage. Most recently, Blackledge has worked with Sean McDonough, though he’s also worked with Mike Patrick, Brad Nessler, and Joe Tessitore (among others) over the years.
The Post previously reported that Maria Taylor will host NBC’s Big Ten studio coverage.
The loss of Blackledge, who will call Monday’s National Championship alongside McDonough on ESPN Radio, is a big blow for ESPN, but one they’ll be able to handle due to the company’s sheer tonnage of college football game analysts. He’s a great hire for NBC, immediately lending credibility to the network’s Big Ten broadcasts.
However, the hiring of Eagle is a bit more questionable. He’s the third son of a prominent broadcaster (along with Jac Collinsworth and Chris Simms) to have a significant role on NBC’s football coverage. We talked about the nepotism issue back in October, and it’ll surely rear its head once again.
Eagle is a fine, not great, announcer who has called a handful of NFL games for Fox and Nickelodeon and a little more than a full season’s worth of college football games, mainly on FS1 this past season. It’s stunning to see him go from Fox’s third (or fourth) college football broadcast team to the lead announcer for the Big Ten on NBC. His ability to call basketball is a plus with NBC also getting a chunk of the Big Ten hoops package, but that’s hardly a reason to give him such a plum job.
Anyway, this is a big step for Eagle. Only time will tell if it was too much, too soon.