There’s big change ahead for Sky Sports’ UK coverage of the Premier League. The 77-year-old Martin Tyler, who had been at Sky for 33 years and calling Premier League matches for them since they first gained rights there in 1992, is exiting after not having his contract renewed. And Sky has also cut or reassigned six of their 13-person team of soccer reporters. But they’ve now revealed a new announcing hire, Peter Drury.
In the UK, Drury has worked for BBC, ITV, Premier League Productions and BT Sport. He’s recently known for his work as the lead voice for NBC’s U.S. coverage of the Premier League, a role he took over from Arlo White this past season. He’s expected to continue working for NBC (also owned by Sky parent Comcast) as well after this move. Here’s more on that from Mike Keegan at The Daily Mail:
In what may well prove to be a popular move, the 55-year-old–currently the voice of the Premier League on US broadcaster NBC Sports–will become Sky’s main commentator after Tyler, 77, did not have his contract renewed.
Drury, who began his broadcast career on local radio in Leeds in 1990, will continue to present for the US audience, it is understood. NBC is owned by Comcast, which also owns Sky.
…It is expected that Drury will focus on one game a week for the broadcaster, which would be on Sunday, Monday or midweek.
The 55-year-old Drury has won multiple broadcasting awards, including the Football Supporters’ Association Commentator of the Year for three of the last four seasons and the Sports Journalists’ Association sports commentator of the year award in 2020. He joins a Sky commentator team also including Rob Hawthorne, Bill Leslie, Seb Hutchinson, Dan Mann, Gary Weaver and Ian Crocker. There are some quotes from him and Sky Sports director of football Gary Hughes in a piece on Sky’s site:
He said: “I’m massively excited to be joining Sky’s outstanding roster of commentators. To be working on the best games week in week out with a broadcaster that has told the Premier League story since the very beginning feels like the opportunity of my career and I can’t wait to get started.”
Sky Sports director of football Gary Hughes said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Peter Drury to Sky Sports. Peter’s one of the game’s most poetic commentators and will bring great energy and enthusiasm as well as his award-winning broadcasting experience to our unrivalled coverage of the Premier League.”
But Drury does have big boots to fill in coming in after the exit of such a long-time veteran in Tyler. And he’s joining amidst those aforementioned cuts on the Premier League reporting side at Sky. Matt Hughes of the Mail had more on that Friday:
Sky Sports have axed half of their football reporting team in a brutal cost-cutting exercise which could also see the exit of veteran interviewer Geoff Shreeves.
Mail Sport has learned that Shreeves has been asked to take a significant pay-cut if he wants to extend his stay at the broadcaster he first joined when the Premier League started in 1992.
…The rest of Sky’s decisions have been made after a consultation over redundancies in April, with six of their 13-strong team of football reporters being cut, although some chose to go voluntarily and others may be offered alternative roles.
Experienced and well-respected journalists including Guy Havord, Dickie Davis, Bianca Westwood, Greg Whelan, Lynsey Hooper and Jaydee Dyer will not be continuing in their current roles.
So there’s a lot of change ahead at Sky. We’ll see how their new-look coverage is received.