With Mike Tirico leaving ESPN for NBC, Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated examines the possibilities that await the talented play by play voice with his new employer. Deitsch points out that the current contract of Al Michaels, NBC’s longtime football voice, ends after the 2017–18 NFL season. Michaels will be 73 at the end of his agreement.
At NBC, Tirico would gain the opportunity to call a Super Bowl, something that he wouldn’t be able to do at ESPN. There’s also a possibility of replacing Bob Costas as the primetime host of the Olympics. Costas will serve as the lead host in Rio, and has hosted the Olympics 11 times, but NBC Sports executives have acknowledged that they’d like to develop a long-term plan.
There’s also the option of utilizing Tirico on NBC’s golf coverage given his previous experience with the sport. He could also be an option for NBC Sports Radio, which has not received a ton of clearance since launching in 2012.
Meanwhile for ESPN, sources tell Deitsch that Sean McDonough is the frontrunner to replace Tirico on Monday Night Football. Ryan Ruocco, who has called NBA games with Hubie Brown, could be a consideration for Tirico’s NBA spot. ESPN also has a number of options to consider for Tirico’s hosting role at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon tennis tournament. According to Deitsch, Tirico has been told that he will be able to work his remaining assignments at ESPN through July.