The folks over at Football Zebras have been busy breaking news about referees heading into the broadcasting business. First, Cameron Felipe broke the story of Jeff Triplette’s path to ESPN. Now his colleague Mark Schultz is reporting that Terry McAulay is retiring as well to join NBC in the same capacity.
McAulay’s retirement comes after 20 years as an NFL referee. It also is a bit of a surprise for the league, seeing that it happened so long after the May 15th, which is the date officials use as the start of a new season.
According to Schultz, McAulay will be NBC’s first on air rules expert.
McAulay would be the first in-game NFL rules analyst for the network, although SNF director Fred Gaudelli has said that they maintained a live phone connection to the head of the officiating department. Senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron and predecessor Dean Blandino were never live on the broadcast, but probably relayed information to the crew.
But wait folks! That’s not all!
Cameron Felipe reports that Gene Steratore, who has spent the last 15 years as an NFL referee and was the crew chief for this year’s Super Bowl, is also leaving the field and headed for a broadcasting booth.
Steratore will join CBS as that network’s rules analyst. It will be the first time the network has had someone in that role since 2015, when Mike Carey took a lot of heat.
This means three of the four networks with NFL TV contracts will have new rules analysts in place this season. Fox, the only network not making a new hire, already has both Dean Blandino and Mike Pereira in that role.