According to a report from Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, ESPN is working on brining Chris Berman back to Bristol for the 2018 NFL season.
There is no deal yet, but there is interest on both sides. While the move would not be for a full-time position, sources said the possibility of Berman contributing more to or even hosting some Sunday night “SportsCenter”s has been broached.
Marchand notes that Berman already has plans during some weekends this fall, as a potential return to ESPN was not something he had been planning for. The network’s hope at this point would be to bring Boomer in for at least a quarter of the NFL season.
An interest in expanding the role Berman has with ESPN is in keeping with a recent trend of turning back the clock in Bristol.
Berman’s potential comeback coincides with executive vice president of production Norby Williamson re-emerging as the leader of the network’s studio programming. Williamson has championed some ESPN classics, including Keith Olbermann’s renewed presence on the network and a return to a more traditional “SportsCenter” for some hours of the day.
Marchand speculates that in addition to appearances on SportsCenter, it is possible that Berman may conduct some interviews for NFL Sunday Countdown. That show saw a 12% drop in audience during 2017 with Samantha Ponder replacing Berman as the show’s host. Berman is already to call a divisional series in the MLB playoffs for ESPN Radio. He is also scheduled to host editions of NFL Primetime after the Super Bowl and conference championship games.
A decision on what exactly Boomer’s role will be with ESPN during the 2018 NFL season is expected to come in the next few weeks.