“We got a call from our friends at NBC sports asking us to put tonight’s story in language that the legions of Swifties would understand,” Daly explained. With Swift’s Welcome to New York playing in the background, the Voice host went on to use the singer’s song titles (or parts of song titles) to explain the upcoming game. Pictured: Taylor Swift, second from left, Brittany Mahomes, second from right, and Ryan Reynolds, right, stand before an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Oct. 1, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Adam Hunger/AP)
NBCUniversal has promoted veteran executive Rick Cordella to president of NBC Sports, reporting to Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Media Group. Cordella, who has served in a number of leadership roles at NBCU, will now lead all aspects of NBC Sports’ brands and platforms including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, Golf Channel, NBC Sports Digital and transactional businesses GolfNow and SportsEngine. He’ll work with NBC Local on regional sports network strategy and continue to oversee sports on streamer Peacock.
The newest addition to NBC Sports’ Stamford, Conn., broadcast facility is a sprawling set in Studio 3 that uses unique interplays between scale and perspective to create a versatile space for any coverage. NBC began using the redesigned 5,400-square-foot space in this summer for Premier League European football coverage.
NBC Sports chief Pete Bevacqua is leaving NBCUniversal to take on a new role as the athletic director at the University of Notre Dame, marking the second exit of a major executive from the Comcast-owned media giant since the ouster of former CEO Jeff Shell. Bevacqua, who has played a large hand in steering NBCU’s sports efforts into digital arenas, will stay until the end of June, staffers were told in a memo Thursday. Executives at NBC Sports are expected to report to Mark Lazarus, the NBCU executive who once ran NBC Sports and currently oversees all of the company’s TV and streaming operations.
NBC will have at least nine hours of weekday daytime coverage, expanding to at least 11 hours on weekends. With Paris six hours ahead of New York, the marquee finals will air live in the morning or late afternoon. NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service will have every sport and event live, including all 329 medal events, from July 26 to Aug. 11, 2024.
CBS, Fox and NBC will all be paying tribute to former coach and Hall of Fame sportscaster John Madden when they broadcast National Football League games on Thanksgiving Day. Each network will lead into their games with a recording of Madden — who called 20 Thanksgiving Day games over the course of his career — talking about the relationship the holiday has with football. Each network will also create segments about the coach that will appear during their games.
Cordella is rejoining NBC Sports from Peacock, where he was chief commercial officer. He will focus on maximizing distribution on broadcast, cable and streaming, and oversee sports betting and sports fantasy efforts. NBC Sports also named Tom Knapp EVP, golf. Previously, he was EVP, programming at NBC Sports Group and EVP, partnerships & programming at Golf Channel.
The fully remote production launches tonight with a new mobile fleet of 16 that’s producing the games in 1080p with High Dynamic Range with around 250 people onsite for each TNF game. (Courtesy of Prime Video)
Twenty years after leaving Monday Night Football to start a family, Melissa Stark is back as a sideline reporter. Stark will be on the sidelines for NBC’s Sunday Night Football package and Thursday night’s regular-season opener between the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and Buffalo Bills.
NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a phone interview with The Associated Press that Brees will not be a part of the network’s NFL and Notre Dame coverage this year. The New York Post reported last month that the former quarterback would not be coming back as a studio or game analyst.
Al Michaels, a part of NBC’s Sunday Night Football since 2006 and now the play-by-play announcer for Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football, will continue to contribute to NBC Sports broadcasts in an emeritus role. NBC Sports said Michaels will be involved in high-profile events such as the NFL playoffs and the Olympics.
Legendary NFL quarterback Drew Brees will not return to NBC after just one season as a studio and game analyst, according to sources. The decision seemed mutual as Brees preferred doing games over the Football Night in America studio show, and NBC didn’t have many NFL games to offer him. NBC soured on Brees’ potential after originally believing he could develop into the heir apparent to Cris Collinsworth on Sunday Night Football games.
After serving nearly a decade on NBC Sports’ Kentucky Derby production crew, Lindsay Schanzer takes the Kentucky Derby reins for the first time this weekend. Although the new senior producer of NBC’s Triple Crown coverage has served as lead producer of the broadcaster’s Preakness Stakes, Breeders’ Cup and Royal Ascot productions since 2020 and produced last year’s Belmont Stakes, tomorrow’s race at Churchill Downs marks her first time leading production of horse racing’s most iconic event.
Melissa Stark will be NBC’s new sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football. Stark, 48, is currently at the NFL Network. She was the sideline reporter for ABC’s Monday Night Football from 2000 to 2003. She went on to be a correspondent for Today on NBC. She is replacing Michele Tafoya. Tafoya is pursuing a career in politics, which includes being a commentator.
While several spring football leagues have popped up in recent years, none have come close to packing the production-technology punch that is expected in USFL broadcasts. All games will be produced in 1080p HDR with many up-converted to 4K. Regardless of the quality of play on the field, one thing is for sure: the broadcast will look unlike any football game you’ve watched before. Above: Eight cameras have been mounted inside the stadium in Birmingham, Ala., to serve the optical tracking system that automatically measures first downs.
The USFL kicks off Saturday night in Birmingham, Ala., when the New Jersey Generals face the Birmingham Stallions. Fox and NBC Sports will each carry 22 games, including Saturday’s opener. It is the first time since the 2007 regular-season finale between the New England Patriots and New York Giants that a game will air on multiple broadcast networks. (WBRC photo)
The veteran sportscaster, who has called a handful of SNF games in the past few years, had been widely expected to take the job following Al Michaels’ decision to exit NBC after his contract expired. Tirico will join long-time Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth in the booth.
The new streaming deal between Major League Baseball and Apple is worth $85 million annually over seven years, according to several sources familiar with the agreement who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the terms.
MLB and NBC Sports have had serious talks about the network broadcasting games this season. If a deal comes to fruition, most of the games are expected to be on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock.
“The adults in the room left her alone,” NBC Olympics host Mike Tirico said from a studio during the network’s Thursday night coverage of the Games. “Portrayed by some this week as the villain, by others as the victim, she is, in fact, the victim of the villains. The coaches and National Olympic Committee surrounding Kamila Valieva, whether they orchestrated, prescribed or enabled all of this is unclear, but what is certain: They failed to protect her.”
One of the most stunning moments in the history of Olympic defeats unfolded Thursday after Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old Russian figure skater largely expected to waltz to a gold medal, fell twice during her free skate to finish in fourth place. The scene on NBC’s broadcast on the USA Network was excruciating to watch and quickly devolved into teary disbelief and chaos that was unlike anything in recent Olympic memory. “This is my 18th Olympic Games,” NBC’s Jimmy Roberts said as he closed the live coverage, “and I can honestly say I do not think I have ever seen anything like this. Raw emotions everywhere. A stunning resolution to the story, and it’s one I can’t imagine anyone saw coming.”
Late Monday night in Beijing, NBC sportscaster Mike Tirico boarded a chartered jet for one of the most remarkable travel stretches in sports broadcasting history. He’d been in China for two weeks, waking at about 4 a.m. local time to host the network’s prime-time coverage of the Winter Olympics, and now he was headed toward the NBC studios in Stamford, Conn. After laying over in Japan and spending Tuesday adjusting to the 13-hour time difference, Tirico returned to hosting primetime Olympics coverage Wednesday and Thursday. Then on Friday, he flew to Los Angeles to begin hosting the network’s Super Bowl programming as well — and Sunday, which NBC branded “Super Gold Sunday,” he’ll do something unprecedented — hosting both the Olympics and the Super Bowl in the same day.
Teed up by riveting playoffs, NBC will rely on the same core technical setup it employs for its regular-season NFL games when it broadcasts Super Bowl 56 on Sunday. “The more you can stick with what got you to where you are, the better off you are,” says Drew Esocoff, the big game’s director. Above, the Infinity Screen by Samsung in SoFi Stadium (Photo: Will Navarro).
For the second straight Olympics, the emotional health of athletes performing on the biggest stage has become a focus of discussion. The experiences of gymnast Simone Biles and tennis player Naomi Osaka last summer were fresh in the mind of NBC’s critics, and the online blowback was fierce after Mikaela Shiffrin skied out for the second time in Beijing.
Tirico’s final show from Beijing will be Monday night. He will fly from China to NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Conn., to host Wednesday’s and Thursday’s shows before heading to Los Angeles on Friday to anchor Olympic and Super Bowl coverage through Sunday.
Michaels has been the lead announcer on Sunday Night Football since its start in 2006, but his contract expires after next Sunday’s matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams. The 77-year old hasn’t indicated his future plans, but said he does relish becoming a free agent for one of the few times in a career that has spanned more than 50 years.
Katie Nolan, the sportscaster who has made a name for herself in the world of digital content, is taking her talents to NBC Sports. Nolan is joining the NBC Olympics team, and is expected to create daily short-form content, which will be distributed across both traditional and digital platforms.
With China’s strict policy about those who test positive for COVID-19, most of NBC’s announcers for the Beijing Games are stationed stateside. NBC isn’t alone in keeping its announcers home. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has almost all its analysts and announcers working out of studios in Toronto and Montreal. The BBC is also keeping announcers at studios outside London.
Dave Mazza, SVP/CTO for NBC Sports and NBC Olympics discusses the unique challenges that come with being the second consecutive Olympics taking place during a global pandemic as well as issues with weather and accessibility to venues.
As the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games approach and COVID-19 concerns mount, NBC Sports will not send any of its announcing teams to China, a spokesperson said Wednesday afternoon. “The announce teams for these Olympics, including figure skating, will be calling events from our Stamford (Conn.) facility due to COVID concerns,” Greg Hughes, senior vice president communications, NBC Sports, said.
After more than a decade with NBC Sports, Michele Tafoya will work her final game as a sideline reporter for the company at Super Bowl LVI. In a statement, Tafoya suggested that she wanted to explore professional areas outside of NFL sideline reporting.