Oh, you thought that Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were splitting up?
Evidently they’re a packaged deal, and those two will be ESPN’s new Monday Night Football team starting in 2022.
Media insider Andrew Marchand of the New York Post has the details:
On Friday, Fox granted Buck permission to talk with ESPN, according to sources. A deal is expected to come to fruition shortly.
With Fox, Buck had one-year at $11 million remaining on his contract. Fox, though, is letting him out early as a good gesture for his years of service to the company. He is expected to sign a contract in the five-year, $60-$75 million range with ESPN, according to sources.
At ESPN, Buck will join his longtime partner Troy Aikman in the MNF booth. The Post previously reported that Aikman left Fox to be MNF’s analyst. Aikman agreed to a five-year, $92.5 million contract, according to sources.
At ESPN, Buck, besides calling “Monday Night Football,” is expected to be involved in producing ESPN+ projects, as well.
ESPN’s new MNF deal will introduce flex scheduling starting in 2023 and ABC will have Super Bowl rights on a rotating basis with FOX, CBS, and NBC beginning with the 2026 season. Buck and Aikman will replace the trio of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, and Brian Griese.
Buck leaving FOX obviously means there will be a new #1 play-by-play voice for the network’s MLB and NFL broadcasts. At the moment, FOX’s #2 team is Kevin Burkhardt and former Seahawks tight end Greg Olsen, so maybe they’re in line for a promotion in a year when FOX has Super Bowl rights.
Hey, the ManningCast is still gonna be on MNF for seasons to come in case you want a semi-regular alternative.