ESPN is apparently trying to shake up the Monday Night Football broadcast booth.
The network is trying to acquire Al Michaels from NBC. According to the New York Post, reports indicate they want to pair Michaels with Peyton Manning. If things fall in to place, the duo would replace Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland. It would also be the third different broadcast tandem in three years for Monday Night Football.
Acquiring Michaels would involve some sort of trade or agreement between the three sides (Michaels, ESPN and NBC). He still has two years left on his NBC contract, being signed through the 2022 Super Bowl in Los Angeles. According to Andrew Marchand (via The Spun) NBC has their replacement in mind, in Mike Tirico, a former Monday Night Football play-by-play announcer. Michaels’ career may or may not be over after that Super Bowl, depending on what he wants to do.
Shockingly, this is the second time Michaels has been the focal point in a broadcaster trade. ESPN let him out of his Monday Night Football contract so he could work for NBC, in return for the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald was a Walt Disney cartoon character that paved the way for the creation of Mickey Mouse. The Disney Company (which owns ESPN) wanted that property back.
After ESPN lost out on signing Tony Romo to their Monday Night Football booth, they are trying for a different kind of all star broadcast booth. Romo signed with CBS on a deal worth $180 million over 10 years. Manning has not shown much interest in following in Romo’s footsteps, but ESPN must be fairly confident that a pairing with Al Michaels could convince him to try his hand at broadcasting.
Reportedly, NBC has no plans to make a change and ESPN has not commented on the rumors.
Featured Image courtesy of AP
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