Al Michaels’ new role at NBC involves ‘bye weeks’ from ‘Sunday Night Football’
Al Michaels will be back this fall as the play-by-play man for “Sunday Night Football,” but some changes are in store related to his role at NBC.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Michaels will enjoy a few “bye weeks” throughout the “SNF” schedule this season, according to the plan as explained by NBC’s Fred Gaudelli.
Fellow NBC Sports personality Mike Tirico is expected to step in for three to five games as the occasional replacement for the 75-year-old Michaels, who was the subject of trade talks with ESPN earlier this year over its then-vacant “Monday Night Football” booth position.
NBC's internal issue of Mike Tirico wanting to call more games — it might be in his contract — was one of the reasons ESPN thought it might be able to trade for Al Michaels this offseason.— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) September 3, 2020
Tirico currently serves as host of NBC’s “Football Night in America” pregame show. He also called some Notre Dame Fighting Irish football games last season, among other duties that included involvement in the network’s golf coverage.
Tirico of course has an abundance of NFL play-by-play experience, having served 10 years as lead announcer on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” from 2006-15. He also called the Atlanta Falcons-New Orleans Saints game last year on Thanksgiving for NBC.
Michaels, whose contract with NBC expires in 2022, obviously is entering the sunset of his iconic broadcasting career. Tirico is viewed as the presumed heir apparent for Michaels on “Sunday Night Football,” so his handling of a handful of games this season during Michaels’ “bye weeks” ought to be viewed as part of that transition.