Mike Tirico to replace Al Michaels on NBC Sunday Night Football

Photo of Paul Schott

STAMFORD — Veteran broadcaster Mike Tirico will be the new play-by-play announcer this fall for Sunday Night Football, the No. 1 prime-time television show for the past decade, Stamford-based NBC Sports announced Tuesday.

The announcement confirmed reports in recent weeks that Tirico, long one of NBC Sports’ most-prominent on-air personalities, would take over the SNF play-by-play duties from Al Michaels.

Michaels had held the position since 2006, but he recently left NBC Sports to become the play-by-play caller for Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football coverage.

Color commentator Cris Collinsworth will return this fall for his 14th season as SNF analyst alongside Tirico, and new sideline reporter Melissa Stark, a host and reporter for NFL Network since 2011, succeeds Michele Tafoya.

The trio will work their first game together at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in primetime on Aug. 4 on the NBC network and Peacock streaming service. Five weeks later, on Sept. 8, they will call the 2022 NFL Kickoff Game on NBC and Peacock.

“Sunday Night Football is destination viewing, and we are thrilled to have Mike, Cris and Melissa call the action and tell the stories that football fans have come to expect from prime-time TV’s No. 1 show,” NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement.

Michaels has one of the most recognizable voices in sports history, starting with his historic “Do you believe in miracles?” call of the 1980 U.S. Olympic men’s ice hockey win over the Soviet Union.

But as he takes the new role, Tirico already ranks as one of the most-experienced football announcers. This fall will mark his 17th-consecutive season calling NFL prime-time games. He represents one of only four play-by-play announcers to work the primetime NFL package for at least 10 seasons.

Since his arrival at NBC Sports in 2016, Tirico has served as on-site and studio host of NBC’s Football Night in America, the most-watched sports studio show. In addition, he and Collinsworth have teamed to call 21 NFL games since 2016. From 2006 to 2015, Tirico worked as the play-by-play announcer for ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Beyond his NFL announcing, Tirico serves as NBC Sports’ prime-time Olympics host.

Last season solidified SNF’s ratings dominance, with the show on track to finish as the No. 1 prime-time show for a record 11th-straight season. During the 2021 regular season, SNF averaged a total of 19.3 million viewers across TV and digital platforms, up 11 percent from 2020.

In March 2021, NBC Sports’ parent company, NBCUniversal, and the NFL announced a multibillion-dollar, 11-year extension of NBC Sports’ SNF coverage. The agreement will start with the 2023 season and will see NBC network and Peacock carry SNF games through 2033.

For the 2021 season, NBC Sports assigned a total of about 140 Stamford-based employees to work on SNF and Football Night in America. The studio show is done at NBC Sports’ headquarters at 1 Blachley Road, on Stamford’s east side, and at the stadiums where SNF games are played.

pschott@stamfordadvocate.com; twitter: @paulschott