NBC Sports pursues commentators for Big Ten football studio shows
USC fans certainly want to know which commentators will be discussing the Trojans when they move to the Big Ten Conference. At Fox Sports, it is known who will cover USC. Fox has an established college football studio show with former Trojans Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush. CBS Sports has an established collection of college football voices. What will change for CBS is not its stable of talent (or at least, no changes have emerged to this point), but the conference it will cover. CBS, which has been the home of SEC football for decades, will transition to the Big Ten.
NBC, which has covered Notre Dame football for more than 30 years, now has a Big Ten package as well. The extent to which NBC’s Big Ten and Notre Dame coverage overlaps — which commentators do double-duty, and which ones focus on only one half of the network’s college football games — is a significant point of interest not just for USC fans, but the larger college football industry.
Awful Announcing and analyst Ben Koo broke a story on Thursday about the new talent being assembled for NBC’s Big Ten college football studio show.
Let’s share the more notable details below:
JOSHUA PERRY HIRED BY NBC
Exclusive: NBC hiring Joshua Perry, targeting J.J. Watt for Big Ten studio road show https://t.co/5W05tpirYl pic.twitter.com/JHWd10KBnr
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) May 19, 2023
MARIA TAYLOR WILL HOST THE BIG TEN STUDIO SHOW
Jan 21, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; NBC Sports sideline announcer Maria Taylor on field prior to an AFC divisional round game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Taylor, who previously worked for ESPN, is now a centerpiece presence in NBC Sports’ coverage of its most valuable media properties. Her spot on this studio show rates as no surprise, given her extensive college football background.
NBC PURSUES THE GAMEDAY/BIG NOON KICKOFF MODEL
Peyton Manning fist pumps after Lee Corso chooses Tennessee to defeat Alabama during ESPN’s College GameDay show held outside of Ayres Hall on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville, Tenn. on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022. The college football pregame show returned to Knoxville for the second time this season for No. 8 Tennessee’s SEC rivalry game against No. 1 Alabama.
Koo reports that NBC wants to take its college football studio show on the road and follow the path carved out by ESPN’s College GameDay and Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff.
JJ Watt tees off on the first hole during the 2023 Annexus Pro-Am at TPC Scottsdale on Feb. 8, 2023.
Awful Announcing’s report includes the detail that NBC is interested in hiring J.J. Watt, a former Wisconsin Badger, for its Big Ten studio show, but that other networks are also considering Watt as a potential football commentator. We’ll see if a bidding war emerges or if Watt simply picks his landing spot before a bidding competition unfolds.
CANTON, OHIO – AUGUST 04: (L to R) NBC Sports commentators Jac Collinsworth, Chris Simms and Rodney Harrison laugh during a segment prior to the 2022 Pro Hall of Fame Game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Las Vegas Raiders at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on August 04, 2022 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
The relationship between Big Ten football coverage on NBC and Notre Dame football coverage on NBC is something which isn’t yet fully known. How NBC will handle Big Ten games in tandem with Notre Dame games is one of the more interesting unresolved questions in college football television right now.
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