NFL ‘Bans’ Mike Tirico From Calling NBC’s Thursday Night Football

By Mark Joyella 

When NBC hired Mike Tirico from ESPN earlier this year, it was expected Tirico would be the lead play-by-play voice on NBC’s new Thursday Night Football package of five late-season games.

As lead play-by-play announcer for Monday Night Football since 2006 and a ESPN fixture since 1991, Tirico was hardly a rookie in terms of the NFL. But the league has stepped in and effectively banned Tirico from calling Thursday games on NBC.

First reported by the New York Daily News, “NBC Sports execs asked their NFL partners if they could use Tirico instead of Michaels on TNF. NBC made the case it was bringing in Tirico, a high caliber, high quality yakker, who was the voice of an NFL primetime package for 10 seasons.”


But the NFL say’d they’d prefer Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, who headline NBC’s Sunday night football. In a statement released by the NFL, execs say “our contract with NBC requires that the Sunday night team also do Thursday Night. It is up to NBC to determine who the talent is for both nights based on those parameters.”