Why Joe Buck and Troy Aikman left Fox to join ESPN’s ‘Monday Night Football’ booth

When fans tune in to ESPN’s “Monday Night Football,” they’re greeted by two new faces…sort of.

Longtime Fox broadcasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman swapped booths during the offseason, joining ESPN’s flagship football program after 20 years at Fox.

The dynamic duo, who have jointly declared six Super Bowls during their tenure with the network, have landed massive deals with the world’s esports leader: According to The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Buck will rake in between $60 million and $75 million at the end of the year his five-year contract. Aikman, meanwhile, will gross $92.5 million.

Here’s everything you need to know about Buck and Aikman’s move to ‘Monday Night Football’.

MORE: QB Rankings | RB Ranking | WR Ranking | Buy NFL tickets

Why Did Joe Buck and Troy Aikman Join ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”?

Buck and Aikman were the latest in the NFL broadcast carousel to venture into new pastures. Aikman was the first to leave, signing a mammoth deal with ESPN that will surpass Tony Romo’s $17.5 million-a-year deal with CBS.

Buck followed shortly thereafter. With just a year left on the Fox deal, Buck — who also called World Series games for the network — was granted a release from his contract that allowed him to negotiate with ESPN. His deal will net him more than the $10 million he was set to receive from Fox, while also licensing Buck to produce select ESPN+ projects.

To sweeten the deal for Buck, ESPN reportedly gave up a Big Ten broadcast to Fox. Fox will now cover the Sept. 1 primetime game between Penn State and Purdue as a result of Buck’s move, per John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.

IYER: Ranking Networks’ premier NFL announces teams for 2022

ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro took an aggressive approach to overhaul the network’s premier NFL programming. ESPN will cover 25 games by 2023. And according to Marchand, the network believes it is on the cusp of adding high-profile games to its schedule.

So Buck and Aikman were crucial gets. ESPN will broadcast the 2027 Super Bowl. With Buck and Aikman, the channel has already secured its team for coverage of the big game.

Who will replace Joe Buck and Troy Aikman at Fox?

Buck and Aikman’s departure left a gaping hole in Fox’s football coverage. To fill this hole, the network looked inward. Kevin Burkhardt, a longtime understudy to Buck, moved up to No. 1 for Fox. He will (eventually) be joined by Tom Brady, who has signed a 10-year, $375 million deal with the network that will be activated once he finally hangs up his cleats.

MORE: How Troy Aikman ‘irritated’ Fox and hastened Tom Brady’s hiring

Meanwhile, Burkhardt will partner with former NFL tight end Greg Olsen on Fox Sports’ “A-Team.”

Fox also had to find a replacement for Buck on MLB broadcast, a decision particularly crucial given that the network owns the rights to two of the next three World Series. Enter Joe Davis, Fox Baseball’s lead announcer for much of the 2022 season. Davis has announced numerous games for the network in the past, including the final game of the 2020 NLCS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *