ESPN confirmed Wednesday that it has signed longtime Fox broadcasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to multi-year deals, securing their roles as the new voices of the network’s Monday Night Football. The deal takes effect with the upcoming season, which will mark the pair’s 21st season in the booth together — the first 20 years at Fox.
As part of the deals, the network said Buck and Aikman will both contribute content to ESPN+. Contract details were not provided, but the move shores up ESPN’s NFL team as it will boost it coverage over the next few years. It also leaves a hole at Fox Sports, which must find a new No. 1 team for its Sunday coverage as well as a new World Series announcer, a role Buck has held for the network over his 30-plus years at Fox.
Aikman’s departure was first reported last month, while news of Buck’s exit began circulating in media circles last week.
“When you have the opportunity to bring in the iconic, longest-running NFL broadcasting duo, you take it, especially at a time when we are on the cusp of a new era in our expanding relationship with the NFL,” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content. “The NFL continues to ascend, and we now have more games than ever before, providing additional opportunities for Joe, Troy and our deep roster of commentators.”
ESPN also said today that Lisa Salters will return to the sidelines for MNF as reporter, as will John Parry as the officiating analyst, rounding out the broadcasting team for the Monday NFL franchise that is nearing the start of its 53rd season. Producer Phil Dean and director Jimmy Platt will also return, as will Peyton and Eli Manning via a new deal for their alt-broadcast show Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli.
The upcoming 2022-23 NFL season will see ESPN’s portfolio of games increase from 20 to 22, with the addition of an exclusive MNF game on ABC and a Sunday international game on ESPN+. ESPN will have three weeks with multiple games this season. Next up, ESPN and ABC have rights to Super Bowl LXI (2026-27 season) and Super Bowl LXV (2030-31 season).
Buck, the son of legendary broadcaster Jack Buck, and Aikman, who won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They have called six Super Bowls together at Fox as the lead NFL team along with more than 275 regular-season games and more than 40 playoff games.
“Everything about Monday Night Football, including the broadcast, set the standard for the modern NFL experience,” Buck said. “My earliest memories of walking around football stadiums are tagging along with my dad as he called Monday Night Football on radio. To return to the stadium on Monday nights with Troy – who I have the utmost comfort with and confidence in – and begin a new chapter, for us and ESPN, has me excited about this season and our future.”
Said Aikman: “The opportunity to be a voice on Monday Night Football, adding to its legacy and being a part of the future of the NFL on ESPN, has me motivated and reflective. As a kid in California, the voices of Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, and my mom’s personal favorite, Don Meredith, echoed throughout our living room each week. Joe and I are humbled to be part of that same tradition that has existed for more than 50 years across generations of football fans. I am looking forward to the next several years with ESPN and all our new teammates.”