NBC’s NFL playoff coverage is set for a shakeup as veteran announcer Al Michaels steps away from the lineup, The Post has reported. Michaels, widely regarded as one of the greatest NFL play-by-play commentators in history, has been a prominent figure in prime-time football broadcasts for ABC and NBC. However, the move comes after Michaels and analyst Tony Dungy faced criticism for their perceived lack of enthusiasm during last year’s Jaguars comeback win over the Chargers.
NBC, which has four playoff games scheduled for next month, will see its No. 1 team, “Sunday Night Football’s” Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth, handling three of them. One of these games will be exclusively available on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock. In situations where NBC has two playoff games on the first weekend, the network’s top college team, Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge, along with sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen, will take charge.
The decision to replace Michaels has been in progress for a while, and Michaels himself appeared caught off guard by the news. In an early November interview with The Post, Michaels expressed his belief that he would still call the game on NBC, unaware of the impending change.
Despite Michaels’ desire to continue leading “Sunday Night Football,” NBC honored its commitment to Mike Tirico, who had long been promised the lead role. This move occurred even after Michaels delivered an outstanding performance for NBC during the Super Bowl in February 2022.
Michaels, known for his historic NFL broadcast career alongside Pat Summerall, will not be returning for the playoff game, marking the end of an era. Despite the change, Michaels still has one more year on his deal with Amazon Prime Video, where he currently calls “Thursday Night Football.”
In the aftermath of Michaels’ departure, NBC is placing its trust in the abilities of Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge, who have garnered praise for their work in their first season calling the Big Ten. The duo is set to provide the call for the Steelers and Bengals game on December 23, while Tirico and Collinsworth take on the Bills and Chargers game, exclusively available on Peacock.