FOX wants to hire broadcasting free agent Peyton Manning to serve as the analyst for its Thursday night games. FOX wants to pair him with a guy who isn’t a free agent.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, FOX is exploring the idea of borrowing Mike Tirico from NBC Sports for Thursday Night Football. Apparently, Tirico would be Manning’s first choice as a partner in the broadcast booth. Per the report, the NFL “likes” the idea of a Tirico-Manning booth.
The problem, of course, is that Tirico currently is employed by NBC Sports.
NBC had no comment on the situation. The reality, however, is that Tirico quickly has become the face of NBC Sports. He serves as the primary prime-time Olympics host, the play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame football, and the co-host of Football Night in America. Tirico also handles various golf broadcasts for NBC.
Then there’s the fact that Tirico has a contract with NBC that covers many years into the future. It makes little sense to think that NBC would dilute its investment in Tirico by allowing him to moonlight in such a high-profile way with a competitor — specifically with the competitor that swooped in and swiped Thursday Night Football.
So, basically, if FOX is letting Peyton Manning pick his play-by-play announcer, FOX likely will have to move to the next name on the list.