ESPN Names ‘MNF’ Broadcast Team

Jul 26, 2005  •  Post A Comment

ESPN on Tuesday named its broadcast team for “Monday Night Football,” which moves to the cable network in 2006. ABC’s Al Michaels, who had been in talks with NBC, will be in the booth with ESPN Joe Theismann, and Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya will be sideline reporters.

“The team reflects the direction we are headed with the combination of the best of ESPN and best of ABC sports,” said George Bodenheimer, CEO of ESPN, on a conference call.

During the call, Mark Shapiro, executive VP of programming and production, said ESPN wants to stay in the business with the National Hockey League, especially now that rule changes have been enacted that should make it more exciting. But he said the league must be prepared to accept less than ESPN had planned to pay before the long hockey strike. “They are damaged,” he said. “We’re not prepared to pay the $60 million that was previously on the table.

Mr. Shapiro also said ESPN was in talks to extend its deal with Major League Baseball. It’s current agreement expires after the 2006 season.