After Official Review, ESPN Signs Joe Buck, Troy Aikman

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on 'Thursday Night Football'
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman called 'Thursday Night Football' for Fox last year. (Image credit: Fox Sports)

ESPN officially announced that it signed sportscasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for Monday Night Football.

Aikman and Buck have worked as a team on NFL broadcasts for 20 years, all of them for Fox Sports, and have called six Super Bowls. ESPN and ABC will be airing the Super Bowl in 2027 and 2031.

Buck and Aikman will also contribute content to ESPN Plus

Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick were in the booth for Monday Night Football last season. Sideline reporter Lisa Salters will return as sideline reporter and John Parry will again be the officiating analyst.

On 10 Monday nights per season, ESPN2 will air the “Manningcast,” featuring former QBs Peyton and Eli Manning covering the game with guests, which proved a popular alternative for many MNF viewers. 

There had been reports that Aikman and Buck might move to Amazon Prime Video, which will have Thursday Night Football next season, but more recent stories said the duo was expected to land at ESPN.

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“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.”

Aikman, a Hall of Fame quarterback, retired from the NFL after the 2000 season and went to work for Fox Sports the following season. 

“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,“ Aikman said. ”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.”

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Buck is the son of legendary sportscaster Jack Buck and has been broadcasting NFL games since he was 25 years old during the 1994 season. 

“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.” ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.