Behind the Mic: ESPN Unveils World Cup of Hockey Announcers; Tom Brokaw, Mike Tirico Head to Rio for NBC

NHL studio analyst Barry Melrose, SportsCenter anchors Steve Levy and John Buccigross and former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes will call ESPN’s telecasts of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre from September 17 – October 1. A minimum of 16 games (17 if the final goes three) will be televised.

worldcuphockeyIn addition, Hall of Famers and former NHLers Chris Chelios and Brett Hull will join ESPN to provide studio analysis and work with hosts John Saunders, Adnan Virk and John Buccigross. Leah Hextall will serve as an ice-level reporter for each game. SportsCenter anchorLinda Cohn will provide features…

…Bob Costas leads a record 170 NBC Olympics commentators (which includes those to be announced in the coming weeks) – the most ever for an Olympics – as NBCUniversal presents coverage of Rio Olympics across all its networks. More than 40 members of the team will be making their NBC Olympics debuts, led by Golf Channel’s David Feherty…

…Mike Tirico will tee up his first NBC Sports Group assignments at The 145th Open from Royal Troon in Scotland next week, followed in August by the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tirico makes his NBC Sports Group debut as host of NBC Sports’ live coverage of The Open on Golf Channel and NBC from Thursday, July 14 through Sunday, July 17. NBC and Golf Channel will be providing live coverage from the first tee shot on Thursday to the final putt on Sunday, when the Claret Jug is awarded to the “Champion Golfer of the Year.” The Open marks Golf Channel’s first-ever live coverage of a major championship. Three weeks later, Tirico will make his Olympics debut as a host of NBC’s daytime coverage, which will originate from Rio’s iconic Copacabana Beach. In addition, at the end of August, Tirico will handle play-by-play on NBC’s two NFL preseason games – Atlanta vs. Miami (in Orlando) on Thursday, August 25, and Cincinnati at Jacksonville on Sunday, August 28. Tirico joins NBC after 25 years at ESPN/ABC (1991-2016)…

..NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw will join NBC Olympics’ coverage of the Rio Games. Brokaw, the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982-2004, began his career with NBC News in 1966. He will present features on the history of man along the famed Amazon River, which flows through northern Brazil, and the Gaucho cowboy lifestyle – a bit of the American West in the Brazilian Southeast. Brokaw has a long history of contributing special stories to NBC’s Olympic coverage…

…ESPN has secured extensions for two of its top college football voices, as well as added Greg McElroy and Allison Williams to the SaturdayABC/ESPN commentator teams. ESPN play-by-play Dave Pasch has re-signed and will be joined in the booth by analyst Greg McElroy, and field analyst Tom Luginbill. Reporter Allison Williams will join the team of Brock Huard and Bob Wischusen. Wischusen has also extended his contract with ESPN.

With more than a decade of experience at ESPN, Pasch and Wischusen have both inked new deals to continue at the network. Pasch joined ESPN in 2003 and has served as a play-by-play commentator for college football, men’s and women’s basketball, the NBA, the WNBA and the Little League World Series. Wischusen is going into his 12th season at ESPN. He’s served as a play-by-play voice for college basketball and football since 2005. McElroy is transitioning from SEC Network’s traveling pre-game show SEC Nation to a weekly regular-season game assignment. The former national championship winning-quarterback has served as a college football studio analyst for the past two years, in addition to covering several spring games, bowl games and two regular-season games. He will join the returning team of Dave Pasch and Tom Luginbill for an ABC or ESPN Saturday game. McElroy will also continue to contribute to SEC Network’s studio show SEC Now throughout the week. Williams, who previously worked Friday night college football games, is moving to the Saturday slot on ABC or ESPN with the crew of play-by-play commentator Bob Wischusen and analyst Brock Huard. Williams joined ESPN in March of 2011, covering college football and college basketball…

..FOX Sports has added veteran sports reporter Shannon Spake, who joins the network as a sideline reporter for its college football and college basketball coverage and serves as a member of its NASCAR broadcast team on pit road and in the NASCAR RACE HUB studio.  Spake also will report from the sidelines for select FOX NFL broadcasts. Spake makes her return to FOX Sports during the 2016 college football season, joining the network’s lead college football broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson and analyst Joel Klatt. Spake’s move to FOX after several years with ESPN represents a “homecoming” for the reporter, who worked for FOX Sports’ SPEED a little more than a decade ago. Beginning in 2005, she reported for SPEED’s NASCAR Nation, co-hosted Backseat Drivers and reported from the NASCAR garage during the network’s coverage of the 2006 Daytona SpeedWeeks. Prior to joining FOX Sports, Spake served in multiple roles at ESPN, beginning in 2006, most recently as a sideline reporter for Saturday college football games and select Bowl games, including a New Year’s Six Bowl…

…Mike Garafolo has joined NFL Media and will contribute to all NFL Media platforms, including NFL Network, NFL.com and NFL Now.Garafolo joins NFL Media from Fox Sports 1, where he covered the NFL nationally. Prior to that, Garafolo was a national NFL reporter for USA Today and a beat writer covering the New York Giants for The Star Ledger in New Jersey for eight seasons, including the Giants’ victories in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI. For his work covering the Giants, Garafolo received an APSE award…

Hockey Night in Canada fixture Ron MacLean h will return to host hockey’s biggest night on Sportsnet alongside David Amber. MacLean will host Game 1 on Saturday nights with Amber hosting Game 2, and together they will guide Canadians through all of Hockey Night in Canada’s memorable moments and greatest stories. MacLean will continue to host Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry in the first intermission of Game 1.  Following his hosting duties on Saturday nights, MacLean will head out to 24 communities across the country to host Rogers Hometown Hockey with Tara Slone on Sundays throughout the season.