Tom Brady agrees to join Fox Sports as an NFL analyst after retirement


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A topsy-turvy offseason for NFL broadcasting took perhaps its most surprising twist Tuesday when Fox Corp. Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch announced Tom Brady will step into the network’s booth when the winningest quarterback of all time retires.

When that happens, of course, is still to be determined. Brady, 44, could play one more season — or several more. But when he hangs up his spikes for good, he will join Kevin Burkhardt in Fox’s lead booth, Murdoch said. If he retires after two more seasons, he would be in line to call the Super Bowl in his first year as an announcer. Fox is set to broadcast two of the next three Super Bowls.

“We are delighted that Tom has committed to joining the Fox team and wish him all the best during this upcoming season,” Murdoch said in a statement Tuesday after announcing the news on a network earnings call.

Murdoch’s announcement is the latest move in a lucrative game of musical chairs for the NFL’s top announcers.

Troy Aikman and Joe Buck jumped from Fox to ESPN to call “Monday Night Football” earlier this year, accepting contracts that will pay them around $18 million and $15 million per year, respectively. Al Michaels hopped from NBC to Amazon for its inaugural “Thursday Night Football” season. He will be joined by ESPN’s top college football analyst, Kirk Herbstreit, who will moonlight with Amazon while keeping his day job. Both are in line for seven-figure deals. Mike Tirico will take over for Michaels at NBC; Tony Romo, who reset the salary scale with his $17 million deal two years ago, remains at CBS with Jim Nantz.

A Fox spokesman declined to comment on Brady’s contract.

Brady turns 45 in August and will begin his 23rd season later this year. The seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback has had a news-making offseason. He announced his retirement after last season ended but changed his mind about six weeks later and will return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Tuesday, he tweeted that he was “excited” about his future television role but had “a lot of unfinished business on the field” with the Buccaneers.

He will be the latest star quarterback to join the ranks of broadcasters, joining Aikman and Romo as well as Peyton and Eli Manning, who began hosting a simulcast of MNF last season. Drew Brees also retired and jumped straight to the booth with NBC last year, though initial reviews have been mixed. Brady appeared on an episode of the Manning brothers’ show last season and flashed his analyst chops in a memorable segment.

The NFL signed lucrative new TV deals last year with the four broadcast networks, as well as with Amazon. Those deals, which preceded the announcer frenzy, will pay the league more than $100 billion over the next decade, signifying the importance of the league to all of its broadcast partners.

Fox is scheduled to broadcast the Super Bowl this season and still needs to name a top analyst, but that job is now a temporary opening.





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