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ESPN wants Al Michaels, Peyton Manning for 'Monday Night Football': Report

Thomas Barrabi

ESPN could attempt to acquire the services of a sports broadcasting legend as part of its bid to lure former All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning to its “Monday Night Football” team, according to a report on Thursday.

The cable sports network is interested in signing Al Michaels away from his contract with NBC, the New York Post reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Michaels has two years remaining on his contract with NBC and serves as play-by-play announcer for its “Sunday Night Football” broadcasts.

ESPN has long been rumored to be interested in hiring Manning for its “Monday Night Football” broadcasts. The network wants to pair Manning with Michaels in the broadcast booth, according to the Post. Manning already hosts a series on the ESPN+ streaming service.

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Representatives for ESPN and NBC Sports did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Manning has been linked to various roles in sports broadcasting since he retired from the NFL in 2016. It’s unclear if he has interest in the “Monday Night Football” gig.

ESPN and NBC have not held any talks about Michaels’ contract, according to the Post.

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At present, ESPN’s broadcast team for “Monday Night Football” consists of play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore and color commentator Anthony “Booger” McFarland.

ESPN’s rumored interest in Michaels and Manning comes days after CBS re-signed its popular analyst, former NFL quarterback Tony Romo, to a 10-year deal worth a reported $180 million. Romo became the highest-paid broadcaster in sports history.

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