Skip to content

Maria Taylor officially joins NBC Sports shortly after departure from ESPN

Arguably the busiest woman in sports managed to lead NBA Finals coverage on ESPN at the beginning of a week, and appear on NBC’s Olympics coverage just a few days later.

Shortly after her contract with ESPN expired, Maria Taylor joined the NBC Sports family as the 2021 Summer Olympics got underway on the latter’s air.

>>RELATED: Could Peyton Manning’s new deal lead to a permanent spot on Monday Night Football?

Taylor hosted ESPN’s NBA Finals coverage throughout the six-game series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns, even working out an agreement with the higher-ups at ESPN to extend her deal long enough to cover the pivotal Game 6 in Milwaukee.

A day after the NBA Finals wrapped up, Taylor’s obligation to ESPN was over, and the two sides jointly announced that they would each be heading their separate ways moving forward.

“Maria’s remarkable success speaks directly to her abilities and work ethic,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro wrote in a statement. “There is no doubt we will miss Maria, but we remain determined to continue to build a deep and skilled talent roster that thoroughly reflects the athletes we cover and the fans we serve. While she chose to pursue a new opportunity, we are proud of the work we’ve done together.”

In Taylor’s statement, the Georgia native expressed her gratitude for her tenure at ESPN, which included coverage of collegiate sports, the NBA, the NFL and more.

>>RELATED: Let’s make a deal: Five trades for networks to propose if they could move announcers and analysts

So thankful to Jimmy and all of my great teammates and friends at the SEC Network, College GameDay, Women’s and Men’s college basketball, and the NBA Countdown family — the people who believed in me, encouraged me, pushed me, and lifted me up,” Taylor said. “Words are inadequate to express my boundless appreciation, and I hope to make them proud.”

Just two days later, Taylor was introduced by NBC Sports’ Mike Tirico as a member of NBC’s Summer Olympics team, live from Tokyo Bay Terrace.

“Maria has excelled in a wide range of roles at marquee events, and will be a powerful addition to our team,” NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement. We are always looking to improve, and Maria is going to make us better. We are very excited for her to join us right away in Tokyo.”

Taylor and Tirico’s paths will cross frequently over the next few years on NBC Sports programming, as NBC said Taylor will serve as a host and contributor for Football Night in America and Super Bowls in the coming years, along with work on “premier NBC Sports properties.”

Tirico currently hosts Football Night in America for NBC’s Sunday Night Football games, and seems to be next in line to replace Al Michaels in the SNF booth alongside analyst Cris Collinsworth when Michaels’ contract runs out following the 2021 NFL season.

>>RELATED: ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt talks impact of social media on shows like SportsCenter, players controlling messages, future of sports television

Taylor will undoubtedly add loads of value to NBC Sports broadcasts, bringing a wide-ranging background as a studio host across a litany of sports to coincide with years of sideline reporting experience in a variety of settings.

In the first seven months of 2021 alone, she contributed to ESPN’s College Football Playoffs, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament, the 2020-2021 NBA season, and the entirety of the NBA postseason, all before heading to Tokyo for the Summer Olympics.

“Literally, hosting the Olympics, Football Night in America, and the Super Bowl is what I dreamed of when I started in television – and this would not be possible without standing on the shoulders of all of those who came before me and made this path possible,” Taylor said in NBC’s press release. “And I plan to pay it forward.”

Like this story? Let us know by following @SOTSports on Twitter or by liking our Facebook page!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: