Tim Brando, the legendary college football and basketball broadcaster, weighed in on NBC’s reported decision to remove Al Michaels from NFL playoff coverage this season.
Brando appeared on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich” Tuesday and called the decision “scary for guys like me.”
The FOX Sports announcer lamented the trend of broadcasting companies looking to produce games on the cheap because of astronomical rights fees to even air sporting events.
“So, the announcers matter, yeah, but do we matter as much? That becomes, I think, a question,” Brando explained to Dakich. “The loss of Paul Azinger on golf, cutting him loose. Billy Packer’s son Brandt, I think one of the best golf producers on the planet, just found out his contract wasn’t being renewed. And Brandt is outstanding. … We’re seeing this across the board beginning to happen.
“When I hear about it happen to someone like Al, that’s pretty unique because you would think he would be above that. Maybe it’s just their way of saying, the industry’s way of saying, ‘OK, you’ve had your day. It’s time to move on.’ But if you still got your fastball — and I think he does — it’s hard. I felt the same way about (Brent) Musburger. They ran him out too soon even though he was well into his mid-to-late 70s.”
Brando compared the move to universities changing athletic directors and TV shows changing executive producers, saying when that happens you have to keep your “head on a swivel.”
“But that’s what’s happening in our business,” he added. “Younger guys coming up are getting great opportunities, and that’s good. But if it’s at the cost of losing some of our really big and outstanding iconic voices, it’s kind of a shame.”
Michaels, 79, moved to Amazon Prime’s “Thursday Night Football” coverage in 2022 alongside Kirk Herbstreit.
He was assigned last season’s Los Angeles Chargers-Jacksonville Jaguars AFC wild-card playoff game. The Jaguars made a dramatic second-half comeback to win, and Michaels and analyst Tony Dungy were criticized by fans for a lack of enthusiasm.
Michaels has gotten the same criticism this season with Thursday night’s schedule not featuring many intriguing matchups.
The New York Post reported NBC’s decision to remove Michaels from coverage. NBC Sports Vice President Greg Hughes confirmed the news to the outlet.
Michaels was seemingly stunned when he talked to the New York Post about the move.
“It’s in my deal,” he told the newspaper. “Where are you hearing that from? That’s part of my deal. Are you hearing something that I’m not hearing?”
NBC will broadcast three playoff games in January.
Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth are scheduled to handle two, while Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge and Kathryn Teppen will be on the call for one of the doubleheaders early in the month, the New York Post reported.