On Wednesday, ESPN announced that Brent Musburger will leave his partnership with Kirk Herbstreit on ABC’s Saturday Night Football broadcast to join Jesse Palmer to call games for ESPN’s new SEC Network.
It is believed that ESPN did not want to lose Chris Fowler’s services in a contract year, and the GameDay host is the favorite to be in the booth with Herbstreit. There may be a bigger role for Rece Davis as well.
“Brent Musburger is a cultural icon who has been guiding fans through many of sport’s most spectacular moments for decades,” said John Wildhack, ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Production. “His big-game performance and unmistakable style will elevate our football coverage on the SEC Network. Serving as the definitive play-by-play voice for this major network launch represents an exciting new chapter in his legendary career and reinforces our commitment and investment in the SEC Network.”
Musburger “will remain a play-by-play announcer for Big 12 college basketball games across ESPN networks,” according to the network.
“I’m delighted to be staying with ESPN, thrilled to be able to call the best football conference in the nation every week and am really looking forward to working with Jesse, who I covered while he was at Florida,” said Musburger. “Jesse has tremendous football knowledge, knows this league very well and does his homework. He has a tremendous future in this business.”
The BigLead website first reported that Musburger may not call this season’s Saturday night games on ABC.