ESPN made official on Wednesday a makeover of its "Monday Night Football" booth, announcing the signings of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, longtime partners on Fox’s No. 1 NFL team.
Aikman was the first to come aboard, after which Fox granted Buck permission last week to talk to ESPN even though he had a year left on his contract there.
The two will replace Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese, who had been the Monday night team for two seasons. That booth got mostly positive reviews, but ESPN went for greater star power with Buck and Aikman.
The two have spent 20 seasons together and are close personally and professionally. They have called six Super Bowls together. Buck also was the voice of the World Series at Fox, calling his first one in 1996.
Fox has not announced who will replace Buck on football or baseball, but Kevin Burkhardt, a former Mets reporter for SNY, is believed to be the leading candidate on the NFL. Fox has two of the next three Super Bowls.
ESPN’s announcement said Buck and Aikman also will contribute content to the digital platform ESPN+ but did not specify what form that would take.
Buck and Aikman will make their regular-season debut on Sept. 12. ESPN also will have its simulcast with Peyton and Eli Manning begin its second season that night.
In a news release, ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said, "When you have the opportunity to bring in the iconic, longest-running NFL broadcasting duo, you take it, especially at a time when we are on the cusp of a new era in our expanding relationship with the NFL."
Said Buck: "Everything about ‘Monday Night Football,’ including the broadcast, set the standard for the modern NFL experience. My earliest memories of walking around football stadiums are tagging along with my dad [Jack] as he called ‘Monday Night Football’ on radio.
"To return to the stadium on Monday nights with Troy — who I have the utmost comfort with and confidence in — and begin a new chapter, for us and ESPN, has me excited about this season and our future."
Said Aikman: "The opportunity to be a voice on ‘Monday Night Football,’ adding to its legacy and being a part of the future of the NFL on ESPN, has me motivated and reflective.
"As a kid in California, the voices of Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, and my mom’s personal favorite, Don Meredith, echoed throughout our living room each week. Joe and I are humbled to be part of that same tradition that has existed for more than 50 years across generations of football fans."
ESPN and ABC will televise the Super Bowl after the 2026 season.