ESPN's Berman Continues As NFL Host
Talent comes and goes at ESPN, but there are a handful of on-air personalities that represent so much of the network’s heritage it’s fair to say ESPN would have a hard time not renewing
contracts. One is Dick Vitale. Bob Ley is another. And, of course, Chris Berman, who joined the network in its founding year of 1979.
ESPN said Friday that Berman has re-upped in a deal that will keep him at ESPN through about 2019, when the network will turn 40. His new deal takes effect next year.
Berman will remain as the main host of ESPN’s NFL studio shows, such as “Sunday NFL Countdown” and the “Monday Night Football” halftime show, while also working the NFL draft.
In his days as a “SportsCenter” host, Berman offered hilarious and clever nicknames for baseball players, such as Bert “Be Home” Blyleven and Butch “Oil And” Wynegar. Web sites have archived them, and there are ample debates about all-time favorites.
ESPN President John Skipper stated: “On the day we commemorate our company’s birthday, it’s fitting we extend our relationship with Chris, arguably the most recognizable face and voice in ESPN’s history. Since arriving in Bristol in 1979, Chris’ passion and enthusiasm, and, of course his signature highlights, have long been his trademarks, earning him a special place among fans for more than three decades.”
Berman will host what’s now known as “Sunday NFL Countdown” for a 28th year this fall and do play-by-play for an NFL game for the first time Monday.
“I never could have dreamed that ESPN would be my home as a young man in his 20s all the way to a not-so-young man in his 60s,” Berman stated.