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Tom Brady joining Fox after retiring, expected to call games with Burkhardt

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady will join Fox “as part of a multi-year deal once he ends his NFL career,” according to Brian Steinberg of VARIETY. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch made the announcement during the company’s investor call this morning. It is expected that Brady will call games with Kevin Burkhardt, who recently was named the net’s top NFL play-by-play announcer. News about Brady’s impending arrival could give Fox a “potential new boost after it lost mainstay announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN” during this offseason (VARIETY.com, 5/10). CNN.com's Frank Pallotta notes Brady is a "big get" for Fox since he is "one of the most well-known figures in sports and pop culture." His name alone "should get some new viewers to tune in" (CNN.com, 5/10). In N.Y., Mather & Draper note former players, and especially QBs, have been "courted for decades to transition to the broadcast booth at the end of their playing careers," but the "competition to land the next star broadcaster has heated up to the point that some specially coveted players now sign television contracts before they are done playing." Players recently have been "immediately plugged into top broadcast teams, with mixed results." CBS' Tony Romo in '17 "was a revelation with his play predicting abilities," though ESPN "had far less success" the following year with Jason Witten (N.Y. TIMES, 5/10).

MONEY MOVES: ESPN’s Booger McFarland noted announcing post-career plans while still playing “is the new trend,” as Drew Brees “did the same thing with NBC.” McFarland: "I just wonder what that number was that the Murdoch family offered to Tom Brady, who has everything in life, to come and call NFL football games.” ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth: “He must be thinking about it happening soon. I don’t think he’d be making these plans if it wasn’t something that was going to happen soon. But it may just be all the money they’re throwing at him." Meanwhile, Foxworth added Brady has a "level of credibility that could allow him to do something a little bit interesting in the booth ... (and) loosens up a little bit and gives us a little personality." Foxworth: "I’m not sure how much personality he actually has, but if anybody has the latitude to give us some more fun in the booth, it could be Tom Brady.” ESPN's Dianna Russini: “This isn’t just a side hustle job he’s going to do in between some modeling campaigns. He is legit going to have to be all in” (“Get Up,” ESPN, 5/10).

GET YOUR SCORECARDS OUT: YAHOO SPORTS' Liz Roscher notes Brady's new job is "just the latest development in an unexpectedly wild time" for NFL announcers, as the television landscape this offseason has been "shaken up like Yahtzee dice." Al Michaels moved to Amazon to call the "TNF" games on Prime Video with Kirk Herbstreit. That left Mike Tirico to replace Michaels at NBC, where he will call games with the returning Cris Collinsworth. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman left Fox and "jumped ship to ESPN and landed major contracts." Burkhardt was elevated to Buck's old job, and Brady "will be joining him in a year or two." Fox has not named "who will sit beside Burkhardt until then -- Greg Olsen was his partner last season -- but it'll have to be someone who's fine with being a seat-warmer for Brady" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/10).

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