Fox Corp. executive chair and CEO Lachlan Murdoch dropped the Brady bomb this morning about 15 minutes into the company’s third-quarter earnings call. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Murdoch revealed Brady has inked a multiyear deal to call Fox’s marquee Sunday NFL games alongside lead play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt.
“We are delighted that Tom has committed to joining the Fox team and we wish him all the best during this upcoming season,” Murdoch told investors. When asked about a time frame for Brady coming onboard the flagship broadcast team, Murdoch said, “That is up to him to make that choice when he sees fit,” before adding that Brady will “also serve as an ambassador for us, particularly with respect to client and promotional initiatives.”
The New York Post reported the pact is worth $375 million over 10 years. Fox denied those numbers. “What has been reported isn’t an accurate description of the deal and we have not released details beyond what was disclosed on our quarterly earnings call,” the company said in a statement.
The Fox “America’s Game of the Week” window, which airs in the late (4:20 p.m. ET) Sunday afternoon slot, has been the most-watched TV program for 13 years running. This past season, the national showcase averaged 23.1 million viewers, edging CBS’s own coast-to-coast NFL broadcast. Per Standard Media Index data, Fox’s Sunday NFL games generate more than $1.4 billion in net ad sales revenue.
When Brady hangs up his cleats for the last time—the quarterback flirted with retirement earlier this year, only to reverse his decision a few weeks later—he’ll assume the post vacated by Aikman, who called the action in the Fox booth for 20 seasons before jumping ship to ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Disney also landed Aikman’s partner, Joe Buck, with whom he has worked since 2002.
Disney’s booth upgrade will cost it some $167.5 million over the next five NFL seasons.
Brady’s retirement plan is only the latest in a series of top-shelf booth moves. Shortly after Aikman and Buck landed at Disney, NBC Sports’ lead NFL voice, Al Michaels, announced he was moving on to helm Amazon Prime’s new Thursday Night Football production. Mike Tirico will take over Michaels’ spot, where he’ll call Sunday Night Football alongside NBC mainstay Cris Collinsworth.
Forgoing a more traditional booth assignment, the Bros. Manning have carved out a new niche for themselves with their eponymous Monday Night Football simulcast on ESPN2.
Brady confirmed his new professional affiliation via his Twitter account, where he posted a link to a Fox Sports statement and the words, “Excited, but a lot of unfinished business on the field with the Buccaneers.”
In cementing his return to the Bucs, Brady this fall will embark on his 23rd NFL campaign. He led Tampa to a Super Bowl victory in 2021, his first season in South Florida after breaking things off with the New England Patriots.
— Sportico (@Sportico) May 10, 2022
(This story has been update in the fourth paragraph with a report of the contract’s value and a statement by Fox Sports.)