Behind the Mic: Darke In, Tyler Out as Voice of ESPN’s 2014 World Cup; NBC Adds Kerrigan to Sochi Olympics Lineup

Ian Darke is in and Martin Tyler is out for ESPN’s 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage from Brazil. Darke, ESPN’s lead voice for international soccer since 2010 and one of several ESPN play-by-play callers at the 2010 World Cup in Brazil, will serve as the lead play-by-play commentator in Brazil, calling Brazil vs. Croatia opening match on Thursday, June 12, in Sao Paulo, the final and other matches, including all U.S. Men’s National Team matches.

Meanwhile, Tyler, the company’s lead English-language commentator for the 2010 FIFA World Cup (including the Final in South Africa), requested for and was been granted a release from an agreement to commentate the next World Cup for ESPN, which says the separation is mutual. Tyler – the lead football voice for Sky Sports and a voice at every World Cup since 1978 – is now free to work with other FIFA media partners during the World Cup…

…Two-time Olympic figure skating medalist Nancy Kerrigan will join NBC Olympics for its 2014 Olympic Winter Games coverage in Sochi, Russia. Kerrigan will serve as a figure skating analyst for NBC Olympics’ multi-platform coverage, including on NBC and NBCSN. In addition, she will appear on numerous NBCUniversal shows and properties including TODAY, Access Hollywood and E!  Kerrigan’s broadcast experience includes work as a special correspondent for Entertainment Tonight at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and hosting Nancy Kerrigan’s World of Skating on CN8 (now The Comcast Network) in Philadelphia. Kerrigan also served as lead color analyst for from 2007-2008…

…ESPN has hired the ultra-divisive Tim Tebow as its first college football analyst for the SEC Network, which launches in August 2014. Through a multi-year agreement, the former Heisman-winning Florida quarterback and NFL stall-out will primarily serve as an analyst for SEC Nation, the network’s traveling pregame show that will originate from a different SEC campus each week beginning August 28, 2014. In the months leading up to launch and after, he will contribute to a variety of ESPN platforms including SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, and the network’s Heisman Trophy coverage. Tebow made his first appearance as an ESPN analyst during the network’s BCS Chapionship coverage on Jan. 6 On Monday, Jan. 6, He will contribute to the 9 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter, College Football Live (3 p.m.) and College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (7 p.m.). He will also be part of studio coverage for the new College Football Playoff (semifinals and championship game), which begins next season…

…After 43 consecutive years in the NFL as a Hall of Fame player for the St. Louis Cardinals and Hall of Fame broadcaster for CBS Sports and ABC Sports, Dan Dierdorf will call the final game of his broadcasting career on Saturday, Jan. 11 (8:00 PM, ET) in prime time as the AFC South Champions and No. 4-seeded Indianapolis Colts (12-5) play the AFC East Champions and No. 2-seeded New England Patriots (12-4). Dierdorf called his first game for THE NFL ON CBS on Sunday, Sept. 15, 1985 serving as the play-by-play announcer alongside analyst Jean Fugett for the Minnesota Vikings-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game.  Dave Dinkins was the producer and current NFL TODAY director Bob Matina directed the game…

…Current Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Steve Letarte has reached an agreement to join NBC’s multi-platform NASCAR coverage beginning in 2015. Letarte will join fellow analyst Jeff Burton and race announcer Rick Allen across NBC Sports Group’s exclusive coverage of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series action on NBC and NBCSN, which includes races, pre- and post-race shows, qualifying, and studio programming. Click here for more information on Jeff Burton and Rick Allen. Letarte previously served as crew chief for Jeff Gordon’s famed No. 24 race team, and now leads the crew behind the ultra-popular No. 88 car driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr….

…Feld Motor Sports and FOX Sports have announced the television broadcast team for the 2014 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, season on FOX Sports. Joining play-by-play announcer Ralph Sheheen in the booth will be 1997 450SX Class Champion Jeff Emig and pit reporter Jenny Taft. Additionally, a trio of former champions will share time as the color analyst: Five-time 450SX Class Champion Ricky Carmichael, seven-time 450SX Class Champion Jeremy McGrath, and two-time 250SX Class Champion Kevin Windham. The live broadcasts began earlier this month on Fox Sports 1…

…SiriusXM continues to bolster its PGA Tour Radio lineup, signing 2002 PGA Champion Rich Beem to host a new weekly show on the channel. Beem made his debut on Jan. 6 and will host every Monday from 1:00 to 3:00 pm ET on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.  Beem will take calls from listeners around the country and recap the weekend’s golf as he offers his audience a player’s perspective on the game.  He will discuss the headline stories from the world of golf, interview players and others, and preview events and courses throughout the season.In addition to Beem, SiriusXM recently announced it has added shows hosted by 2013 FedExCup champion Henrik Stenson, Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, World Golf Hall of Fame member Ben Crenshaw, top instructors Hank Haney, David Leadbetter and Jim McLean…

…SiriusXM also announced that comedian and former pro soccer player Kevin Flynn will host a new show on SiriusXM’s 24/7 soccer channel. Over the Ball, which will bring together the worlds of soccer, comedy and entertainment, will debut January 15 and air every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 11:00 am ET on SiriusXM FC,

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