May 15, 2018 / 5:18 AM / 7 months ago

Buck-Aikman to call Fox Thursday night NFL games

Former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath (L) and Fox TV announcer Joe Buck introduce the class of 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees during the NFL Honors award show in New York February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

When Fox takes over broadcasts of Thursday night NFL games this season, it will have its No. 1 announcer team at the microphone.

Joe Buck will be doing the play-by-play, and his partner for the last 16 years, Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, will call all 13 Thursday games as well as Fox’s biggest game most Sundays, Fox Sports president John Shanks told Sports Business Daily.

Buck typically misses a few NFL weekends to call baseball postseason contests, but it wasn’t announced who would pair with Aikman if that pattern holds for this coming NFL season.

This is Fox’s first foray into Thursday night games, having signed a five-year deal with the NFL. Included are games between Weeks 4-15 — with Thanksgiving excluded — to be broadcast on Fox, simulcast via NFL Network and distributed in Spanish on Fox Deportes.

“Since acquiring the rights to ‘Thursday Night Football,’ we knew we wanted a big-game feel,” Fox Sports executive producer John Entz said in a statement. “There is no other tandem that is more synonymous with big NFL games on Fox than Joe and Troy.”

The new contract with Fox was the first time the league didn’t mandate that a network use its top broadcast team, but Fox ended up there anyway when its reported first choice, a team including retired quarterback Peyton Manning, turned down the offer.

Buck and Aikman’s first Thursday game will be Sept. 13 as the Cincinnati Bengals host the Baltimore Ravens. That game and the New York Jets’ Sept. 20 game at the Cleveland Browns will air exclusively on NFL Network.

—Field Level Media

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