By letting Joe Buck walk a year early to join broadcast partner Troy Aikman in ESPN Monday Night Football booth, FOX was able to procure the broadcasting rights to the Ohio State-Notre Dame game for this upcoming college football season.
With Joe Buck going to ESPN to call Monday Night Football, FOX received the broadcasting rights for the Ohio State-Notre Dame game this season by letting him out of his contract one year early.
Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported FOX would be allowed to choose one Big Ten football game from ESPN’s package for letting Buck hit his free agency one year sooner. ESPN and FOX share the broadcasting rights for the Big Ten, using a drafting system to select games. Bryan Fischer of Athlon Sports reported the game FOX is getting is the Notre Dame at Ohio State game.
Ohio State hosts Notre Dame at The Horseshoe on Sept. 3, the first game of the season for both.
FOX gets Ohio State-Notre Dame for letting Joe Buck walk a year early to ESPN
This feels like a fair trade given the overall circumstances. Had FOX refused to let Buck out of his contract, he would have had to take on a new partner in the booth to replace Aikman. It would have also prevented him from going to ESPN the following year, as Aikman’s partner in the Monday night booth would have been someone like Al Michaels, who could be going to Amazon.
FOX could look to promote Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen up to the No. 1 booth to replace Buck and Aikman. As far as World Series coverage is concerned, Joe Davis may be the guy stepping up to the plate to fill the void of Buck next to John Smoltz. If he can replace Vin Scully calling games for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Davis can replace Buck as the lead MLB play-by-play guy at FOX.
As far as ESPN giving up the broadcasting rights to Notre Dame at Ohio State, that is just part of business here. They will be willing to sacrifice a Labor Day Weekend game that will get a huge number with the hopes that Buck and Aikman can make Monday Night Football something to be proud of again. This game also gives FOX one more opportunity to strut its stuff on fall Saturdays.
The Buck stops here at FOX with ESPN trading over the live rights to Notre Dame at Ohio State.