It looks like we’re getting very close to Maria Taylor‘s departure from ESPN. As she’s struggled to find common ground with her company, NBC is waiting in the wings.
According to reports, NBC is trying to make this move quick. Front Office Sports says that the deal is “at the half-yard line” to land the talented host, who has covered a number of major sports, including college football and the NBA.
Among the major jobs she could take on at NBC is host of Sunday’s Football Night in America. That show, which leads into Sunday Night Football, is currently hosted by Mike Tirico. He’s in line to take over play-by-play duties from Al MIchaels.
The more pressing concern is coverage of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. New York Post sports media insider Andrew Marchand says that NBC hopes to land Taylor in time to have her cover that huge event, which starts in just over a week.
NEWS: NBC is trying to poach ESPN's Maria Taylor to work the Olympics, The Post has learned.
The Olympics start in a little more than a week.https://t.co/ISh2pI0KcX
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) July 15, 2021
“NBC is trying to sign ESPN’s Maria Taylor so she can be part of its Olympic coverage that begins in a little more than a week on July 23,” Marchand reports. “Taylor is hosting the NBA Finals for ESPN, but her contract runs out on July 20. Game 6 is Tuesday, July 20, while a potential Game 7 is scheduled for next Thursday, July 22.”
Taylor was at the center of multiple major ESPN-focused stories in recent weeks. It was reported that she had previously been offered upwards of $5 million per year, while she was said to want “Stephen A. Smith money.” He makes $12 million per year total, including his salary and production deal. More recent offers for Taylor are around $3 million per year.
Around the same time, the 2020 recording of Rachel Nichols venting about Taylor beating her out for that summer’s NBA Finals hosting gig leaked, sparking a scandal within the Worldwide Leader. Now it appears that Taylor is likely on her way out after a year of drama.