Adam Amin will return to the Bears’ preseason TV booth when they kick off Aug. 13. But as much as that job means to the Addison Trail High School alum, there might be a higher-profile job in his future.
Since Fox promoted Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen to its top NFL broadcast crew after Joe Buck and Troy Aikman left for ESPN, the network has been figuring out how the rest of its roster will line up. Amin, who joined Fox in 2020 after 10 years at ESPN, is in the mix for the No. 2 team.
Amin, 35, and Joe Davis, 34, are the favorites for the play-by-play job, which comes with some prime matchups and playoff games. This season, Fox will air two wild-card games and two NFC divisional games.
Amin, who has been the Bulls’ TV voice since 2020, has made a name for himself at Fox, calling NFL and MLB games. He has impressed viewers nationally with his enthusiasm, knowledge and presence. He has a strong voice that gives the broadcast gravity and a big-game feel. But he’s also comfortable and conversational and engages well with analysts.
Davis is a quality broadcaster, too. He joined Fox in 2014 to call baseball and college basketball and football. He succeeded Vin Scully as the Dodgers’ TV voice in 2017, and Fox named him its lead MLB voice this year. But he doesn’t sound as gregarious as Amin, and his seemingly quiet nature can lead to a quiet broadcast. Not that he doesn’t get excited. He’s just a more buttoned-up broadcaster.
When Amin is on the air, you know it. His voice booms. Bulls fans can attest to the excitement he brings to broadcasts, and that’s what an NFL game requires. He’s also a fountain of information, a product of his thorough preparation.
But this isn’t just about what Fox could give Amin. It’s also about what Amin could give Fox. Amin is of Pakistani descent; there aren’t many U.S. sportscasters who look like him. Fox executives could boost diversity among the top NFL TV crews with his promotion.
They also could avoid conflicts that would crop up with Davis in October. Whereas Buck would join Fox’s MLB postseason coverage in the league championship series, Davis will start in the divisional round. Amin will call only a division series and might miss just one NFL game. If Davis lands the NFL job, he’ll give up his college football duties.
To be sure, Fox loves Amin and Davis, and the two are good friends. Both are deserving of such a high-profile job. But Amin brings more to the table as a broadcaster without many potential scheduling conflicts (the Bulls accommodate him for his Fox work). We should know the network’s decision in a couple of weeks.
- ESPN and ABC will broadcast WNBA All-Star Weekend from Chicago. ESPN will carry the skills competition from McCormick Place at 2 p.m. Saturday, and ABC will air the All-Star Game from Wintrust Arena at noon Sunday. Play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco, analyst Rebecca Lobo and sideline reporter Holly Rowe will call the events.
- The Bulls begin NBA Summer League play Friday in Las Vegas. Their opener against the Mavericks is at 3 p.m. on ESPNU. That’s followed by games Sunday against the Knicks (4 p.m., ESPN2), Tuesday against the Raptors (4 p.m., NBA) and Thursday against the Hornets (5 p.m., ESPN2).
- White Sox radio voice Len Kasper will fill in for Jason Benetti on NBC Sports Chicago’s broadcast of the Tigers-Sox game Sunday. Benetti returns to Peacock’s “MLB Sunday Leadoff” booth, where he’ll call Angels-Orioles after a week off. The streamer aired a game without regular announcers last week.
- ESPN’s documentary on legendary college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, “Dickie V,” will premiere July 20 on ESPN+ and air at 3 p.m. July 23 on ESPN. His first broadcast for the network was a DePaul-Wisconsin game Dec. 5, 1979, at Alumni Hall. The No. 10 Blue Demons won 90-77.
- Spring football has a place on the TV landscape. The USFL championship Sunday night on Fox averaged 1.517 million viewers, peaking at 1.834 million. The Birmingham Stallions beat the Philadelphia Stars 33-30.
Here’s some interesting information from Fox Sports executive vice president, head of strategy and analytics Michael Mulvihill. He tweeted a list of the top networks for sports-event viewing in minutes for the first half of 2022, using Nielsen Media Research. Fox has finished the last three years No. 1 in the category. It won’t have “Thursday Night Football” this fall, but it will have the World Cup.
1. NBC - 117.2 billion minutes
2. CBS - 98.1
3. ESPN - 95.0
4. Fox - 63.4
5. TNT - 52.1
6. ABC - 51.8
7. USA - 29.4
8. ESPN2 - 20.9
9. FS1 - 17.1
10. Golf - 16.0