07-10-2005, 01:41 PM
NBC Sports Boss Dick Ebersol has said he was interested in pursuing Al Michaels, John Madden's ABC "Monday Night Football" booth mate. ABC Sports/ESPN boss George Bodenheimer made Madden an offer to join ESPN's "Monday Night Football" team (that package debuts in 2006, too), but the Big Man turned that offer down. What's left of our brain tells us Mr. Bodenheimer likely has pitched Michaels on becoming his No. 1 NFL play-by-play man. This is a move with two faces. ESPN needs to save face after losing Madden, who was a member in good standing of the Disney/ABC/ESPN family. Bodenheimer also needs a marquee face for what clearly will be the most high-profile sports package ESPN has ever aired. NBC is committed to paying Madden $24 million over six years. It is highly doubtful Ebersol is going to shell out that kind of moo-la-di to land Michaels. Say ESPN offers Michaels $2 million a year more than NBC. Michaels would have to leave $12 million on the table to work for Ebersol.