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Source: Noam Galai / Getty
After being in the center of controversy over at ESPN, Maria Taylor didn’t renew her contract and transitioned over to NBC Sports. Taylor made her debut as a sports anchor for NBC during coverage of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics on July 23. While covering the Olympics, she will be co-hosting Prime Plus with Mike Tirico, who also gave her a warm welcome to the NBC team during the opening ceremony coverage. As a NBC sports anchor, she will also be covering NFL games on Football Night in America and Super Bowls as well.
— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) July 23, 2021
“Incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with Pete, Molly, Sam, Fred, and the entire NBC Sports family,” Taylor said in a statement released by NBC. “Literally, hosting the Olympics, Football Night in America, and the Super Bowl is what I dreamed of when I started in television – and this would not be possible without standing on the shoulders of all of those who came before me and made this path possible. And I plan to pay it forward.”
Chairman of NBC Sports Pete Bevacqua said Taylor is a going to help NBC Sports’ team elevate.
“Maria has excelled in a wide range of roles at marquee events, and will be a powerful addition to our team,” he said. “We are always looking to improve, and Maria is going to make us better. We are very excited for her to join us right away in Tokyo.”
Coincidentally, Taylor’s contract with ESPN ended shortly after correspondent Rachel Nichols was exposed for making insensitive comments about Taylor covering the NBA Finals last year.
“I wish Maria Taylor all the success in the world — she covers football, she covers basketball,” Nichols said to LeBron James’ spokesperson Adam Mendelsohn. “If you need to give her more things to do because you are feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity — which, by the way, I know personally from the female side of it — like, go for it. Just find it somewhere else. You are not going to find it from me or taking my thing away.”
She added, “I just want them to go somewhere else — it’s in my contract, by the way; this job is in my contract in writing.”
Taylor received a promotion to being ESPN’s pregame and halftime shows during the NBA Finals after the incident but left the network shortly after. Nichols then lost her role as the NBA Finals’ sideline reporter and replaced by Malika Andrews.