Taylor’s contract expired on Tuesday, the day the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Championship in Game 6. Executives feared the situation would get more complicated if they were to replace Taylor in Game 7.
But they managed to strike a deal for Taylor to stay with the company until the end of the final, and ESPN executives kept trying to re-sign her to a long-term contract until all. recently.
No new destination for Taylor has been announced, but she is close to signing a deal with NBC, according to two people familiar with the negotiations who were not authorized to speak publicly. At NBC, Taylor could become the studio host for the NFL pre-game show “Football Night in America” and the Super Bowl when it comes to the network’s turn to air it. The Olympics, tennis and horse racing are also reportedly options on NBC.
Taylor’s departure could force big changes in ESPN’s NBA coverage.
At a minimum, the company will need to pick a new host for “NBA Countdown,” its pre-game and halftime show, which has changed staff over the years in an ineffective attempt to catch up with the much-loved “Inside the NBA “from TNT, or even its own” College GameDay “. It may also be necessary to find a new production structure: just before the start of the season, at the end of 2020, the main producer who ran “NBA Countdown” left ESPN and a vice president above her was fired. .
ESPN must also decide to return Nichols to his role as senior reporter for NBA games next season. She was replaced in the NBA Finals by Malika Andrews, who previously worked at The Times.
Taylor’s departure leaves a void in other areas for ESPN. She is also an analyst on “College GameDay,” the secondary reporter for the College Football National Championship game and features coverage of the Women’s College Basketball Tournament and the NFL Draft.