MICHELE TAFOYA JOINS “SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” AS SIDELINE REPORTER
“Michele is well versed in the ways of the National Football League.” – “Sunday Night Football” producer Fred Gaudelli
NEW YORK – May 4, 2011 – Critically acclaimed NFL reporter Michele Tafoya is joining NBC Sports’ award-winning “Sunday Night Football” coverage as sideline and feature reporter, Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Sports Group and Executive Producer, “Sunday Night Football,” announced today.
“Michele is a versatile and experienced reporter who is well versed in the ways of the National Football League,” said SNF producer Fred Gaudelli, who along with play-by-play voice Al Michaels and director Drew Esocoff worked with Tafoya on Monday Night Football from 2004-05 at ABC Sports. “I can speak for Al and Drew when I say that we’re all thrilled to be working with Michele once again.”
Tafoya is a 13-year veteran of the NFL sidelines, having previously reported for CBS, ABC and ESPN. Her extensive experience also includes covering the Olympics, the NBA, college football and college basketball. She joins SNF just two days after an award-filled night for the franchise at the Sports Emmy Awards.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to work with a group for which I have great respect and admiration,” said Tafoya. “I have many friends on this crew and I know how high they set the bar.”
This past Monday night, “Sunday Night Football’s” production team, led by Ebersol and Gaudelli, won its third consecutive Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Series; play-by-play voice Al Michaels was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award; Cris Collinsworth won his third consecutive award for Outstanding Sports Personality in the analyst category; and Bob Costas won for studio host for his work on both the Vancouver Winter Olympics and Football Night in America.
“Sunday Night Football” is also coming off a record year for viewership. Last season it was the No. 1 show all 18 nights (100 percent) vs. its competition (16 Sundays, one Tuesday and one Thursday). In 2009, SNF was the most-watched Sunday night primetime broadcast in a then-record 15 of 16 (94 percent) weeks. In 2008, SNF won 13 of 16 (81 percent) Sunday nights. In 2007, SNF won 11 of 16 (69 percent) and, in 2006, SNF won nine of 16 (56 percent).
For the full 2010 season, “Sunday Night Football” was the most-watched primetime show of the fall television season, averaging 21.8 million viewers, a gain of 12 percent from 2009 (19.4 million), marking the best viewership for the NFL’s premier primetime broadcast package in 14 years.