ESPN’s Mike Tirico, the play-by-play voice of ‘Monday Night Football’, is leaving the network to join NBC, according to Sports Business Daily’s John OurandLarry Lage of the Associated Press confirmed the report.

ESPN’s MNF Announcer Mike Tirico Reportedly Leaving For NBC

Tirico, 49, has been with ESPN since 1991 and has called Monday night games for the network since 2006. He also announces NBA games and previously worked major golf tournaments. His current contract with ESPN reportedly expires this summer. Tirico will continue to cover the NBA playoffs for ESPN.

Ourand reported that Sean McDonough is the lead candidate to replace Tirico on MNF. Tirico will now become the chief play-by-play man for NBC’s newly acquired five-game Thursday night NFL package. NBC has deals with the PGA Tour and British Open, both of which Tirico, a golf enthusiast, could also potentially be involved with. Al Michaels, who does play-by-play for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, has two years left on his deal. NBC also owns the rights to the Olympics.

Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports, who previously worked at ESPN, had high praise for Tirico:

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Skip Bayless, a commentator on ESPN’s ‘First Take’ Alongside Stephen A. Smith, also announced he will be leaving the network for Fox Sports once his contract expires at the end of August.

DALLAS – FEBRUARY 05: ESPN’s Mike Tirico moderates the Bing World Champion Quarterback Panel at the ESPN NEXT Experience on February 5, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Bing)

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