Maria Taylor makes NBC debut during Olympic coverage, just days after departure from ESPN

Maria Taylor makes NBC debut during Olympic coverage, just days after departure from ESPN

July 24, 2021

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Veteran reporter Maria Taylor made her official debut with NBC during Friday night’s primetime coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, just days after her departure from ESPN.

Anchor Mike Tirico introduced Taylor as the latest member of “our NBC Sports and NBC Olympic family” to which she replied: “It’s an honor to be a part of this team and the Olympic legacy.” 

Taylor joins NBC where she will cover the Olympics and the NFL, including Football Night in America on Sundays and the Super Bowl, the network announced in a press release Friday. 

“Incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with Pete, Molly, Sam, Fred, and the entire NBC Sports family,” she said in a statement. “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.”

Taylor had been with ESPN since 2014 but her contract expired Tuesday. Her last assignment for the network was Tuesday night at the NBA Finals, where she was the pregame and postgame host for the network’s “NBA Countdown” show. 

Amid reports of fallout between both sides, The New York Times published a story detailing comments colleague Rachel Nichols made about Taylor, suggesting that she had been promoted because ESPN was “feeling pressure about your crappy longtime record on diversity.”

Nichols apologized on July 5 while hosting “The Jump.” She was slated to be the sideline reporter for the Finals, but was pulled off the assignment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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