Mike Tirico, Al Michaels, and Dan Hicks are among the NBC Sports on-air personalities who will take a pay cut for the rest of the year, the latest TV-sports team to agree to salary reductions in the wake of the effects of the nation’s coronavirus pandemic on the sports business.
“Our on-air personalities reached out to see how they could contribute to helping our company at this difficult time, and all have voluntarily accepted temporary pay reductions,” said Pete Bevacqua, president of NBC Sports Group, in a prepared statement. “It’s another reminder of the truly great team we have at NBC Sports, and how we’re all working together to get through this immense challenge.” NBC Sports boasts telecasts of “Sunday Night Football’ as well as NHL games and Premier League soccer.
The pay cuts were reported previously by Sports Business Journal.
The move by the NBC Sports employees follows similar salary maneuvers for talent at ESPN and Fox Sports. Top ESPN announcers agreed to a 15% pay cut over the course of three months, while Fox Sports on-air staffers agreed to a similar reduction.
NBCUniversal and its corporate parent, Comcast, has made no secret of the challenges it faces due to the pandemic. The company’s theme parks have closed. Its planned 2020 telecast of the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed. And ad sales have slowed in recent weeks. Senior executives at NBCU took a 20% cut in salary, while those being paid more than $100,000 saw compensation reduced by 3%.
Cuts at NBC Sports are likely to fall in the 5% to 10% range, according to a person familiar with the matter, but salaries are expected to stay at those levels for the rest of 2020.