Maria Taylor joins NBC after ESPN exit, controversy

·1 min read

Maria Taylor is taking her talents to NBC.

Taylor’s debut came Friday night on the network’s prime-time rerun of the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, where she joined Mike Tirico and several others from Japan.

“It’s an honor to be part of this team and the Olympic legacy,” Taylor said on the broadcast.

She’ll also be part of the network’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts on the pregame show, “Football Night in America.”

“Literally, hosting the Olympics, ‘Football Night in America’ and the Super Bowl is what I dreamed of when I started in television,” Taylor said in an NBC Sports press release. “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.”

The 34-year-old broadcaster left ESPN after her contract expired Tuesday, the same day she finished her work on “NBA Countdown” as the NBA Finals ended.

Taylor’s next move was the subject of much speculation, as her departure came two weeks after a story broke about then-colleague Rachel Nichols making disparaging comments about Taylor. Nichols implied that Taylor only got the high-profile NBA gig because she is Black.

“Maria has excelled in a wide range of roles at marquee events, and will be a powerful addition to our team,” NBC Sports boss Pete Bevacqua said in the release. “We are always looking to improve, and Maria is going to make us better. We are very excited for her to join us right away in Tokyo.”

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