NBC is parting ways with renowned play-by-play legend Al Michaels, choosing not to renew his contract to call NFL playoffs after a 16-year run as the network's Sunday night voice. (Keith Allison / Wikimedia)

End of Era: Legendary Broadcaster Al Michaels and NBC Part Ways Ahead of NFL Playoffs

NBC is reportedly not renewing its contract with renowned sports broadcaster Al Michaels to call NFL playoff games this season, ending a storied 16-year run, reports Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

The 79-year-old Michaels, heralded as one of the greatest American play-by-play announcers, was apparently unaware that his role was in jeopardy.

“It’s in my deal,” Michaels said last month when asked about NBC’s uncertainty over his playoff coverage. “Where are you hearing that from? That’s part of my deal.”

Michaels joined NBC in 2006 after three decades with ABC. He became the voice of “Sunday Night Football,” but lost his Sunday role last year to Mike Tirico.

NBC gave Michaels an emeritus title, allowing him to still contribute to playoff coverage. But his shifting role came amid strife with NBC executives, per Marchand’s reporting.

Michaels and analyst Tony Dungy called the Jacksonville Jaguars’ thrilling wildcard comeback over the Los Angeles Chargers last January. Michaels later dismissed criticism that he and Dungy lacked energy during the game broadcast.

With the playoffs starting January 13th, NBC will use two broadcasting teams for its four games. Tirico and Cris Collinsworth will call three games. College football broadcasters Noah Eagle, 27, and Todd Blackledge will call the fourth game. Eagle will also feature on Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” telecast of the Super Bowl.

Michaels took an Amazon Prime Video role last season, now heard calling “Thursday Night Football.” His absence from NBC’s playoffs marks the likely end of an era, as no television broadcaster has called more Super Bowls than his record-tying 11 assignments.