Chris Fowler on 'Saturday Night' call

Chris Fowler and Mark Dantonio

BRISTOL, Conn. -- Chris Fowler is taking over play-by-play responsibilities for marquee Saturday night college football games on ABC.

ESPN announced Thursday that Fowler had signed a nine-year contract extension through 2023. The network said a day earlier that Brent Musburger was leaving "Saturday Night Football" and will do games for the SEC Network.

Fowler will continue to host "College GameDay" on Saturday mornings, then travel to the site of the prime-time game if it's in a different location, as analyst Kirk Herbstreit already does.

Fowler and Herbstreit have worked together on "GameDay" since 1996 and will team up on Saturday night games.

Fowler joined ESPN in 1986 and has hosted "GameDay" since 1990.

He called ESPN's Thursday night college football games from 2006 to 2009. Fowler will continue to host and announce tennis coverage from the Grand Slam tournaments.

Musburger, a Hall of Fame sportscaster, and former Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer will kick off the season Aug. 28, calling SEC Network's Texas A&M-South Carolina game in Columbia, S.C. Palmer's new deal with ESPN, meanwhile, includes his continuation as an analyst on ESPN's "Thursday Night College Football" package.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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