NBC quickly hires Maria Taylor after her departure from ESPN

Maria Taylor has joined NBC less than a week after her contract with ESPN expired

Maria Taylor has joined NBC less than a week after her contract with ESPN expired.

NBC formally made the announcement during its primetime Olympic show Friday before a replay of the opening ceremony.

ESPN and Taylor announced Wednesday that they could not agree on a new contract. Her first assignment for NBC will be the Tokyo Olympics, where she will join Mike Tirico during the nightly 2 1/2 to 3 hours of “Prime Plus” coverage as well as serve as a correspondent.

“Maria has excelled in a wide range of roles at marquee events, and will be a powerful addition to our team. 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,” NBC Sports chairman Pete Bevacqua said in a statement.

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. Taylor had hosted “NBA Countdown” since 2019 as well as being a reporter for “College GameDay” and ABC “Saturday Night Football” since 2017.

Taylor 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.”

Nichols, who is white, was introduced in September 2019 as the NBA Finals host but the network later decided to promote Taylor, who is Black.

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

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