Chris Berman is back -- with ESPN.
Berman, the six-time National Sportscaster of the Year, has signed a contract extension with ESPN. Deal terms were not disclosed.
Berman, who joined ESPN in October 1979, less than a month after the network launched, will remain the leading voice and face of ESPN's National Football League studio coverage as host of Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and Monday Night Football halftime, and NFL highlight segments on SportsCenter.
He will also continue his play-by-play duties for the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby and his familiar host role for ESPN's U.S. Open golf coverage, among other responsibilities.
His 25 years as host of Sunday NFL Countdown (formerly NFL Gameday) -- which pre-dates ESPN's first NFL television contract -- is by far the longest streak ever among all weekly pro football studio show hosts. Berman is also a fan favorite for his signature calls and nicknames on NFL highlights, for which he earned widespread acclaim as host of the classic NFL PrimeTime from 1987-2005.
Similarly, fans will continue to hear his call of "back, back, back" during ESPN's coverage of the Home Run Derby during MLB's All-Star festivities.
This week, Berman will also occupy his familiar host position on ESPN's main set at the 2010 NFL Draft, which this year's shifts into primetime on Thursday, April 22 (7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. (ET) and Friday, April 23 (6 p.m.-10:30 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2). Berman has covered the draft for 30 years and hosted ESPN's annual telecast since 1987.
"Chris has contributed so much to our company's success in reaching sports fans for more than three decades, and we are thrilled that one of the most important figures in our history will remain a vital part of ESPN's future," said ESPN president George Bodenheimer.
Noted Berman: "Home is where the heart is, and I am thrilled to be staying home at ESPN for years to come. It's been a privilege to work alongside my colleagues and an honor to be welcomed into the homes of sports fans for over 30 years. In fact, since this all began in 1979, that means we've been together for parts of five decades. I can't wait to continue the journey."
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Bill Hofheimer, ESPN Communications - 860/766-9589, email@example.com