Key Points:

  • ESPN introduces five teams of commentators for the UFL 2024 season, leveraging its top football experts.
  • Coverage spans 21 games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN Deportes, with additional streaming on ESPN+.
  • Teams feature a mix of play-by-play commentators, analysts, and field reporters, offering in-depth insights and behind-the-scenes access.

ESPN Teams Up with UFL for Groundbreaking Coverage

ESPN revealed today, in a press release, its comprehensive broadcaster lineup for the UFL’s debut season, featuring a robust team of football experts across ESPN and ABC platforms. This initiative is set to redefine sports broadcasting in the UFL, offering unparalleled insights into the game. T

he collaboration includes five distinct teams, encompassing a blend of play-by-play commentators, analysts, and sideline reporters, each bringing their unique expertise to the forefront.

Expert Analysis and In-Depth Coverage

The UFL’s broadcasting strategy includes three ESPN/ABC teams, each comprised of a play-by-play commentator and analyst in the booth, along with a field reporter and analyst. This setup is designed to provide fans with a multi-dimensional view of the game, including instant on-field reactions and behind-the-scenes coverage.

ESPN Deportes will feature two teams, emphasizing the network’s commitment to delivering a comprehensive viewing experience to a diverse audience.

A Blend of Familiar Faces and Fresh Talent

The ESPN/ABC teams boast a mix of seasoned professionals and new talents. For example, Team 1 includes Mike Monaco and Drew Carter sharing play-by-play duties, with support from analyst Sam Acho and field reporter Stormy Buonantony.

Each member brings a wealth of experience from covering a variety of sports on ESPN, contributing to the rich tapestry of the UFL’s inaugural broadcast team. Similarly, ESPN Deportes’ lineup features Cristina Alexander and Alex Pareja, among others, ensuring that fans receive expert commentary and analysis in Spanish.

Forward-Looking Collaboration

Amanda Gifford, ESPN’s vice president of production, expressed excitement about the initiative, highlighting the depth of football expertise within the team and the network’s intent to push production boundaries.

This team represents an incredible depth of football expertise and features many returning voices from our innovative XFL coverage,” said Amanda Gifford, ESPN vice president of production. “In collaboration with the UFL, we look forward to further pushing the traditional production boundaries all season, bringing fans more expert insight, immediate on-field reactions from players and coaches and an inside look behind the scenes of each team throughout the game.

Team 1

Mike Monaco has been with ESPN since 2019, lending his voice to a wide array of sports, from MLB and NHL to college football and beyond. His versatility and depth of knowledge across different sports have made him a valuable asset to ESPN’s broadcasting team. Monaco’s experience with major league and college sports equips him with the ability to capture the excitement of UFL games, ensuring fans don’t miss a beat.

Drew Carter joined ESPN in 2021 and quickly became known for his play-by-play commentary across various sports, including college football and basketball. His role as the local NBA play-by-play voice for the Boston Celtics has honed his ability to convey the fast-paced action of sports, a skill he’ll bring to the UFL broadcasts.

Expert Analyst and Insightful Field Team

Sam Acho, a nearly 10-year NFL veteran, brings a wealth of experience and analytical insight to the team. Since joining ESPN in 2021, Acho has become a prominent college football analyst, known for his in-depth analysis and understanding of the game. His previous involvement in the XFL coverage adds to his credentials as a seasoned analyst for the UFL.

Stormy Buonantony, an Emmy-award-winning journalist, serves as the field reporter, offering sideline insights that bring fans closer to the action. Her experience as a college football sideline reporter and contributions to XFL coverage demonstrate her ability to deliver timely and relevant reports from the heart of the game.

Cole Cubelic, the field analyst, rounds out the team with his expertise as a former Auburn University offensive lineman and captain. Since joining ESPN in 2011, Cubelic has become a respected voice in college football analysis, known for his strategic insights and understanding of the game’s intricacies.

Team 2

Veteran Play-by-Play Voice

Lowell Galindo, with ESPN since 2007, takes the lead as the play-by-play commentator. As the face of the Longhorn Network and a key contributor to ESPN’s college sports coverage, Galindo’s familiarity with high-stakes football environments positions him as a compelling narrator for UFL games. His previous work on ESPN’s XFL coverage further underscores his ability to bring excitement and clarity to every play.

Deep-Dive Analysis

Tom Luginbill, an ESPN veteran since 2005, serves as the analyst, bringing a wealth of football knowledge to the team. Luginbill’s insights are grounded in his extensive experience in scouting and analyzing top collegiate football prospects. His perspective is enriched by his hands-on experience as a quarterback coach in the original XFL, offering fans a nuanced understanding of the game’s strategies and player capabilities.

Insightful Field Reporting

Kayla Burton, a recent addition to ESPN in 2023, steps in as the field reporter. A former standout in women’s basketball at Lehigh, Burton brings a unique athlete’s perspective to her reporting. Her tenure with NFL Media across various platforms has equipped her with the skills to deliver in-depth and timely reports from the sidelines, offering viewers an insider’s look at the game dynamics.

Expert Field Analysis

Harry Douglas, a field analyst with a decade of NFL experience, joined ESPN in 2019. Known for his contributions across ESPN studio shows and as a host on digital and radio platforms, Douglas provides expert analysis drawn from his successful football career. His insights are backed by his recognition as a Louisville Hall of Famer, adding depth to the game analysis and enriching the fan experience with expert commentary.

Team 3

Roy Philpott has been with ESPN since 2013, establishing himself as a versatile play-by-play voice for college football, basketball, and baseball. His ability to convey the excitement of the game, coupled with a deep understanding of sports dynamics, makes him an integral part of the UFL broadcast team.

Jorge Sedano, joining ESPN in the same year as Philpott, has a broad broadcasting background that includes hosting Sedano & Kap on ESPNLA 710 since 2016. With experience calling NFL, college football, and NBA games for ESPN Radio, Sedano brings a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to UFL game coverage.

Expert Analyst and Field Team

Kirk Morrison, an eight-year NFL veteran and ESPN contributor since 2017, serves as the team’s analyst. Morrison’s extensive experience in professional football and his roles with ESPN and ABC’s college football coverage, as well as ESPNLA’s Los Angeles Rams broadcasts, equip him with the insight to provide fans with expert analysis of UFL games.

Ian Fitzsimmons, who joined ESPN in 2009, will be on the sidelines providing live reports. As a seasoned sideline analyst and reporter for ESPN Radio, covering both college football and NFL games, Fitzsimmons’ expertise and on-the-ground insights will enhance the viewing experience for UFL fans.

Eric Mac Lain, who joined the ACC Network in 2019, rounds out the team as the field analyst. As a former Clemson player with a record number of wins and a studio analyst on ACCN’s ACC Huddle, Mac Lain’s analysis will offer viewers an in-depth understanding of the game’s nuances and player performance.

ESPN Deportes Team 1

Cristina Alexander, serving as the play-by-play commentator, is celebrated for her versatility and depth of knowledge across a wide range of sports. As a co-anchor for the daytime edition of SportsCenter on ESPN Deportes, Alexander’s bilingual proficiency and dynamic commentary style make her an invaluable asset to the UFL coverage. Her broad experience ensures that Spanish-speaking audiences will receive top-notch game narration.

Alex Pareja, the analyst alongside Alexander, brings a unique soccer-centric perspective to American football. His journey from FC Barcelona’s academy to obtaining a UEFA A coaching license has equipped him with a deep understanding of sports strategies and player development. Pareja’s analytical skills will provide viewers with in-depth insights into the gameplay, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

ESPN Deportes Team 2

Richard Mendez, with a storied career at ESPN since 2006, will handle play-by-play duties for Team 2. Mendez’s extensive background in covering major international sports events, including the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship, positions him as a seasoned voice for UFL games. His ability to capture the excitement of live sports will resonate with fans watching the games in Spanish.

Natalia Astrain, the analyst for Team 2, brings a distinguished coaching and analytical background to the broadcast. Her experience as a coach in Spain and the United States, including roles with FC Barcelona and the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team, provides her with a deep tactical understanding of sports. Astrain’s analysis will offer viewers a sophisticated breakdown of the games, adding valuable insights to the broadcast.

author avatar
Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of UFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL, USFL and UFL coverage since 2018.

Leave a comment

Sign Up Now

Become a member of our online community and get tickets to upcoming matches or sports events faster!
UFL News Hub