Maria Taylor Joins NBC Sports, Makes Debut at Tokyo Olympics

Just two days after leaving ESPN over a contract dispute, Maria Taylor made her NBC Sports debut on Friday during the network's coverage of the Tokyo Olympics.

Maria Taylor

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Image

Maria Taylor

Just two days after leaving ESPN over a contract dispute, Maria Taylor has taken her talents to NBC Sports.

NBC announced the hire in a press release Friday morning, just hours before Taylor made her official debut with the network during Friday night’s primetime coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Following the Olympics, Taylor will host NBC’s Football Night in America during the NFL season and will cover the Super Bowl for the network.

“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,” Taylor said in a statement.

The move comes just three days after ESPN and Taylor jointly announced that she would be departing from the company after both parties failed to come to an agreement on a contract extension. Taylor had worked at ESPN since 2014 but her contract expired Tuesday after over a year of discussion. Taylor reportedly rejected an extension last year.

Taylor’s exit from ESPN also comes just weeks after the New York Times shared leaked audio of ESPN’s Rachel Nichols saying she was passed over by Taylor for a 2020 NBA Finals gig because the network was  “feeling pressure” about its “crappy longtime record on diversity.”

In the aftermath of the report, Nichols was removed from her sideline reporting job for this year’s NBA Finals. Taylor continued hosting the network’s studio show during the series.

A few days after the story broke, Taylor took to Twitter to in her first public comments directly addressing the matter. 

“During the dark times I always remember that I am in this position to open doors and light the path that others walk down,” Taylor captioned the post. “I’ve taken some punches but that just means I’m still in the fight. Remember to lift as you climb and always KEEP RISING.”

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