Play-by-Play Commentator, Host
Joe Tessitore is the new play-by-play commentator for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. For the better part of the last two decades, he has been among the premier broadcasters for ESPN and ABC’s coverage of college football. After 16 years at the network, Tessitore takes his unmistakable passion for football to the NFL.
In addition to his role leading MNF, Tessitore is the veteran blow-by-blow ringside commentator for Top Rank Boxing on ESPN. He is also a longtime courtside fixture on ESPN college basketball.
Recognized as one of the top game-callers in sports, Tessitore has been widely praised for his versatility, his distinctive voice, and for the joyous enthusiasm in his calls. His career has spanned many unique roles from hosting the Belmont Stakes on ABC to executive producing an ESPN 30 for 30 film.
In May 2018, Tessitore was named the new play-by-play voice for Monday Night Football, joining such legendary figures as Keith Jackson and Frank Gifford. Tessitore is just the sixth person to occupy this highly coveted position in broadcasting. When the 49th season of MNF kicks off this fall, Tessitore will be joined by analysts Jason Witten and Booger McFarland.
Prior to MNF, Tessitore was a constant presence on the company’s college football coverage. Best known for calling ESPN Saturday Night primetime and select ABC regular-season games, he was most recently paired with Todd Blackledge. During the postseason, Tessitore called the College Football Playoff semifinals in 2016 (Peach Bowl: Washington vs. Alabama) and 2017 (Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Clemson). Prior to the CFP, he called BCS and the New Year’s Six bowl games, while hosting numerous live shows surrounding the BCS National Championships and College Football Playoff. In recent years, he also has worked the field level play-by-play as part of the company’s Sports Emmy award-winning MegaCast presentation for the 2015-17 College Football Playoff Championship games.
Tessitore has also long been ESPN’s Heisman Trophy expert, serving as the face of Heismanology segments throughout the fall on multiple platforms and contributing to ESPN’s presentation of the prestigious award in Times Square. He was also the primary studio host for ESPN’s daily College Football Live for two years.
A boxing enthusiast and expert, Tessitore leads the broadcast team for Top Rank Boxing on ESPN. As a lifelong and passionate fan of the “sweet science,” Tessitore has relished the opportunity to call the biggest World Championship bouts. In July 2017, he was ringside in Australia for the first fight in the Top Rank series – Jeff Horn’s headline-making upset of Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title. Tessitore has also called multiple World Title fights involving current pound-for-pound elites Bud Crawford and Vassily Lomachenko. Now, he is calling more fights than ever with Top Rank bouts on ESPN and the new ESPN+ streaming service.
Rooted in boxing for many years, Tessitore’s very first assignment for ESPN was a battle of middleweight contenders in February 2002. Since then he has called thousands of fights, including Friday Night Fights, ESPN Boxing specials and The Contender series. He also voiced the majority of the ESPN Classic fight library, called numerous HBO distributed pay-per-views and has been the voice of the popular EA Sports Fight Night video game series.
On the hardwood, Tessitore has called weekly college basketball conference games for ESPN since 2012. Over the past two seasons he led the Super Tuesday SEC primetime package while also calling the SEC Tournament. His ties to the SEC run deep as he was the first host of SEC Network’s Saturday football traveling pre-game show, SEC Nation. In 2011, Tessitore executive produced the ESPN Film Roll Tide, War Eagle focusing on the intense Alabama-Auburn rivalry, and in 2012 he was a producer for ESPN’s 30 for 30 film You Don’t Know Bo about Bo Jackson.
During the summer of 2017, Tessitore and Mike Greenberg co-hosted the reboot of ABC’s popular Battle of the Network Stars primetime series from the 1970s and 80s. That role had Tessitore following in the footsteps of one of his broadcasting idols Howard Cosell, who also called Monday Night Football and boxing during his Hall of Fame career.
Beyond football, basketball and boxing, Tessitore has covered a variety of other sports for ESPN. Prior to 2011, he spent many years anchoring ABC/ESPN horse racing presentations including the Belmont Stakes and The Breeders’ Cup World Championships. He hosted ESPN’s live New Year’s Eve specials for five years, including Red Bull New Year, No Limits and the debut of ESPN’s ‘Year of the Quarterback’ content series. He has also been a featured contributor for ESPN.com.
Tessitore has achieved numerous honors and awards. In 2010, he received an Eclipse Award from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) for the 2009 Belmont Stakes telecast on ABC and the 2010 Breeders’ Cup. That same year, the Boxing Writers of America presented Tessitore with the prestigious Sam Taub Award for Broadcast Excellence. He was also a 2010 inductee in the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame.
Prior to joining ESPN in 2002, Tessitore was the sports anchor at CBS affiliate WFSB-TV in Hartford for eight years (1995-2002). A native of Schenectady, N.Y., he first gained valuable experience at KXAS-NBC in Dallas-Fort Worth and also worked at WRGB-CBS in Albany, N.Y.
Tessitore is a 1993 graduate of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. This fall, his son John, one of the nation’s top prep placekickers, will begin his freshman year playing for the Eagles.
Tessitore serves on the Board of Regents at Boston College, as well as the Advisory Committee on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He has long been a supporter of the National Italian-American Foundation, as well as having tirelessly given his time to the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
– 30 –