ESPN Sideline Reporter Signs Multi-Year Deal as Host, Sideline Reporter and Analyst
The SEC Network, ESPN’s 24/7 network devoted to the Southeastern Conference, has reached a multi-year deal with Maria Taylor to serve as studio host. She will also be a sideline reporter for SEC football games and an analyst for volleyball and select women’s basketball contests.
“In a short amount of time at ESPN, Maria has established herself as an engaging reporter and knowledgeable analyst from sidelines and in the studio,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN vice president, production of college networks. “Maria’s versatility in both on-air skill sets and experience as a two-sport SEC student-athlete make her a perfect fit for the SEC Network.”
Taylor is the first studio host named for the network which launches August 14. She will have an integral role in the network’s daily news & information show and other programming from the Charlotte, N.C. studios. In addition, she will report from SEC stadiums every Saturday in tandem with the SEC Network’s lead college football commentating team of Brent Musburger and Jesse Palmer. She was previously the reporter on ESPN2’s Saturday night primetime telecast.
Taylor was a two-sport student-athlete at Georgia – volleyball and basketball – and will share her SEC athletic expertise from both courts on the SEC Network. In college she was named to the All-SEC volleyball team three times and has since covered women’s college volleyball, including the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship, as an analyst on ESPN networks for the last two seasons.
As a basketball analyst and reporter, she has worked regular season games for ESPN networks and also served in studio for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Show, Preview Show and the Tournament.
“I am beyond thrilled to be part of the SEC Network. It feels like I’m coming back home,” said Taylor. “I played in this conference and I know first-hand that the standard of excellence expected of the players, coaches, and Universities that reside in the SEC. It is humbling to have a role in the network.”
The former Bulldog joins a growing roster of nationally acknowledged SEC players and renowned sportscasters that includes:
- Booger McFarland, college football analyst
- Greg McElroy, college football analyst
- Brent Musburger, lead play by play
- Paul Finebaum, host of The Paul Finebaum Show
- Jesse Palmer, college football analyst
- Marcus Spears, college football analyst
- Tim Tebow, college football analyst
- Joe Tessitore, host of SEC Nation
The SEC Network, a multiplatform ESPN network devoted to the Southeastern Conference, will air 45 college football games next year, in addition to an array of daily studio shows providing in-depth commentary on all 14 SEC teams. AT&T U-verse, DISH and NRTC have agreed to carry the network. Additional ESPN and SEC Network college football announcements will be made in the coming weeks. More details and recent news surrounding the soon to launch network can be found here.
About SEC Network
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network which will launch in August 2014. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will air SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year. The network will televise approximately 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include studio shows, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, signing day and pro days coverage. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively on the digital platform. AT&T U-Verse, DISH and National Rural Telecommunications cooperative (NRTC) have agreed to carry the SEC Network.
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