Drew Esocoff, the director of NBC’s Sunday Night Football and the network’s Thursday Night Football series, will direct his sixth Super Bowl on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minn. on NBC.
A 16-time Emmy Award winner, the most recent of Esocoff’s five prior Super Bowls (XXXVII, XL, XLIII, XLVI and XLIX) was Super Bowl XLIX, which is the most-watched program in U.S. TV history with an average of 114.4 million viewers. In that game on February 1, 2015, the New England Patriots posted a thrilling four-point victory over the Seattle Seahawks. Three years earlier on NBC, Super Bowl XLVI became the most-viewed program in U.S. television history at the time.
Esocoff recently completed his 18th season as the director for an NFL primetime game and his 12th season directing Sunday Night Football for NBC, the only network with two primetime NFL packages.
The 2017 NFL season concluded with SNF again ranking as primetime television’s #1 show, based on live plus same day data provided by The Nielsen Company. NBC Sunday Night Football is on pace to rank as TV’s #1 primetime show for the full (Sept.-May) television season for the seventh year in a row – making SNF the first and only primetime show to rank #1 for seven consecutive years (since 1950) (breaking its tie with American Idol).
The 2016 debut of the NBC/NFL Network Thursday Night Football series ranked as primetime’s #2 show in the 2016-17 TV season. The 2017 NBC/NFLN TNF slate ranked fourth among primetime programs in the fall.
On November 16, 2017, NBC Sports, led by Esocoff and executive producer Fred Gaudelli, presented the first NFL game with the primary live coverage coming from SkyCam. Three weeks earlier on October 22, NBC’s “dual” SkyCam coverage received widespread acclaim from viewers when it was pressed into action due to fog during Sunday Night Football. In that game, the Falcons-Patriots Super Bowl LI rematch, fog rolled into Gillette Stadium late in the first half. After halftime, SkyCam technology provided the best camera angles to offer consistent and clear views of the live action.
On August 4, 2017, NBC Sunday Night Football was honored with a display in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for “its record run as the #1 show in all of primetime television.”
In its first 11 seasons on NBC (2006-16), Sunday Night Football has won 26 Sports Emmys, including the award for Outstanding Live Sports Series in eight of the last nine years. From the 2008-13 NFL seasons, Sunday Night Football won six consecutive Outstanding Live Sports Series honors – a Sports Emmy record – and won again following the 2015 and 2016 NFL seasons.
Esocoff has also directed NBC Sports’ Triple Crown horse racing coverage since 2011, including the historic Triple Crown run by American Pharoah.
Esocoff previously spent six years as director of ABC’s Monday Night Football. He joined ABC Sports as a director in August of 1990. Esocoff also directed coverage of the NBA on ABC, including the NBA Finals.
With Esocoff as director, Monday Night Football and Super Bowl XXXVII were nominated for nine Emmy Awards, winning four, including Outstanding Live Sports Series in 2004 for MNF.
Prior to joining ABC Sports, Esocoff directed many of ESPN’s marquee events, including college basketball and football, hockey and boxing. He also served as the director for SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight.
Esocoff, a 1979 graduate of Colgate University with a bachelor of arts in political science, resides in West Redding, Conn., with his family.