Cris Collinsworth is the game analyst for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. “In a league of his own,” according to the New York Post, and called “arguably the most thoughtful and well-spoken of football analysts,” by the Houston Chronicle, Collinsworth in Sept. 2021 begins his 13th season alongside Al Michaels in the Sunday Night Football booth.
SNF averaged 16.8 million TV viewers in 2020 (with a Total Audience Delivery average of 17.4 million viewers), and finished the fall-spring season as primetime’s #1 TV show in all key metrics for an unprecedented 10th consecutive year – adding to its record for the most successive years atop the charts (since 1950), based on official live plus same day data provided by Nielsen.
In 15 seasons on NBC (2006-20), Sunday Night Football has won 30 Sports Emmys. Following the 2018 season, NBC SNF became the first-ever 10-time honoree for Outstanding Live Sports Series and won its 11th honor in the category following the most recent NFL season (2020). From the 2008-13 NFL seasons, Sunday Night Football won six consecutive Outstanding Live Sports Series honors – also a Sports Emmy record – and won again following the 2015-2018 and 2020 NFL seasons.
In September 2018, as Collinsworth and Michaels began their 10th season together, USA Today profiled the duo, writing: “Michaels and Collinsworth — oh, heck, let’s just call them Al and Cris; they’re on a first-name basis with America…Turn on the TV. Listen to the timbre of Al’s voice. Hear the mirth audible in Cris’. Taken together, their voices have come to mean Big Game.”
Less than a year later, in an August 2019 story entitled “A Look at Iconic Announcers in NFL History,” Collinsworth was the only active TV game analyst recognized by The Associated Press, which stated, “Never shy to offer strong opinions, always well-prepared and adept at quickly analyzing plays, Collinsworth has been a perfect replacement for [John] Madden at NBC.”
Collinsworth called Super Bowl LII alongside Michaels on February 4, 2018, marking his third Super Bowl in the NBC booth, and fourth overall.
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.”
Collinsworth also served as the game analyst for both seasons of NBC’s Thursday Night Football package, partnering with Michaels in 2016 and Mike Tirico in 2017. 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 third among all primetime programs for the full TV season.
Collinsworth won the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Event Analyst following six of his first nine seasons in NBC’s Sunday Night Football booth. The most honored studio analyst in sports television, Collinsworth served as a studio analyst and co-host of NBC’s critically acclaimed studio show Football Night in America from 2006-08, and co-hosted the Super Bowl XLIII Pregame Show.
Collinsworth and John Madden are the only NFL analysts to be named Outstanding Sports Event Analyst since it was first awarded in 1993. In addition, since the 2006 NFL season Collinsworth has been a finalist in the category 14 times in 15 years.
Collinsworth, who first joined NBC Sports from 1990-96, has won a total of 16 Emmy Awards – nine for Outstanding Sports Studio Analyst in addition to seven for Outstanding Event Analyst.
Prior to joining Michaels in the Sunday Night Football booth, Collinsworth won the Emmy Award in 2008 for Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Analyst for his work on Football Night in America. The year before, Collinsworth was awarded both Outstanding Sports Studio Analyst for his work on Football Night and HBO’s Inside the NFL, and Outstanding Event Analyst for his work on NFL Network. He won Emmy Awards in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006 in the same category for his work on the Fox and HBO studio shows. He won his first Emmy Award in 1997 for his work on the NFL on NBC studio show. Collinsworth, known for his candid and insightful analysis, has received consistent critical acclaim throughout his broadcast career.
In February 2015, Collinsworth served as an analyst for Super Bowl XLIX, the thrilling four-point New England Patriots victory over the Seattle Seahawks which still ranks as the most-watched show in U.S. TV history (average of 114.4 million viewers). Previously, he worked alongside Michaels on NBC for the telecast of Super Bowl XLVI, the most viewed program in U.S. television history at the time. Collinsworth’s first Super Bowl in the booth came with Fox in February 2005 (Super Bowl XXXIX).
Collinsworth is majority owner of Pro Football Focus, which utilizes an exclusive and proprietary grading system to analyze the performance of every NFL and college player on each snap, grading their performances against others at the same position. All 32 NFL clubs work directly with Pro Football Focus to use its play-by-play and player grading analytics.
In addition to his NFL responsibilities, Collinsworth has been a part of four Olympics with NBC. He made his Olympic broadcast debut as a track and field reporter at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and has served as a correspondent in Beijing (2008), Vancouver (2010), and most recently, at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, where he also provided commentary during the Closing Ceremony alongside Michaels.
In 1990, Collinsworth joined NBC Sports as a game analyst for the network’s NFL coverage and select college football broadcasts, highlighted by the 1994 Fiesta Bowl and the 1995 Orange Bowl national championship game between Nebraska and Miami. Collinsworth was assigned to the NFL on NBC pregame show in 1996, where he provided analysis that led to his first Emmy Award in 1997.
In 2005, Collinsworth joined the NFL on FOX broadcast booth alongside play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and former quarterback Troy Aikman to form the network’s lead broadcast team. Collinsworth first joined FOX Sports as a member of FOX NFL Sunday pregame show, in January 1998.
Upon completion of an eight-year NFL career as a wide receiver with the Cincinnati Bengals (1981-88), Collinsworth moved smoothly into broadcasting as a reporter for HBO’s Inside the NFL in 1989. The following season he graduated to the show’s studio cast.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection during his NFL career, Collinsworth played in 107 games, catching 417 passes for 6,698 yards and 36 touchdowns. He had four 1,000-yard seasons, played in Super Bowls XVI and XXIII and ranks first on the Bengals all-time career receptions list.
The Bengals selected him in the second round of the 1981 draft out of the University of Florida, where he graduated with a degree in accounting. An All-America and Academic All-America, Collinsworth was inducted into the Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2001. He later returned to school at the University of Cincinnati Law School, completing his law degree in 1991.
Collinsworth and his wife, Holly, have four adult children and two grandchildren. Collinsworth’s son Jac joined NBC Sports as an on-air commentator in March 2020.