Drew Esocoff, the director of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, will direct Super Bowl LVI — his seventh Super Bowl — on February 13, 2022 on NBC and Peacock. Esocoff recently completed his 22nd season as the director for an NFL primetime game, and his 16th season directing SNF.
SNF averaged 18.5 million TV viewers in 2021 (with a Total Audience Delivery average of 19.3 million viewers), and is on pace to rank as primetime’s #1 TV show in all key metrics for an unprecedented 11th 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 the first 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.
A 19-time Emmy Award winner, Esocoff’s six prior Super Bowls (XXXVII, XL, XLIII, XLVI, XLIX, and LII) include Super Bowl XLIX, which still ranks as 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.
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.”
For the 2016 and 2017 NFL seasons, Esocoff also served as director for the network’s Thursday Night Football series. 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.
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.
Esocoff has also directed NBC Sports’ Triple Crown horse racing coverage since 2011, including the historic Triple Crown runs by American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018.
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 graduate of Colgate University with a bachelor of arts in political science, resides in West Redding, Conn., with his wife, Katrina. They have two adult children.