New deal keeps Berman with ESPN

Chris Berman, one of ESPN's longest-running voices and the host of Sunday NFL Countdown for a quarter century, is remaining with the network after signing a contract extension, ESPN announced Monday.

Berman, a six-time national sportscaster of the year award winner, has been with ESPN since Oct. 1979 -- less than a month after the network launched. His next assignment is the NFL draft, which begins Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). It will be Berman's 30th NFL draft for the network.

"Home is where the heart is, and I am thrilled to be staying home at ESPN for years to come," Berman said in a statement released by ESPN. "It's been a privilege to work alongside my colleagues and an honor to be welcomed into the homes of sports fans for over 30 years. In fact, since this all began in 1979, that means we've been together for parts of five decades. I can't wait to continue the journey."

Berman will continue as the lead voice on ESPN's NFL coverage, including Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, NFL segments on SportsCenter and halftime highlights during the Monday Night Football game.

He'll also call baseball's Home Run Derby and golf's U.S. Open.

"Chris has contributed so much to our company's success in reaching sports fans for more than three decades, and we are thrilled that one of the most important figures in our history will remain a vital part of ESPN's future," said ESPN president George Bodenheimer.