TV Play-by-Play Announcer
On Sept. 6, 1997, Ken Daniels achieved his lifetime goal becoming the play-by-play voice of a National Hockey League team, hired by the Detroit Red Wings to be the lead announcer on Fox Sports Detroit.
Daniels has been rewarded for his efforts on many occasions. In the spring of 2013, he was named Top Sportscaster in Michigan receiving 57 percent of nearly 5,000 online votes in a Detroit Free Press poll. In 2003, and again in 2010, he was named Michigan Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. In 2006, he won his first Michigan Emmy for excellence in television play-by-play. In 2002, readers of the Free Press named him the best Play-by-Play announcer.
Growing up in Toronto, Daniels knew the sports scene well, and by 1985, he was working simultaneously in radio and television. In 1988, while working at CJCL Radio, he added Toronto Maple Leafs play-by-play to his resume. Two years later, Daniels received his first hosting assignment on ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ on CBC, working the opening game of the 1990 Stanley Cup playoffs – complete with a slot on the hot seat sparring with Don Cherry during the Coach’s Corner intermission segment. Daniels moved from host to play-by-play on ‘HNIC’, in 1994.
In addition to his duties with the Red Wings, Daniels can still be heard calling NHL games on occasion for NBC’s family of networks, something he has done since 2011. He still calls college hockey games for Fox Sports Detroit, something he has done throughout his career in Detroit.
Hockey has not been Daniels’ only national forum. Beginning in 1986, he hosted CBC’s ‘Sports Weekend’ and led the network’s coverage of the Indy Car World Series and Formula One Grand Prix, and was the led announcer for the Golf Channel in Canada. He also hosted the network’s baseball coverage during the Toronto Blue Jays’ World Series seasons in 1992 and ’93.
Daniels had the privilege of working two Olympic Games, in 1988 and 1996. His abilities to call a diverse array of sports – which included canoeing, cycling, judo, kayaking and tennis – led to CBC’s award-winning coverage during the Seoul Olympics. Eight years later, Daniels was asked to be CBC’s play-by-play voice during baseball and cycling broadcasts.
Daniels’ Seoul experience landed him in a movie, as he appeared as the Olympic host in the NBC Movie of the Week, ‘On Thin Ice: The Tai Babilonia Story’ (1990). His other film and TV credits include ‘The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon’ starring actor Tony Danza (1998), and a reoccurring role as an announcer on the former CBC/CTV series ‘Due South’.
Prior to his TV career, Daniels got his broadcasting start in radio. For eight years he was the voice of morning sports on Canada’s first all-sports radio station – The FAN 590, in Toronto.