Report: Amazon wants Al Michaels to serve as play-by-play voice for Thursday Night Football

2018 Winter TCA Tour - Day 6
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Amazon has made a big investment in securing the rights to Thursday Night Football. That investment will extend to the production of the weekly games.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that NBC’s Al Michaels has emerged as Amazon’s top choice to serve as the play-by-play voice of the late-week package. Per the report, Amazon also is interested in FOX’s Joe Buck and Ian Eagle of CBS.

Michaels could match or exceed the $18 million per year that Tony Romo gets from CBS, according to Marchand.

NBC, which at one point produced and broadcast a portion of the Thursday night package, is involved in the negotiations, and its top production people also could be part of a deal, as Amazon builds its Thursday night capacity from scratch.

For Michaels, there’s one important question, which he surely will ask (and probably already has): How many people will actually see the Thursday night games on Amazon? The games that aren’t simulcast by NFL Network will be available on broadcast TV only in the markets of the involved teams. There surely will be a difference, at least initially, when it comes to the ratings.

Of course, having a guy like Al Michaels could help keep that gap to a minimum, and to close it faster.

The compensation could supersede the reach, however. Besides, whatever the audience that Amazon eventually musters, it’s safe to say Amazon will do whatever it can to build the biggest possible platform for its games.

Amazon’s interest in Al Michaels raises another question. If they can land him for the Thursday games, could Amazon be the outlet that finally lures Peyton Manning into a broadcast booth? It’s believed that Michaels would be Manning’s first choice as a broadcast partner.

Michaels, a living legend in sports broadcasting, arrived at NBC with Sunday Night Football in 2006. He previously served as the play-by-play voice for ABC’s Monday Night Football. In February, he’ll call Super Bowl LVI from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

14 responses to “Report: Amazon wants Al Michaels to serve as play-by-play voice for Thursday Night Football

  1. My passion for the NFL has waned the last couple years… if a game is one most of the time I’ll flip to it but I’m not going to jump through hoops to watch it. I’m sure I’ll already have access to these Amazon games but I don’t see myself bothering with it.

  2. If they are going to be the new voice for Thursday Night Football then they need to truly get a “new voice”. Nothing against Michaels but why bring back an oldster? Surely, there are new, younger talent that would appeal and attract the different viewers that I assume they will attempt to appeal to!

  3. I have Amazon Prime. if the game isn’t on my TV, I probably won’t be watching. If I have to figure out how to put Amazon on my TV, I won’t bother.

  4. Ian Eagle is far and away my favorite play by play guy. Al Michaels is pretty good. Buck…no.

  5. Again, I have to ask. Why does anyone think Peyton Manning would be a good broadcaster? Is there some phenomenal demo tape out there that I haven’t heard?

  6. jjackwagon says:
    June 3, 2021 at 12:25 pm
    I have Amazon Prime. if the game isn’t on my TV, I probably won’t be watching. If I have to figure out how to put Amazon on my TV, I won’t bother.

    ——————

    Can say this about every turn of technology. It isn’t going to wait for you and you won’t stop it’s progress. Most have taken the 5 seconds to hook up the service they are paying for and will watch it. Why do you pay for something and not at least check it out?

  7. Al Michael’s is the best but no way I’m paying for a subscription service from Amazon. I’ll have to see if a can use a friend’s login info.

  8. I don’t tune in for Al Michaels or any other announcer for that matter. This is not the 1980s.

  9. I can’t see Buck leaving FOX, but michaels moving over after this season seems pretty likely, Eagle leaving CBS also seems possible. He’s by far the best play by play on CBS.
    if Michaels wants to keep going after this season, NBC may have another Leno / Conan esque situation. But michaels could jump to Amazon after this season and that would take care of itself.
    someone suggested Gus Johnson…imo he wasn’t great to begin with, and got worse after he left CBS.

  10. I guarantee Michaels will make more than Romo. This is eyewash. Amazon will want to be seen as the platinum-level package, they’ll actually WANT to have the “highest-paid team in the business.” They’ll look at it as bragging rights. And they can easily afford it.

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