Could Amazon Try to Poach Al Michaels from NBC to Voice its Thursday Night Football Broadcasts?
After already making a big splash to land the exclusive rights to “Thursday Night Football,” Amazon might have one more trick up its sleeve.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that Amazon could look to snag legendary broadcaster Al Michaels from NBC in order to fill the play-by-play role for its “Thursday Night Football” coverage. Marchand also mentions FOX’s Joe Buck and CBS’ Ian Eagle as other leading names for the role. Going from NBC to Amazon wouldn’t be a first for Michaels, either, as he was famously “traded” from ABC to NBC for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit back in 2006 when NBC gained the Sunday Night Football rights. Could Michaels again serve as a big name to launch a new football-related endeavor?
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk also brings up an interesting point, saying that the move could be a precursor to a company finally getting former QB Peyton Manning into the booth. Florio says it’s believed Michaels would be Manning’s first choice for a broadcast partner and Amazon could certainly afford Manning’s salary — whatever that may be. A Manning/Michaels duo would certainly get people interested in what Amazon’s got come football season.
For Michaels, this next move might not make as much sense as his previous shift did — after all, Michaels is 77 and has been at NBC for 15 years, what sense does it make to leave now? Plus, if Michaels cares about people hearing his voice, why would he leave one of the most viewed programs in TV history to go call games on a streaming service? It could simply come down to a new challenge and proving that Al’s still got it. The reported $18 million per year that’s on the table wouldn’t hurt, either, which would match CBS analyst Tony Romo’s record-breaking broadcaster paycheck.
Amazon secured the rights to “TNF” during the latest round of NFL media agreements, gaining exclusive streaming rights from 2022-32, though afterward, Amazon negotiated with the NFL to start this agreement a year early. With the NFL season soon approaching, Amazon would be wise to figure out who’s calling their games before it’s too late.