Report: NBC to Produce Amazon’s Thursday Night Football Games Starting in 2022
The new landmark NFL television deal for Amazon begins next year. Their deal with NBC to produce the football broadcasts is likely to be a three-year deal, with an option to extend it to five, according to a New York Post report.
The deal would set off a complicated game of dominoes that would start with long-time Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli coming over to the Thursday night broadcasts.
This season is expected to be the final year with Al Michaels in NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcast booth. Football Night in America host Mike Tirico is expected to replace Michaels as the main play-by-play guy on Sunday nights in 2022.
The idea is that this would potentially free up Al Michaels to be enticed over to be the main play-by-play voice for Amazon's Thursday Night Football broadcasts, potentially paired with Peyton Manning in the broadcast booth.
The Post speculates that given the fallout over Maria Taylor at ESPN, and the fact that NBC has been working hard to sign her before next week’s start of the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, that she could potentially become the new host of Football Night in America following Tirico’s move to the SNF booth, and the sideline reporter for Amazon’s Thursday night NFL games.
Amazon has been streaming Thursday night NFL football broadcasts since 2017. Their new deal, beginning in the 2022 season, will mark the first time that they will hold exclusivity on the Thursday night package.
This would not be NBC’s first crack at NFL football on Thursday night. In 2016 and 2017, NBC shared TNF with CBS, carrying games from the latter half of the season. In addition, NBC has carried the NFL’s Thursday night season-opening game under the Sunday Night Football banner since 2006.