On Sports Media: Michaels And Amazon Are Ready For Thursday Night Football

By Jim Williams

(BALTIMORE —) Earlier this year Amazon Prime Video made streaming history by signing a $1 billion a year, 11-year deal with the NFL for Thursday Night Football, shifting into an exclusive arrangement after years of simulcasting games with linear networks.

Amazon will become the home of Thursday Night Football this week when the Los Angeles Chargers face the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC West showdown.

In the broadcast booth at Arrowhead Stadium for the Prime Video broadcasts will be former NBC Sunday Night Football broadcaster Al Michaels who is no stranger to calling primetime telecasts.

“Over the last 36 seasons, I’ve been at the mic describing some of the most magical moments and games in NFL history and am looking forward to many more,” said Michaels. “This is the new frontier in sports television and to be a part of the launch at this point in my career is both exciting and stimulating. The NFL is the king of unscripted television and I’m looking forward to joining Kirk to bring fans more dramatic episodes on Thursday nights this fall.”

Amazon Prime is set to become the home of Thursday Night Football following an exclusive deal (Photo via Prime Video/Amazon Studios)

His new partner is ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit. While sideline reporting duties will be handled by Kaylee Hartung.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of Prime Video’s game-changing Thursday Night Football telecasts, and it’s an honor to join the booth alongside Al,” said Herbstreit. “Together, we will build the next generation of NFL programming. I’m proud to be part of the Amazon team and can’t wait to get started.”

Another familiar face to the team will be game producer Fred Gaudelli who like Michaels was part of NBC Sunday Night Football telecasts from day one. Prime Video will have Taylor Rooks as a feature reporter doing sit-down interviews with players and coaches, and more throughout TNF’s pregame, halftime, and postgame shows.

Former NFL star Tony Gonzalez is among the broadcast team for Thursday Night Football.  The former tight end was drafted in the 1st round of the NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1997. (Photo via Prime Video/Amazon Studios)

The streaming service has assembled a very impressive team to handle their pregame, halftime and postgame NFL programming including a long list of known NFL veterans

Handling the hosting duties will be NFL veteran reporter/anchor Charissa Thompson, who will be joined by Pro Football Hall of Famer tight end Tony Gonzalez, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, former NFL quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and contributors and Super Bowl Champions Andrew Whitworth and Aqib Talib.

Thursday Night Football will be streamed to all Amazon Prime members.

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