Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will call “Thursday Night Football” games for Amazon Prime Video, the streaming service announced on Wednesday.
Amazon was looking to make a big-name splash in its first year as the exclusive home of the NFL Thursday night package and did so with a pair of high-profile deals with familiar voices.
Many consider Michaels the best play-by-play man in pro football history, and Herbstreit is ESPN’s longtime lead college football analyst. He will continue in that role in addition to his Amazon duties.
Fred Gaudelli, NBC’s longtime “Sunday Night Football” producer, will oversee the Prime Video production.
Michaels, 77, was a free agent after his contract with NBC concluded following the Super Bowl and he was succeeded as that network’s lead NFL play-by-play man by Mike Tirico.
He presumably would have been a candidate to join ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” alongside analyst Troy Aikman had ESPN not lured Joe Buck away from Fox to continue as Aikman’s partner.
“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,” Michaels said in a news release.
While Amazon’s Thursday games will be exclusive in most of the country, there will be broadcast television alternatives in the markets of the two teams involved, as the NFL long has done for games on non-broadcast outlets such as ESPN and NFL Network.
Amazon’s 11-year deal includes 15 regular-season games and one preseason game each year, the first time a streaming service has had a season-long exclusive national rights deal with the NFL.