Amazon has officially announced that veteran sports play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit will be the broadcast duo for “Thursday Night Football” on Prime Video.
Both Michaels and Herbstreit had previously been reported as Amazon’s choices when “TNF” kicks off this fall on Sept. 15. Amazon will stream games exclusively on Prime after signing an 11-year deal last year with the NFL in the league’s first all-digital pact with a media partner.
Michaels is a longtime play-by-play broadcaster, with 36 years calling NFL games in prime time, including most recently on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” In February he called his 11th Super Bowl, a tie for the most ever by a TV commentator.
“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,” Michaels said in a news release. “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’ most memorable call came at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, when he said, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” as the U.S. men’s hockey team pulled a dramatic upset victory over the USSR.
Herbstreit, a former college quarterback at Ohio State University, has been the lead college football analyst for ESPN since 1996. He’s won 14 Sports Emmys for his work as both a live event analyst on ABC’s “Saturday Night Football” as well as a studio analyst on ESPN’s “College GameDay.”
“I’m thrilled to be a part of Prime Video’s game-changing new ‘Thursday Night Football’ telecasts, and it’s an honor to join the booth alongside Al,” Herbstreit said in a statement. “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.”
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy tweeted that he was “very excited” to have Michaels and Herbstreit “join the team” and that he was looking forward to the start of “TNF” on Prime.
Terms of Michaels’ and Herbstreit’s deals were not released. The New York Post previously reported that Michaels would be joining Amazon for “Joe Buck money.” Fox play-by-play announcer Buck recently jumped to ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” in a 5-year, $75 million deal.
Amazon also announced Wednesday that Fred Gaudelli, a 24-time Emmy-winning producer, will also join Prime Video as executive producer of “TNF.” Gaudelli, who has worked with Michaels for 21 years, will continue to contribute to NBC Sports on “Sunday Night Football.”
Prime Video will be the first streaming service to air a season-long exclusive national broadcast package with the NFL. Amazon’s deal includes 15 regular-season games and one preseason game per year.
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