Dec 21, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Thursday Night Football Amazon Prime play-by-play announcer Al Michaels during the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Al Michaels confirms return for 2024 TNF games with Amazon

Al Michaels said he plans to return to the broadcast booth for the 2024 NFL season.

Michaels, 79, told USA Today that he plans to honor his three-year contract with Amazon.

“I feel good,” Michaels told USA Today. “I feel healthy. I feel fine. I told Amazon that I’d do three years and next year will be three, and I’m definitely doing it. We’ll see after that.

“I still love this job. I still get a charge out of going into a stadium and watching the best in the world do what they do. I’m still really happy so that’s the big thing.”

Michaels reportedly earns $1 million per game in an agreement with Amazon that affords him the opportunity to accept assignments from NBC in his “emeritus” label granted when he left at the end of his last contract in 2022.

He did not comment on NBC’s decision to remove him from its NFL playoff coverage.

Michaels has been the voice of primetime NFL coverage since 1986, first on “Monday Night Football” until he took the “Sunday Night Football” job alongside John Madden in 2006. He worked in the SNF role until the end of the 2021 season.

He currently calls Thursday night games streamed on Amazon Prime Video with analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

“Amazon has been really great to me and I’m appreciative that I’ve been a part of helping them grow their NFL presence,” Michaels said.

–Field Level Media

Longtime voice of primetime NFL games Al Michaels is not part of NBC's postseason plans.

NBC passes on Al Michaels, 26-year-old Noah Eagle gets playoff play-by-play gig

NBC plans to use 26-year-old Noah Eagle as the play-by-play voice for its No. 2 NFL playoff broadcast crew in January, passing on venerable voice Al Michaels.

NBC “Sunday Night Football” tandem Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth have the call of the network’s primary playoff broadcast next month, but NBC declined to bring back Michaels for the second game. Instead, the college football broadcast team of Eagle and Todd Blackledge with sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen was assigned the No. 2 game.

Michaels, 79, reportedly earns $1 million per game in an agreement with Amazon that affords him the opportunity to accept assignments from NBC in his “emeritus” label granted when he left at the end of his last contract in 2022.

Michaels and Tony Dungy called the AFC wild-card game in Jacksonville last year, when the Jaguars rallied from a 27-point deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers.

Eagle is the son of Ian Eagle, an established play-by-play announcer for CBS, TBS and TNT, working college basketball, NBA and NFL games. Noah Eagle replaced Ian Eagle on YES Network NBA broadcasts this season.

Noah Eagle, Blackledge and Tappen are also assigned to the NBC regular-season broadcast of Steelers-Bengals on Dec. 23 and the Nickelodeon kid-focused broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11.

Michaels has been the voice of primetime NFL coverage since 1986, first on “Monday Night Football” until he took the “Sunday Night Football” job alongside John Madden in 2006. He worked in the SNF role until the end of the 2021 season.

He currently calls Thursday night games streamed on Amazon Prime Video with analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay (left) is interviewed by Ryan Fitzpatrick (center) and Richard Sherman on the Amazon Prime Thursday Night Football set before the game against the Houston Texans at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Amazon Prime to air NFL Black Friday game for free

Amazon is synonymous with Black Friday shopping deals. And this November, Amazon unwraps a bargain for NFL fans.

Further deepening its relationship with the league, Amazon announced Tuesday that fans will be able to watch the first-ever NFL Black Friday game for free on Prime Video on Nov. 24. A paid Amazon Prime membership will not be required to watch the game, as it was on Thursday nights in 2022 as Amazon took over the Thursday night NFL package.

Teams have not yet been announced for the day-after-Thanksgiving game, which is expected to kick off at 3 p.m. ET.

“We’re excited to expand our relationship with the NFL and build a new holiday tradition for our customers with the first Black Friday NFL game,” said Jay Marine, vice president of Prime Video and global head of sports for Amazon. “We’re so very proud of our Thursday Night Football production and all the teams in front of and behind the camera.”

The Black Friday coverage will include a full pregame show hosted by Charissa Thompson, with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit calling the game and Kaylee Hartung reporting from the sideline.

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Logo for Amazon Prime Thursday Night Football on television camera pictured at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Amazon to stream first-ever Black Friday game in 2023

A Black Friday NFL game will make its debut in 2023.

Amazon and the NFL announced Tuesday that Prime Video will stream the first-ever traditional shopping-day game on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at 3 p.m. ET.

“Thanksgiving is synonymous with football and we’re excited to give our fans another day of NFL action during this holiday weekend,” said Hans Schroeder, chief operating officer for NFL Media. “Amazon is uniquely positioned to partner with us for this game as Black Friday is one of the most important days of the year for their business.”

Three NFL games are played on Thanksgiving day, including one in prime time.

Amazon is in its first season of streaming Thursday night games as part of a deal that runs through the 2033 season.

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) throws against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Amazon records big numbers in ‘TNF’ debut

The first-ever “Thursday Night Football” game on Amazon’s Prime Video averaged 13.03 million viewers — better that Amazon projected — according to Nielsen.

That figure also includes the local broadcasts in the home markets of the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers.

Amazon had guaranteed advertisers at least 12.5 million viewers for the Thursday night games. Variety said the viewership for the Sept. 15 game, won by the Chiefs, exceeded the 8.84 million people who watched last season’s Thursday night opener on NFL Network and through digital services.

Prime is a subscription-only service that costs $139 a year and includes a variety of benefits, including free shipping on purchases made on Amazon. CNBC reported that a record number of people who wanted to watch last Thursday’s game signed up for Prime — more than on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

The Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers meet Thursday night to kick off Week 3, with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call.

–Field Level Media

Sep 15, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Logo for Amazon Prime Thursday Night Football on television camera pictured at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Amazon’s ‘TNF’ debut drives record audience, Prime sign-ups

The Nielsen ratings are not yet out for Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” debut, but the company is already seeing benefits after one game.

Amazon vice president Jay Marine, the head of Prime Video, told employees in an internal memo this week that the company’s internal numbers were promising.

Last Thursday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers produced more new sign-ups for Amazon Prime in one three-hour period than the company had ever seen.

It also set a company record for primetime audience in the U.S., according to Marine, though that figure was not released.

“Thursday Night Football” averaged 13.2 million viewers on Fox last year.

Amazon is the first streaming service to wrest exclusive broadcast rights for NFL games away from traditional TV networks. The company took pains to produce a TV-quality broadcast, with legendary play-by-play announcer Al Michaels teaming up with ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit on the call.

The Chiefs beat the Chargers 27-24 in Amazon’s first game. Week 3’s Thursday game will see the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Cleveland Browns.

–Field Level Media

Jul 30, 2019; Irvine, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams cornerback Aqib Talib (21) during training camp at UC Irvine. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Aqib Talib stepping away from ‘TNF’ after brother’s arrest

Aqib Talib is stepping away from his role of analyst on Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” in the wake of his brother’s arrest on murder charges.

Talib, 36, told NFL Network on Sunday night that he’s planning to spend time with his family in the aftermath of last week’s shooting death of a youth football coach in Texas.

Talib’s older brother, Yaqub Salik Talib, has been charged with murder in the death of Michael Hickmon.

Aqib Talib, who retired after the 2019 season, was present at the youth game at Lancaster (Texas) Community Park and reportedly was involved in the altercation leading up to the shooting.

Witnesses told WFAA in Dallas that Aqib Talib confronted the game officials. One witness told WFAA that Aqib Talib started the brawl by throwing a punch at Hickmon. Aqib Talib has not been charged in the incident.

Aqib Talib was poised to be part of Amazon’s studio show for the “TNF” broadcasts this season.

Talib had previously worked as a booth analyst for FOX Sports.

–Field Level Media

Aug 20, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) talks to fans while leaving the field after the Washington Football Team's game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Fitzpatrick joins Amazon’s TNF pregame coverage

Ryan Fitzpatrick, the journeyman quarterback who retired from the NFL earlier this month, is joining Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” coverage in 2022.

Fitzpatrick will appear as an analyst on the platform’s pregame show. Amazon Prime Video will exclusively stream the NFL’s Thursday games for the first time next season.

“Amazon jumped out at me,” Fitzpatrick, 39, told the New York Post, “in terms of it is something that’s fresh and new. It just made a lot of sense of what I was trying to get into.”

Fitzpatrick played 166 games, starting 147, for nine different teams in his 17-year playing career. He has thrown for 34,990 yards and 223 touchdowns with 169 interceptions.

He played only 16 snaps last season for the now-Washington Commanders, his ninth NFL team. He completed 3 of 6 passes for 13 yards before suffering a hip subluxation in the second quarter of the season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. He underwent arthroscopic surgery and did not play the rest of the season.

Also this month, Amazon confirmed that cornerback Richard Sherman will be an analyst for its pregame, halftime and postgame coverage. Sherman has not retired from his playing career, telling the NFL Network that he was “still leaving that door open as long as I can.”

Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit were previously revealed as the play-by-play and commentary team. Herbstreit will remain in his college football roles at ESPN while adding Amazon to his resume. Michaels agreed to an “emeritus” role at NBC Sports, but Thursday games will be his main role in the 2022 season.

Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has worked for CBS and Fox, will also be a part of Amazon’s first foray into football.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) looks on against the Washington Football Team during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Amazon officially names Richard Sherman TNF studio analyst

Veteran NFL cornerback Richard Sherman will be a studio analyst for Amazon’s new “Thursday Night Football” broadcast in 2022.

The agreement, first reported last month, will see Sherman, 34, contribute to pregame, halftime and postgame coverage of Thursday NFL games — most of which will be streamed exclusively on Amazon Prime for the first time.

The loquacious five-time All-Pro has not retired from his playing career, though, telling the NFL Network that he was “still leaving that door open as long as I can.”

“If somebody wants to call late December, and needs some help, I’m happy to help,” Sherman said.

Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has previously worked for CBS and Fox, will also be a part of Amazon’s first foray into football.

Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit were previously revealed as the play-by-play and commentary team. Herbstreit will remain in his college football roles at ESPN while adding Amazon to his resume. Michaels agreed to an “emeritus” role at NBC Sports, but Thursday games will be his main role in the 2022 season.

Sherman, best known for his role in the “Legion of Boom” Seattle Seahawks defense in the early 2010s, last played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for five games in 2021 while battling multiple injuries. He has totaled 495 tackles, 37 interceptions, five forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries in 144 career games (136 starts) with Seattle, the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Richard Sherman (5) looks on against the Carolina Panthers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

CB Richard Sherman to join Amazon NFL broadcasts

Loquacious cornerback Richard Sherman could be behind a microphone instead of shielding wide receivers for the 2022 NFL season as part of Amazon’s broadcast team.

Sherman, a five-time All-Pro, battled numerous injuries in 2021 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and turned 34 in March. He remains hopeful a playing opportunity will present itself, per NFL Network, but is near an agreement to play a role with Amazon if no offers to get back on the field emerge.

A fifth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Sherman’s brash vocal style drew attention as he was locking down top receivers for nearly a decade as a founding member of the Seattle Seahawks’ vaunted Legion of Boom secondary.

Sherman played for the Seahawks through 2017 before he was released in a salary cap move. Acting as his own agent, he joined the division rival San Francisco 49ers (2018-2020) before linking on with Tampa after the start of the season last year.

In a 2019 interview, Sherman boasted he was offered the booth analyst spot for “Monday Night Football” when Jon Gruden returned to coach the Raiders. ESPN eventually hired Jason Witten. Sherman said ESPN made the offer after he suffered a torn Achilles in 2018.

As part of the exclusive deal to stream “Thursday Night Football” games this season, Amazon hired Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit as the lead team in their broadcast booth and signed Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez to a contract for a studio role.

Prime Video was informed during the NFL draft last month its first game of the 2022 season is the Thursday, Sept. 15 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers. The full 2022 NFL schedule will be released Thursday night.

–Field Level Media