Prime Video Taps Al Michaels to Lead 'Thursday Night Football' Coverage

Al Michaels at Cowboys Stadium in 2019
(Image credit: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Veteran sports announcer Al Michaels and ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit will helm Prime Video’s exclusive Thursday Night Football package beginning this September, the streaming service confirmed Wednesday. 

Michaels, who has served as play-by-play announcer for NBC’s Sunday Night Football since 2006, will join Herbstreit — who serves as ESPN’s college football commentator — in leading the streaming service’s exclusive NFL game package, part of an 11-year deal reached with the league reached last year. 

The signing of Michaels — who also called Monday Night Football games for ABC for nearly two decades beginning in 1986 and has served as an announcer for the Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup Finals and Winter Olympics during a more than 50-year career in sports television — is a major acquisition for Prime Video, which is hoping to draw eyeballs and subscriptions with its NFL Thursday Night Football package.

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Michaels will team with Herbstreit, who Wednesday also reached reached a multi-year contract extension with ESPN to continue his studio and game analyst role on  the sports network's College GameDay and on ABC Saturday Night Football telecasts. NextTV reported earlier this month that Herbstreit would be moving into Prime Video's Thursday Night Football announcing booth. 

“Kirk’s passion for college football and reverence for its traditions is unmatched,” said ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro in a statement. “His signature analysis and in-depth insight have earned him the respect of both fans and the teams he covers, and we are thrilled to ensure that Kirk will continue to be there for college football’s biggest moments for years to come.”

The move caps a busy off-season for NFL announcers in which a number of high-profile talent switched distribution outlets, including Fox Sports' NFL announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, will now serve as ESPN's Monday Night Football announcers. NBC's Mike Tirico is also expected to take Michaels' place on Sunday Night Football alongside Cris Collinsworth, according to published reports. 

ESPN in February re-signed Peyton Manning and his Omaha Productions to produce the Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli alternative broadcast that airs on ESPN2 opposite ESPN's Monday Night Football telecast.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.