Amazon Picks New Football Commentator For 'Thursday Night Football': Report
By Jason Hall
March 7, 2022
Pro Football Talk's Peter King reports the company has "settled on" longtime ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit after reported interest in Troy Aikman, Sean McVay and John Lynch, all of whom reportedly declined the job, respectively.
Amazon has yet to name Herbstreit's play-by-play partner as of Monday (March 7).
Herbstreit is expected pull double duty and continue to contribute to ESPN's College Gameday traveling pregame show and primetime game coverage, which leads to speculation about the possibility of also bringing in his play-by-play partner Chris Fowler to contribute to Amazon's Thursday Night Football coverage as well.
Last month, the New York Post's Andrew Marchand reported Aikman, a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and longtime FOX Sports analyst, was expected to become the main analyst for ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast team amid reports that Amazon had planned to pair him up with Hall of Fame play-by-play man Al Michaels.
Michaels, 77, reportedly hoped Aikman would join him as his broadcasting partner with Amazon Prime and was close to reaching a deal, but hadn't amid reported interest from ESPN to be paired with Aikman, according to Marchand.
Michaels, who had previously worked for ABC Sports -- which, like ESPN, is owned by The Walt Disney Company -- from 1976-2006 and is the longest tenured Monday Night Football play-by-play man in history (1986-2005).
Aikman's current broadcast partner, Joe Buck, is currently in the final year of his contract with FOX Sports and sources told the New York Post that the football and baseball commentator could be a top target for ESPN.
FOX Sports would need to grant Buck permission out of his contract if he intended to sign with ESPN ahead of next year.
Aikman had reportedly agreed to a deal "for five years" and a yearly salary "expected to approach or exceed the neighborhood of Tony Romo's $17.5 million per year contract with CBS," Marchand reported, adding that the deal hasn't been signed but was "near completion" at the time of the report on February 24.