Al Michaels could soon be trading in Sunday Night Football for Thursday Night Football.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Amazon Prime has begun courting the 76-year-old play-by-play voice to lead its booth when its exclusive Thursday night coverage begins in the 2022-23 season.
Fox’s Joe Buck and CBS’ Ian Eagle are also on the list, but the focus is reportedly on Michaels, who is currently entering the final year of his contract with NBC.
Per Marchand, Amazon — whose negotiations could include NBC’s top production people as part of the deal — could offer Michaels an “extraordinary contract” that could surpass Tony Romo’s $1 million per game average (but would not be as long as the former Cowboys quarterback’s 10-year deal).
If Michaels were to agree to a deal with Amazon, it would not affect his standing with NBC for the upcoming season, in which he is scheduled to call the Super Bowl in his hometown of Los Angeles.
NBC has been ready to move Mike Tirico into the Sunday Night booth full-time beginning in 2022-23, which could also see Drew Brees as his potential counterpart when Cris Collinsworth’s contract expires in two years.
Marchand, however, noted that Collinsworth joining Michaels with Amazon is a longshot, and that the streaming service is high on Nate Burleson as the color commentator.
There could be a scenario in which Michaels joins Amazon for its 15 regulars season games and remain at NBC in a lesser role which would allow him to broadcast one of the network’s wild-card matchups.