Amazon is planning on making a big splash when Prime Video becomes the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football next season. The company is rumored to be going all-in on a “dream team” of commentators featuring play-by-play from Al Michaels and analyst Troy Aikman, according to a report from Front Office Sports.
As the top pick in the 1989 NFL Draft, Aikman spent 12 years in the league as the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, where he won 3 Super Bowls and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2001, he joined Fox as a color commentator for their NFL telecast and was promoted to the network’s lead announcing crew a year later, which is a position he holds until this day.
Michaels has over 50 years of broadcast experience and called his first NFL game in 1973. He is best known as the voice of Monday Night Football, as he called games for ABC Sports from 1986 to 2005. Since 2006, he’s been the play-by-play voice of Sunday Night Football on NBC, the unprecedented No. 1 show in primetime over the last 10 years.
In the Front Office Sports report, the duo has been touted as the “gold standard of the National Football League,” according to Eric Weinberger, the former executive vice president of NFL Network. Combined, Michaels and Aikman have called 12 Super Bowls, which would bring some legitimacy to the NFL’s first digital-broadcast package.
Given Amazon’s deep pockets, it’s likely that this will happen, with the New York Post reporting that Michaels is “90%” likely to make the move. For Aikman, it could be a bit more challenging, since he has four children and may be looking to cut down on his travel, and has spoken about possibly owning an NFL franchise in the future. The Post reported that NBC’s Chris Collinsworth or Drew Brees may be other names who could join Michaels if Aikman doesn’t work out.
For their part, Fox, Amazon, and NBC have not commented on any of the rumors regarding any of the broadcasters. Fox could choose to lend Aikman instead of Amazon having exclusivity. However, if Aikman and Michaels end up making the move then it could revitalize both of their careers and give fans a fresh experience. Weinberger nailed it through the uprights when he said, “There’s an opportunity to either mix up the voices like this. Or find new voices every once in a while. I think fans value that.”