Sunday Night Football announcer Al Michaels might be making a major change. The sports broadcasting legend came very close to confirming a move to Amazon when his Sunday Night Football contract with NBC Sports runs out. Michaels' comments in a Sports Illustrated podcast Thursday came after the New York Post reported in September that there was a strong chance of Michaels jumping to a new frontier in the media landscape.
When Sports Illustrated columnist Jimmy Traina asked Michaels, 76, if he was jumping to Amazon, Michaels didn't deny it. Instead, he referred to streaming as "the new frontier" and said the NFL has good reason to make sure Amazon's jump into live sports is a success. At the moment, Amazon does live-stream Thursday night games live, but these are still spearheaded by the linear networks and not completely Amazon productions.
"Right now, I'm playing out this year," Michaels said, reports Deadline. "NBC has been great to me. If there is a combination for production between Amazon and NBC, that creates a different template here. Because in effect, we would wind up overseeing two packages. It's not a deal yet. I know it's being discussed. Amazon will probably need a partner for production and we'll see what's gonna happen at the end of the year."
Michaels has been calling SNF broadcasts since NBC landed the rights to Sunday night primetime games in 2006. Before that, he spent 30 years at ABC Sports, where he also called Monday Night Football. In his interview with Traina, Michaels looked back fondly on his time at NBC.
"I love what I'm doing as much as ever. I'm relishing it," he said. "I've actually had talks through the years with people like Tom Brady and Drew Brees. When they get towards the end of their career, and in a way you know that the end is much closer than the beginning or even the middle, and I'm really just sucking out all the joy I can from this season."
Back in September, the Post predicted there is a "90 percent" chance that Amazon would hire Michaels, while one source told the site that there was a "95 percent" chance of that happening. Michaels would still work with NBC on a "limited capacity," according to the Post. Mike Tirico, who has already filled in for Michaels during his off weeks, is expected to become NBC's number one play-by-play announcer after Michaels calls Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles for NBC in February.0comments