Amazon is building a weekly NFL production from scratch. And it has the scratch to do it right.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Amazon “has grappled with the idea” of pursuing Peyton Manning to serve as the lead analyst for the Thursday Night Football package that debuts next year on Amazon Prime. Marchand emphasizes that Amazon has not yet begun a pursuit of Manning and possibly never will.
It wouldn’t be cheap; Manning surely would want (and deserve) more than the $18 million per year Tony Romo gets from CBS. The fact that Amazon games likely will have lower ratings than games televised by three-letter networks could make the platform less attractive — which could in turn require Amazon to pay even more of a premium to get Manning.
Marchand previously has reported that Amazon would like to hire Al Michaels to handle the play-by-play call for the Thursday games, and that Sunday Night Football executive producer Fred Gaudelli could be in play, too.
Last year, when ESPN was making its annual run at Manning for Monday Night Football, it was believed that Manning wanted to partner with Michaels. Last year, NBC reportedly rebuffed interest from ESPN in pairing Michaels and Manning.