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Amazon Taps Kirk Herbstreit for Thursday Night Football

Prime Video’s TNF broadcasts will reportedly feature the longtime ESPN college football analyst when their exclusive streaming deal begins later this year.

Amazon’s Thursday Night Football has found its analyst. According to a Monday report from NBC Sports’ Peter King, Kirk Herbstreit will provide color commentary for Prime Video’s exclusive TNF broadcasts starting this fall.

Herbstreit is known for being a longtime ESPN college football analyst. The New York Post’s Andre Marchand previously reported that Amazon was targeting Fox’s Troy Aikman, San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, and even LA Rams head coach Sean McVay — Amazon reportedly offered him $100 million — before turning its attention to Herbstreit.

Amazon’s 11-year deal to stream Thursday Night Football on an exclusive basis begins this year. Per King, Herbstreit is expected to continue to work at ESPN.

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Herbstreit has been one of the faces of ESPN’s College GameDay since 1996 and currently features alongside Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, David Pollack, and Lee Corso. Notably, he expressed interest in covering the NFL games in the past: “I hope to always do college football. But if NFL would be in my future, I’m a lot more open to that thought than I was maybe prior to that experience,” he said in 2020.

Other candidates rumored to have been on Amazon’s radar for the job include Drew Brees, Sean Payton, and Kurt Warner. Separately, former Cowboys quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Troy Aikman is increasingly expected to leave Fox’s No. 1 booth to become lead analyst for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Marchand reported that Aikman’s deal is expected to match or eclipse the $17.5 million annual salary Tony Romo receives from CBS.

Overall, Amazon is paying $1.32 billion this year for the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football. The amount equals $14.5 billion over the course of the league’s 11-year, $105 billion package of media rights deals.