While the NFL broadcasting world and sports media observers wait to see what Al Michaels’ next movie will be after finishing out his NBC contract with Sunday’s Super Bowl LVI telecast, Amazon is looking to build out the rest of its Thursday Night Football team for next season.
The New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand mentioned that Amazon is eyeing Tony Gonzalez and Marshawn Lynch for its TNF pregame show. The Lynch possibility was reported back in January, but Gonzalez’s name is a new addition to a possible crew.
Gonzalez was part of Fox’s Thursday pregame team for two seasons, rotating with Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long as analysts alongside Michael Strahan. He was also a studio analyst on the Fox NFL Kickoff show and appeared on Fox NFL Sunday, with the presumption that he would eventually take over one of the analyst roles on that program.
Prior to joining Fox, Gonzalez was on CBS’s The NFL Today pregame show for three years, added to the studio crew when the network let Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe go after the 2013 season.
But before the 2019 NFL season, Gonzalez left the TV business to pursue a career in TV and movies. He appeared in 2017’s xXx: The Return of Xander Cage and had a recurring role on CBS drama NCIS for three seasons.
Marchand said Gonzalez being part of Amazon’s TNF coverage was “likely,” which appears to be an indication that the Hall of Fame tight end hasn’t been able to develop a Hollywood career as hoped. (Gonzalez’s IMDB page only lists a role in Nate Boyer’s film MVP, with no upcoming projects.) Or maybe whatever money being offered is too good to turn down and Gonzalez can pursue acting gigs during the offseason.
Meanwhile, Michaels and Amazon are not yet a done deal. And with rumblings of ESPN showing interest in bringing him back to Monday Night Football, Marchand reports that CBS’s Ian Eagle and Fox’s Kevin Burkhardt are under consideration for that play-by-play gig.
And if Troy Aikman passes on the analyst position, Sean Payton and Kurt Warner would be possibilities in addition to deep throws for Tom Brady or Sean McVay.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.
NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer
“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”
According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.
The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.
The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options.
A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.