Another piece of the puzzle falls into place.
NBC Sports NFL insider Peter King reports he heard Sunday night “that Amazon—spurned by Troy Aikman, Sean McVay and John Lynch—has settled on ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit to be the analyst on its Thursday night package of NFL games starting this fall. (He’s likely to continue his current ESPN/ABC duties as well.)”
The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported last week that Amazon Prime was “eyeing” ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit for the Thursday Night Football broadcast booth.
While Herbstreit is under contract with ESPN for around $6-plus million per year, sources have told The Post that the way his deal is written he would be allowed to do the NFL with another entity, while continuing on college for ESPN. … If Amazon and Herbstreit were to make a deal, ESPN, according to sources, would want the option to still use Herbstreit on some NFL games. While continuing as the home of “Monday Night Football,” it will extend to 25 games a year in the next two years.
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† Ex-Cowboys star Troy Aikman leaving FOX for ESPN is all about the money, NFL insider says
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Herbstreit, perhaps the best college football analyst on TV, has previous NFL experience, picking up games for ESPN the last couple of years when the network had Monday Night Football doubleheaders.
Who will be joining Herbstreit in the Amazon broadcast booth remains to be seen. The leading contender is Al Michaels, who’s set to leave NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
However Michaels reportedly wanted Troy Aikman as his tag-team partner at Amazon, and the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback is set to leave FOX Sports for ESPN to work on Monday Night Football.
Aikman is getting Tony Romo money (reportedly five years and $90 million) to switch networks, and is hoping that Joe Buck will come along for the ride.
Marchand reports “The exact terms of what ESPN might offer Buck is not yet fully known, but it is expected to be in the range of five years and $60 million-$75 million, if the network gets the chance. If FOX allows Buck to go, Buck’s main job would be teaming with his old FOX partner, Aikman, on ‘Monday Night Football.’ Buck wouldn’t be expected to do ‘Sunday Night Baseball.’ He would probably be a producer for projects on ESPN+.”
Marchand also reports “If Buck doesn’t happen with MNF, Michaels will be ESPN’s next choice. The idea of returning home to ABC/ESPN on ‘Monday Night Football’ is appealing to Michaels.”
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Mike Rosenstein may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org†