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Amazon signed its huge contract to become a broadcast partner with the NFL, now the company could look to sign another contract with an NFL legend. Peyton Manning has another suitor pursuing him to become a TV analyst.
Since hanging up his cleats following the 2015 season, the Hall of Fame quarterback has been coveted by every TV network. Tony Romo’s successful transition from the field to the broadcast booth, leading to a record-setting contract, has led to Manning become the proverbial “white whale” for sports networks.
ESPN pursued Manning for years, hoping the NFL icon would join the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. He once came close to accepting a job and received interest from CBS, but even $20 million per year wasn’t enough to convince him.
With Amazon acquiring Thursday Night Football and set to take on a much larger role as a broadcast partner with the NFL, the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reports Amazon could make a run at Peyton Manning.
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“Sources said Amazon has grappled with the idea of pursuing Manning as its main analyst. With Amazon potentially teaming with NBC and hiring Al Michaels as its lead play-by-player, the company could go with a star power combo of Michaels and Manning. Amazon also could offer Manning ‘Tony Romo money.’Andrew Marchand on Amazon’s potential pursuit of Peyton Manning, via New York Post
For now, the idea is just being discussed. Amazon knows it would need to open the wallets with a record-breaking offer even to have a chance at Manning. Given CBS is paying Romo $18 million per season and operates on a smaller budget, Manning would likely want even more from Amazon for a TNF gig.
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Future of Thursday Night Football on Amazon
Amazon finalized an 11-year contract with the NFL this offseason, securing the rights to stream TNF games beginning in 2022. The NFL will receive $1 billion per season, with Amazon allowed to create multiple broadcasts to enhance the fan experience.
Efforts are already being made to generate interest, with Amazon pursuing iconic voices to work TNF games. The company is currently pursuing Al Michaels and if a deal is reached, Michaels might become the highest-paid play-by-play man in sports.
Pairing Michaels and Manning together would likely cost Amazon more than $25 million per season, a staggering price to pay. But given the amount of traffic that NFL games generate, with more than 10 million people often tuning in, executives clearly believe it could be worth it.
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If Manning declines another opportunity, Amazon could pursue Cris Collinsworth. NBC is likely grooming Drew Brees to become its Sunday Night Football analyst in a few years, so Collinsworth might see Amazon as a new opportunity to cash in.