Much like Yogurt in Spaceballs, Amazon Prime’s NFL announcer Al Michaels understands that the key to all things is…merchandising.
Michaels appeared on The Michele Tafoya Podcast earlier this week and chatted with his former NBC colleague about how he felt about year one for Prime’s Thursday Night Football.
“We had to ramp up from nothing. No infrastructure. No equipment. No personnel. And had to do it within a year,” said Michaels. “One of the things I think Amazon wanted was to make sure their presentation was big-time and not rinky dink.
“Even I was kind of amazed that we could make this look very much like Sunday Night Football or any presentations right off the bat. So that part of it was great. The Amazon people were terrific. Unbelievably supportive through and through.”
Michaels wasn’t shy in his on-air critiques of the quality of games that Amazon had to work with last season. He feels as though the chance that teams could play on TNF twice in a season this year, as has been reported, could give them a boost in that department, not to mention how the Black Friday game could give Amazon a boost in the bank account.
“The schedule is the issue because teams cannot play more than once on a Thursday night so we had to do every team,” said Michaels. “And obviously, there was gonna be some games that were good, some games that were not very good, but actually, that happens every Sunday. Now they’re gonna try to, this year, expand it a little bit, maybe have teams play twice on a Thursday night, which helps us, no doubt about it.”
“You have games on Thanksgiving and then the Black Friday game is going to be a fantastic thing for Amazon that would probably, you know, sell 18 gazillion dollars worth of merchandise that day for people who are at home logging on.”
Michaels told Tafoya that along with how impressed he was with Amazon’s ability to produce a good-looking NFL broadcast last season, he’s excited about how being on a streaming service might become more commonplace for audiences in year two.
“All things considered, I was very proud of the way it works. The way it looked,” said Michaels. “The streaming world is a different world. It’s not linear television…But they’ve got a lot of smart people. The technological end of this thing is trying to work on making this simpler and more easily accessible to everybody [will] come in time.”