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NFL on Amazon, explained: A complete guide to watching ‘Thursday Night Football’ broadcasts in 2022

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NFL on Amazon, explained: A complete guide to watching ‘Thursday Night Football’ broadcasts in 2022

The NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package has a new home in 2022. After a four-year run at Fox, Amazon Prime holds exclusive rights to the programming.

Amazon taking over “Thursday Night Football” is a major development for the NFL. The partnership marks the league’s first all-digital rights agreement.

The agreement means a big adjustment for NFL fans who are used to watching the program on cable or other streaming services. There are plenty of questions about how to access the contests.

Many will also wonder how Amazon’s NFL broadcast team came together. The service streamed “Thursday Night Football” games during Fox’s rights agreement, which meant Fox’s broadcast and studio teams were shown.

Now, Amazon has its own talent, and the faces will be familiar to many NFL fans.

Here’s everything to know about Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” coverage in 2022, from how to watch it to the development of its theme song.

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How to watch NFL games on Amazon

  • Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Live stream: Amazon Prime Video

Amazon will be the exclusive home of “Thursday Night Football” from 2022 through 2033. It will broadcast 15 NFL games in total from Weeks 2 through 16 this season, and all of the games will be available to stream on Amazon Prime.

Fox owned the broadcast rights to “Thursday Night Football” from 2018 through 2021, while Amazon owned the digital streaming rights to the series. Now, Amazon owns exclusive rights to the games and will be producing its own broadcast instead of streaming Fox’s production.

Games will be televised free in the local markets of the teams that are playing. Out-of-market viewers will be able to watch “Thursday Night Football” with an Amazon Prime subscription. The games will be streamed on the Amazon app and will not be televised by any national network. Thus, both cord-cutters and those with cable subscriptions will have to stream the games using Amazon.

Additionally, Amazon has reached an agreement with DirecTV to show the games in “more than 300,000 sports bars, restaurants, hotel lounges, retail shops and services, and many other venues nationwide,” according to a DirecTV press release.

NFL on Amazon schedule 2022

Below is the “Thursday Night Football” schedule for 2022. The series will run from Weeks 2 through 16 of the NFL season and span 15 games in total.

Week Date Matchups
2 Sept. 15 Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
3 Sept. 22 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
4 Sept. 29 Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
5 October 6 Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos
6 October 13 Washington Commanders vs. Chicago Bears
7 October 20 New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals
8 October 27 Baltimore Ravens vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
9 Nov. 3 Philadelphia Eagles vs. Houston Texans
10 Nov. 10 Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
11 Nov. 17 Tennessee Titans vs. Green Bay Packers
12 Nov. 24 Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots
13 Dec. 1 Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Rams
14 Dec. 8 San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
15 Dec. 15 Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets
16 Dec. 22 Dallas Cowboys vs. Tennessee Titans

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Why isn’t ‘Thursday Night Football’ on Fox in 2022?

“Thursday Night Football” isn’t on Fox in 2022 because the network opted out of the final year of its rights deal with the NFL.

Fox originally held the rights to the program from 2018 through 2022. They were part of a $3 billion agreement between the network and the NFL that made Fox the exclusive broadcaster of “TNF.”

But Fox wasn’t getting enough out of the arrangement. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said opting out of the contract was “the right strategic move” and would open up more opportunities for other programs on the network.

Fox remains committed to broadcasting games on NFL Sundays, including “America’s Game of the Week” every Sunday at 4:25 pm ET.

Who makes up the Amazon NFL broadcast team?

Amazon has hired seasoned talent for its production, including one of the most recognizable play-by-play voices on television. Below is a breakdown of the personnel added so far.

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Al Michaels, play-by-play

Michaels is fresh off his 36th season as an NFL prime-time play-by-play voice. The 77-year-old spent 30 years at ABC and was the network’s “Monday Night Football” play-by-play announcer from 1986 to 2006. He joined NBC as its play-by-play announcer for “Sunday Night Football” in 2007. .

Michaels has a lifetime Emmy Award to his name and has called some of the most iconic moments in sports. Chief among them was his legendary call of the “Miracle on Ice” game in the 1980 Winter Olympics and the Giants vs. A’s World Series game in 1989 that was derailed by an earthquake in the Bay Area.

Kirk Herbstreit, color commentator

Herbstreit is an interesting choice as Michaels’ broadcast partner given that most of his experience has been in calling college games. Herbstreit has been at ESPN since 1996. He plays a key role in hosting the network’s “College GameDay” program and also serves as the analyst for ABC’s “Saturday Night Football.”

Herbstreit has won 14 Sports Emmys for his work at ESPN. The 53-year-old played quarterback at Ohio State from 1989-93.

MORE: Why Kirk Herbstreit’s Amazon deal won’t impact ESPN’s college football coverage

Kaylee Hartung, sideline reporter

Hartung is making her return to live sports with Amazon. She previously held positions with ABC, CNN and ESPN, where she worked for the SEC Network and Longhorn Network.

Charissa Thompson, host

Thompson is another familiar face coming on board. She will anchor Amazon’s pregame, postgame and halftime coverage of “Thursday Night Football.” Thompson serves as a host for “Fox NFL Kickoff” and will retain that job in addition to her work with Amazon.

Thompson has been with Fox Sports since 2013. She has also served as a host on “Fox Sports Live.” She previously worked at ESPN, where she replaced Michelle Beadle on “SportsNation.” Her work has been featured on Yahoo! Sports, Big Ten Network, Fox Sports Net and Versus, as well.

Richard Sherman, analyst

Amazon landed Sherman to serve as a studio analyst for its pregame, postgame and halftime coverage. The boisterous cornerback enjoyed an 11-year NFL career and was one of the driving forces behind the “Legion of Boom” defense that helped carry the Seahawks to a win in Super Bowl 48.

Sherman developed into an elite cornerback after being a fifth-round pick by the Seahawks out of Stanford. He was named to three All-Pro first teams and generated 495 tackles, 116 pass defenses and 37 interceptions in 144 career games.

Sherman is known for his charisma and intensity both on and off the field and has become a podcast host in recent years. That experience could prove to be an invaluable part of Amazon’s studio show.

Tony Gonzalez, analyst

Gonzalez is one of the greatest tight ends of all time. The former Chiefs and Falcons star played 17 seasons, with 14 Pro Bowl and six All-Pro first team selections. He racked up 1,325 receptions, 15,127 yards and 111 touchdowns in his career. The first two totals rank as the most by a tight end in NFL history.

A few years after his playing career ended, Gonzalez joined CBS as a studio analyst. After that, he worked for Fox beginning in 2017 but left the network to pursue other opportunities in 2021. The Hall of Famer is looking forward to his return to broadcasting.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, analyst

Fitzpatrick played for nine different teams during his NFL career. He will be in the broadcast booth for the first time with Amazon.

Fitzpatrick, 39, was drafted by the Rams in the seventh round (250th overall) out of Harvard in 2005. No Ivy League quarterback has been chosen in the draft since then. He made at least 10 starts for six different teams and became a beloved figure across the NFL during his “Fitzmagic” years with the Buccaneers and Dolphins.

Fitzpatrick racked up 34,990 passing yards, 223 touchdowns and 169 interceptions over his 17 seasons. He posted a 59-87-1 record, but the well-traveled passer’s career makes him an intriguing candidate to transition from the field to the booth.

MORE: Power rankings of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s NFL teams from Buffalo to Washington

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Andrew Whitworth, analyst

Whitworth last season became the oldest player in NFL history to start a game at left tackle. He also won the first Super Bowl of his career and was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year before calling it a career.

The 40-year-old Whitworth was a second-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Bengals and made 235 starts in 239 career regular-season games. The 6-7, 330-pound lineman was an AP All-Pro twice and started at least 15 games in 13 of his 16 seasons.

Taylor Rooks, feature reporter

The fast-rising Rooks currently works for Turner Sports at Bleacher Report. The 30-year-old has experience as an on-air host, reporter and correspondent for the Big Ten Network and served as a sideline reporter for CBS Sports Network for the 2016 college football season.

At Amazon, Rooks will produce feature stories that will air during the streaming service’s studio shows.

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Michael Smith, news analyst

Smith is a veteran journalist who is best known for his 15-year stint at ESPN from 2004-19. He began as a senior writer after covering the Patriots for The Boston Globe from 2001-04. He served as an NFL Insider on “SportsCenter” and “NFL Live” in his early days with the network.

Smith regularly appeared on “Around the Horn” and served as a guest host on programs like “Mike & Mike,” “First Take,” “SportsNation,” “Outside the Lines,” “NFL Live” and “College Football Live.” He co-hosted “His and Hers” and “SC6” with Jemele Hill. Smith has experience working with Charissa Thompson: they collaborated on “Numbers Never Lie” when ESPN first launched the show.

Dude Perfect, alternate broadcast hosts

Dude Perfect — a group of sports content creators known for their trick-shot videos — is set to host an alternate “TNF” viewing experience. The dates of the broadcasts are unknown, but the secondary stream will consist of “off-the-wall challenges, good-spirited ribbing and life-changing dares rooted in on-field action,” according to a press release.

The Dude Perfect alternate broadcast will be available to watch on Amazon Prime and can also be viewed on Twitch.

What is the ‘Thursday Night Football’ theme song?

Just like all prime-time NFL programs, “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime will feature a theme song.

The company tabbed composer Pinar Toprak, who is best known for scoring “Captain Marvel” and parts of the popular video game “FortNite,” to compose the song. She looked to create a specific emotional response when crafting the tune.

“Excitement, anticipation, power, strength, team, togetherness,” Toprak told USA Today Sports of the emotions she sought to invoke. “In the other versions, we have some really fun moments, too.”

Toprak wanted a blend of both electric and orchestral sound in her composition. She wanted a particular emphasis on the powerful sound of brass.

“I can’t imagine a big, powerful sports theme at some point not having that big brass fanfare,” she said.

Amazon vice president for global video Marie Donoghue agreed with Toprak’s assessment of the music.

“The NFL has such intensity and drama,” Donoghue said. “We really think Pinar’s music reflects that.”

Below is a preview of “Prime Video Sports Theme,” the result of a two-day studio session in Nashville with Toprak and a 70-piece orchestra.

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