“Thursday Night Football” used to be the least compelling game night series in the NFL. This is no longer the case after only the regular season’s live stream appeared on Amazon in its second week.
The notable rivalry between Justin Herbert’s Chargers and Patrick Mahomes’ chiefs aside, TNF’s excellent Prime Video stream has made TNF a prime watch for die-hard and casual fans alike.
Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit have given the Amazon advertising booth a unique appeal, mixing the NFL’s prime-time player with the current top college football commentator. It might not traditionally be the most expensive mix, but the enlightened insight piles on what NBC now has without Michaels with Mike Terrico and Chris Collinsworth and another Herbstreet network, ESPN, with Joe Buck and Troy Ekman.
There is an argument that “Friday Night Football” is now better than both “Sunday Night Football” and “Monday Night Football” in terms of overall quality. After Michaels and Herbstreit evolved into the league’s newest dynamic duo, here are 6 more reasons why Amazon is shipping the NFL to the streaming stratosphere:
There’s a reason Fox veterans Charissa Thompson and Tony Gonzalez are on the left side of the desk. Their experience on the show is a great balance for newcomers Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andrew Whitworth and Richard Sherman. It doesn’t take a Harvard or Stanford education to know that these four former NFL players are four of the smartest players of the modern era.
Fitzpatrick and Sherman have different personalities, but they get along well on the right side with the venerable Whitworth between them. They all provide a straightforward commentary with some humor but without the hot shots. The only regret is that Aqib Taleb, for personal reasons, was unable to recycle his new one into the collection.
Back in the day, the late Pat Summerle was the best at paving the way for the big NFL games on CBS. Michaels, when “MNF” was a fixture on ABC, had that kind of support in thrill games from the late Frank Gifford.
From setting the stage to Kansas City to partially animated titles presenting the game itself, there was justice to the exciting scene to come with AFC West Super Bowl contenders with an elite quarterback.
NBC’s popular “SNF” John Williams theme features appropriate touches like “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones.” Amazon wisely went for the same sentiment by recording an epic gif with Pinar Toprak. “TNF” needed that killer sound to go from a weekend NFL appetizer to a true major event.
Kylie Hartung is no ordinary side reporter. She excelled in college football duties at ESPN at one time, but also managed to cross and do an excellent job on Scripps Spelling Bee TV shows. Amazon made a great move to get her back into the sport after news stints with CNN and ABC.
Michaels and Herbstreit could not have asked for better experienced support and Hartung ensures the quality on the field matches what’s upstairs.
Anyone still stuck with traditional streaming methods might not like it, but Roger Goodell and the NFL had to take the next step to start offering national OTT games. For those familiar with Prime Video, it was hard to miss the big banner that made the game just a click away.
It also helps that Amazon offers DVR controls to allow viewers to pause and record a game to watch it at their own pace. “TNF” has everything every other prime-time broadcast of the NFL has, specific to just one platform. In an age where everyone is scrambling to find their game over networks, a comprehensive search is a welcome alternative.
Amazing picture quality, even with no 4K
For those who appreciate 1080p – also known as Full HD – they’ve been rewarded with an Ultra HD streaming experience. The value of camera work and production was clean and bright, aided by the right mix of vibrant colors from the Chiefs and Chargers uniforms. The graphics were also easy to understand without overwhelming the data.
Midweek Drama in the Unbeatable NFL
Amazon is reaching the level of other platforms in terms of consistent, high-quality drama programming across the board. The hyper-violent movie “The Boys” was the dominant force lately on Prime Video but now it has a much more powerful and family-friendly “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”.
In terms of an unrecorded live reality show, nothing is cooking like the NFL in 2022. Amazon needed to become more competitive and competitive with more established entertainment streaming services. The NFL needed Amazon, to expand its unparalleled American sports brand. Ultimately, the biggest winners of the “Thursday Night Football” settlement are consumers who can’t get enough of the league’s best action.