Pat McAfee has become a ubiquitous presence in the world of sports media in recent years, parlaying his weekly radio show into a massive deal with FanDuel, a full-time gig wrestling and commentating for WWE, and also popping up on various ESPN properties like College Gameday, XFL broadcasts, and, most recently, the Monday Night Football Manningcast.
The popularity of Peyton and Eli’s alternate broadcast has led ESPN and other networks to seek out opportunities to replicate that success, and it appears Amazon wants to bring McAfee in to run an alt broadcast for Thursday Night Football this year. After inking Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit to deals to call the games on a traditional feed, Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports McAfee is in talks with Amazon for an alternate broadcast, as it would allow him to stay home in Indianapolis and continue doing his highly lucrative radio show.
McAfee has said in the past he’s discussed a deal with Amazon but couldn’t commit to traveling to games, but this would offer him the chance to squeeze an NFL broadcast into his schedule by not having to go on the road. While McAfee isn’t the household name that Peyton and Eli are, he does have a massive presence and a built in audience that would follow him to an Amazon broadcast, which might be more important for the streaming giant given you’ll have to be seeking this broadcast out to find it, rather than possibly stumbling across it as you scroll through your channel guide.
His appearance on the Manningcast showed what might be his biggest strength in that role, which was recognizing that people want to hear from Peyton and Eli so he often deflected questions in order to ask something in return and get a story out of the Mannings. That bodes well for his own version as he brings guests on and because of his polish with holding so many roles on various shows, his version for Amazon probably wouldn’t have quite as much awkwardness and people stepping on each other as Year 1 of the Manningcast.
We’ll have to wait and see if this gets done, but there’s plenty of reason both sides would see benefit to doing this.