Hartung, Whitworth and Talib join ‘Thursday Night Football’ – Sports


Prime Video’s team for “Thursday Night Football” is almost ready, less than two months before its first regular season game.

Kaylee Hartung was hired by Amazon as a sideline reporter while Andrew Whitworth and Aqib Talib signed on as contributors for pregame, halftime and postgame coverage.

Prime Video’s regular season debut as the exclusive home of the primetime package will be on September 15 when Kansas City hosts the Los Angeles Chargers.

“It’s been an incredible opportunity to start from scratch, to bring a fresh perspective,” said Marie Donoghue, vice president of Amazon at Global Sports Video. “We have great veterans who are at the top of their profession while they are at the same time, bringing in some incredible personalities who have recently left the game. So that will bring a unique stream of entry.

Hartung returns to the sport after five years with ABC News and CNN. She was previously a sideline reporter for ESPN, primarily for SEC football and college basketball.

In a phone interview, Hartung said she didn’t quit the sport five years ago, but became a more versatile journalist.

“The range of opportunities has been cool, and I think that’s helped me better prepare for this next step,” she said. “This is the next big opportunity for me to tell great stories. Storytelling, whether it’s news or sports, it’s the same craft. And that’s what has been so exciting in this opportunity, because it’s the greatest story in sports, and we’re talking about the NFL and a prime-time game that’s going to get so many eyes.

Hartung will be paired with play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and analyst Kirk Herbstreit for game coverage. Hartung and Herbstreit have done a few events together for ESPN, but have never been on the same weekly team until now on Prime Video.

While Herbstreit will continue with college football for ESPN, Hartung’s last day at ABC News was last Friday.

“I heard their enthusiasm at the idea of ​​participating in the construction of something new. And I think for us to do this together will be a bonding experience, for sure,” said Hartung of Michaels and Herbstreit. “Just learning from them, the way they do their jobs and run their businesses, is an incredible learning opportunity for me.”

Whitworth, who capped a 16-year NFL career by helping lead the Los Angeles Rams to a Super Bowl championship, joins Ryan Fitzpatrick and Richard Sherman on a studio team that played last season. The former offensive tackle and Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year recipient garnered a lot of interest from networks before picking up Prime Video.

“I was really excited when I got the chance to get a little vision of what they wanted to do – be a little bit innovative and change it up and create a new and exciting experience. That was just there with who I am to create a culture and an atmosphere and really an experience,” said Whitworth.

Talib played 12 years in the NFL — including winning a Super Bowl title with Denver — before retiring after the 2019 season. He had made a few NFL games for Fox over the past two seasons.

It was announced earlier that Charissa Thompson and Tony Gonzalez will also be on pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage.

Donoghue said plans are still being finalized for some of the alternate streams that will be available during games. Prime Video will have a few practice games before carrying the preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans on August 25.



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