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Amazon Wants Taylor Rooks For ‘Thursday Night Football’

  • Rooks has focused primarily on NBA at Bleacher Report.
  • But she wants to do more NFL coverage.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rising star Taylor Rooks could be adding prime-time NFL football coverage to her resume.

Amazon Prime Video is interested in adding the Bleacher Report reporter, host, and anchor to its “Thursday Night Football” coverage, sources tell Front Office Sports. 

Rooks focuses primarily on the NBA for B/R and Turner Sports, recently interviewing the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Candace Parker. 

But she could contribute feature stories to Amazon, said sources. The tech giant’s exclusive streaming coverage of TNF kicks off Sep. 15, with the Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Georgia native could work for both Amazon and B/R — a non-exclusive relationship that’s becoming more common as sports media companies seek to defray costs.  

Amazon game analyst Kirk Herbstreit, for example, will continue to call Saturday night college football games for ESPN’s sister Walt Disney Co. network ABC. 

Herbstreit will team with the legendary Al Michaels at Amazon, which is paying $1 billion a year for exclusive TNF streaming rights through 2033.

During an interview with Barrett Sports Media last year, Rooks stated she wanted to do more NFL coverage.

“Just being from Georgia, in the South, I grew up loving football. My dad played football. It was a football house. I love basketball — I love them both, but I just love football a little bit more,” she said. 

“I’ve gotten kind of sucked into doing mainly NBA, which is great and has led to so many amazing experiences, but I just wish I had more of a hand in football. I would love to be able to do more of that.”

Rooks’ emergence comes with Charissa Thompson now the favorite to land the on-site anchor job for Amazon’s pre, post and halftime shows, said sources. 

The host of the “Fox NFL Kickoff” pregame show is competing against Colleen Wolfe and Kay Adams of NFL Network for the “Thursday Night Football” studio gig. 

Adams, the long-time host of “Good Morning Football, was the previous favorite, but she hasn’t come to terms with Amazon on salary, said sources. However, she’s still a candidate for the job.

Meanwhile, Kaylee Hartung is the lead candidate to serve as sideline reporter for TNF.

Studio analysts could include Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, Sean Payton, Richard Sherman, and retiring NFL QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

Amazon also wants Pat McAfee for an alternative telecast similar to Peyton and Eli Manning’s “ManningCast” for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” 

There could be as many as three alternative presentations backing up the main telecast by Herbstreit and Michaels.

Amazon, B/R and Turner all declined comment on Rooks.

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