Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Thursday Night Football is heading to Fox for next 5 years

Report: Thursday Night Football is heading to Fox next season Fox Poised to Win Rights to NFL Thursday Night Package
| 02 February, 2018, 10:33

The last two seasons, CBS and NBC paired up for the rights to air 10 Thursday night games (simulcast on the NFL Network).

After sitting on the sidelines for a few seasons, the Fox broadcast network has scored the rights to the NFL's Thursday Night Football franchise. Players' bodies take a beating on Sunday, and it's a quick turnaround to get physically and mentally ready for a Thursday game. This fits into what Fox wants to do heading forward with its over-the-air network-a push to live sports and news-oriented fare. Calling TNF would give Johnson and Klatt the rare Thursday/Saturday night double, and would certainly raise their profile, but would having the duo split their attention between the NFL and college football diminish their quality?

The stock drop reflects skepticism about the long-term viability of the National Football League, whose total TV ratings have declined 17% in the past two years.

Fox's pursuit of "Thursday Night Football" is a sign of its strategic direction after a planned sale of assets to Walt Disney Co. for $52.4 billion.

The deal includes 11 games per season between weeks 4-15, according to a news release from the NFL.


The interruptions in the fall schedule, which remains a key launchpad for networks' primetime shows, may have been a factor in the thinking at CBS and NBC, each of which submitted bids to continue airing Thursday night games.

Perhaps you don't like "Thursday Night Football"? Per Sports Business Daily, CBS and NBC submitted bids that were smaller than their current deals. The same broadcast network's "Sunday Night Football" games averaged 18.285 million overall audience members - that's a near-35 percent advantage for the weekend. NFL Network has other games as exclusives as part of its arrangement with the league. They will also be distributed on Fox Deportes.

When NBC muscled its way into TNF in 2016, it utilized Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth despite its efforts to get Mike Tirico involved, though Tirico was featured at times during the 2017 season.

Those valuable pro pigskin rights will cost Fox about $60 million a game over the next five years, TheWrap was told by a person with knowledge of the deal's terms.

The NFL announced Wednesday morning that the package will go to Fox for the next five seasons.

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