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FOX obtains rights to 11 NFL Thursday Night Football games
01 February 2018, 12:38 | Marlene Fleming
Fox Nears 'Thursday Night Football' Deal
In 2016 and 2017, the networks each paid $45 million per game, which pales compared to the $60-plus million Fox is reportedly set to pay.
FOX has outbid CBS and NBC for the rights to the NFL's "Thursday Night Football" package, which will give the network a sizable ratings boost in fall 2018 and have implications for both its own schedule and the networks losing the rights.
Ourand says that Fox will carry 11 Thursday Night Football games, "sharing with NFL Network and a digital partner". As Ourand said in his tweet, Amazon ran the digital package previous year, but those rights are still undetermined for 2018. Fox paid accordingly: According to Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick and Lucas Shaw, the network's bid was higher than the $45 million per game that CBS and NBC paid past year for the Thursday night package. The WSJ reports that an announcement could be made as early as Wednesday.
Fox Sports has landed the NFL's Thursday Night Football package for the next five seasons. It's appeared on NBC, CBS, Universo via Telemundo Deportes, and most recently, Amazon Prime in 2017 for select games.
"NFL football continues to be the most valuable commodity in all of media", 21st Century Fox President Peter Rice said.
The announcement of the deal comes less than two months after 21st Century Fox's announcement of a planned sale of assets to Walt Disney Co. for $52.4 billion, including its regional sports networks, cable channels FX and National Geographic, movie and TV studio, and worldwide assets.
Thursday Night Football offers fans less downtime from week to week in consuming football, though it has come with some criticism.
National Football League ratings may have been down this season but the price to broadcast the games continues to rise to record highs.
The top Fox broadcast team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will not call the TNF games, sources told Sports Business Daily. Fox would keep its Fox broadcast network, Fox Sports and FS1 cable network, leaving it more reliant on live sports broadcasts to draw audiences.
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