What: Fox Sports will pay over United States $3 billion to broadcast NFL's "Thursday Night Football" for the next five years. However, the annual fee is probably more than the $450 million that CBS and NBC collectively paid for the Thursday night games previous year.
Fox will take the baton from CBS and NBC and air football on Thursday nights after closing a hefty, five-year deal with the NFL. Fox is paying more than $660 million annually for the new package, according to ESPN.
The NFL and Fox Sports released a joint news release announcing the deal on Wednesday, Jan. 31.
For a comparison between the quality of the games and audience size, "TNF" on NBC 13.583 million total viewers this season.
Thursday night in particular has been a complicated affair since its 2014 broadcast debut, posting strong and consistent ratings but yielding few memorable games and contributing to the glut of games.
But Ourand reports that FOX's top team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will not call the Thursday night games. Fox will also get rights to distribute its Thursday and Sunday games to Fox subscribers through mobile phones and other digital outlets. Those games will be produced by Fox.
"Football is in our blood at Fox", says Peter Rice, president, 21st Century Fox. The games also will be seen on NFL Network, as in the past, and the cable network exclusively will televise the seven Thursday night games that Fox doesn't.
The NFL's Thursday Night Football broadcasts are moving to Fox. Additionally, FOX NFL KICKOFF (11:00 AM ET) and FOX NFL SUNDAY (12:00 PM ET) enter the 2018 season as the No. 1 NFL pregame shows in their respective time slots.
Goodell noted that the Thursday night games are a place for innovation. For both the 2016 and 2017 seasons, NBC and CBS partnered with NFL Network to present Thursday Night Football with additional digital distribution via Twitter (2016 season) and Amazon Prime Video (2017 season).
Eleven games each season will be aired on the Fox broadcast network, which has also struggled in the ratings. With news programming staying put on cable bully Fox News Channel, the youngest of the Big 4 networks needs to fill primetime - TV's most important day part - somehow.