Fox gets "Thursday Night Football" for 5 years, $3 billion

Fox Reportedly Nearing TV Rights Deal for NFL's Thursday Night Football Games

Fox Reportedly Nearing TV Rights Deal for NFL's Thursday Night Football Games

The new deal, which reportedly tops the combined $450 million that CBS and NBC paid a year ago, calls for 11 games spanning Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) to be broadcast on Fox, simulcast via NFL Network, and distributed in Spanish on Fox Deportes.

"We feel very confident in their ability to continue to grow this franchise", NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on a conference call Wednesday morning, per Rovell.

Despite the comparatively good TV ratings, the Thursday night games have been criticized from all sides.

"We thought making a long-term commitment was in the best interest of our product and the ownership group", said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

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The network has a five-year deal to be announced later today, according to the report - and as it signaled, it will be paying more than the $450M per year that CBS and NBC were paying combined. Rights for the upcoming season have not yet been sold. It's the longest broadcast deal for the Thursday games since they began airing on NFL Network in 2006.

"Football is in our blood at FOX, and we understand that nothing beats the NFL when it comes to television that captures people's attention", says Peter Rice, president of 21st Century Fox. Games were streamed on Amazon Prime in 2017.

As Variety pointed out, 21st Century Fox's live programming is depleted after the sale to Disney, so Thursday Night Football makes for a key addition.

Fox will continue to broadcast Sunday games on top of Thursday ones. The NFL subsequently split the games between CBS and NBC, in a deal that played havoc with both networks' fall schedules and gave NBC more leverage in commanding higher ad prices, because its games aired closer to the holiday season. The FOX network will be spun off into a new company along with assets like Fox News, Fox Business and sports networks FS1 and FS2, which gives the network a reason to bulk up with additional live programming and more National Football League games.

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