Febrero 21, 2018

Fox Sports Closes 5-Year Deal with NFL

01 Febrero 2018, 02:21 | Martinez Canez

Getty Image

Getty Image

The NFL reached an agreement with FOX Sports to broadcast Thursday Night Football for the next five seasons, the NFL and FOX announced jointly Wednesday.

In other words, while the NFL continues to search for a digital streaming partner for "Thursday Night Football", any partners the league gets will not be exclusive.

Digital rights to Thursday Night Football games have also exponentially increased.

Sports Business Daily reported that Fox is paying $550 million per season for these additional rights, a significant raise over a year ago.

The Thursday night package of games is headed to FOX, according to Sports Business Journal.

But the new deal could be a big boost to the Fox network, especially since the parent company just sold most of its cable and studio assets to Disney.

The deal calls for Fox to produce 18 Thursday games, even the seven that run only on NFL Network, and it is not required to use its No. 1 broadcast team. That means Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will not be calling the games. NBC will be able to schedule its Thursday lineup through the entire fall rather than putting shows on a two-month hiatus in early November.

Though there's been a slight uptick in injuries suffered during Thursday night games, National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't believe it's a serious issue.

"The whole idea of Thursday Night Football is awful".

The networks anxious that the Thursday prime-time games contributed to over-saturation that was a factor in declining pro football ratings overall.

CBS paid $37.5 million per game for eight games during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

"While the price tag on Thursday Night Football seems high, this is a clear indication that "New Fox" is putting its money where its mouth is and sticking to the plan", analyst Michael Nathanson told the site. The new deal values each game at an average of more than $60 million. Fox will continue to own the Sunday NFC games in addition to the 11 NFL Thursday Night Football broadcasts starting next season.

That notion that a strong primetime programming slate can somewhat compensate for no football was seemingly confirmed by CBS's statement regarding the loss of Thursday night games.

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