tiptrot.com May 27, 2018

Fox gets Thursday night football for 5 years

01 February 2018, 12:33 | Susie Olson

Fox Nears 'Thursday Night Football' Deal

Report: Thursday Night Football is heading to Fox next season

Fox will be the new home of "Thursday Night Football" starting in 2018, as part of a five-year deal set to be announced on Wednesday, Sports Business Daily reported. Thursday Night Football previously aired on both NBC and CBS, with the two rival networks splitting a 10-game package each of the past two seasons as part of a deal that reportedly cost them a total of $450 million annually.

Thursday Night Football offers fans less downtime from week to week in consuming football, though it has come with some criticism.

"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.

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.

As has been the case for the last four seasons, NFL Network will televise the remainder of the 18-game "TNF" package. The two networks paid the same amount for the rights in the 2016-2017 season as well. Games were streamed on Amazon Prime in 2017. (This excludes the Thanksgiving night game, which will still air on NBC).

21st Century Fox has reason to try to capture the games. The games will be simulcast on the NFL Network and the Spanish-language Fox Deportes channel. League officials, however, have not found any statistical value in gauging shorter rest versus normal rest. SN's Michael McCarthy noted ratings for National Football League regular-season games fell by 9.7 percent this season. Twitter has been broadcasting the games as the digital partner under the previous contract.

CBS said in a statement, "We explored a responsible bid for Thursday Night Football but in the end are very pleased to return to entertainment programming on television's biggest night".

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