Fox Buys Thursday Night Football For $60M Per Game

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Case in point, Thursday Night Football is leaving CBS for FOX according to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily. Fox will broadcast 11 games on Thursday's each season from Week 4 to Week 15, not including Thanksgiving night.

"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", said Peter Rice, President of 21st Century Fox. There will be no games on FS1.

On Monday, MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson issued an ominous report on the trendlines of National Football League ratings and rights.

CBS will keep the rights to broadcast Sunday afternoon games. The network credits this deal as the moment Fox became a "major broadcast network". But now with Fox in tow, it appears that its "A" team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman won't be calling the package. All of the games will be simulcast on NFL Network.

Why is Fox interested?

The deal provides a sense of Fox's strategic direction after a planned sale of assets to Walt Disney Co. for $52.4 billion. All of the games will be produced by Fox.

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And two, FOX appears to already have a sponsor for TNF, as it's called "Thursday Night Football presented by Bud Light". We shall see on that. In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com and FOX Sports GO.

By no means is this a slam-dunk for Fox. Overall, NFL ratings are down 9.7% this past regular season, but games still accounted for nine of television's 10 most-watched programs in calendar year 2017.

But by breaking down the cost per game, the price Fox is paying isn't glaringly more that CBS or NBC. Games will be available through a broadcast TV partner, a streaming video partners (Amazon and Twitter) and the NFL's own pay-per-view app.

When NBC muscled its way into TNF in 2016, it utilized Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth despite its efforts to get Mike Tirico involved, though Tirico was featured at times during the 2017 season.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said: "We felt this was the best opportunity for the NFL to continue to grow the Thursday-night package". Well, right, yes - but that primetime game is also still NBC's.

Fox has agreed to a five-year deal with the NFL to broadcast "Thursday Night Football". CBS and NBC each paid $225 million for the deal, or $45 million per game. The deal is valued at $550 million annually.

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