NFL announces ‘Thursday Night Football’ is moving to FOX
There has been a lot of talk this season about potentially doing away with “Thursday Night Football” for safety reasons, but we all knew the NFL wasn’t going to turn down the chance to make hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
On Wednesday, the NFL announced it has reached an agreement with FOX Sports to broadcast the next five seasons of “Thursday Night Football.” John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that the deal should pay the NFL somewhere in the neighborhood of $550 million per season through 2022.
FOX will carry 11 games between Weeks 4-15, with the games being simulcast on NFL Network. The press release stated that NFL Network will “exclusively televise seven games next season.” Also of note is that FOX’s top NFL broadcasting team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will not be calling the games, which is a change from the NFL previously requiring CBS and NBC to use their top duos for the broadcasts.
NBC and CBS, the networks that previously carried “Thursday Night Football,” reportedly submitted bids for the new contract that were worth less than their current deals with the NFL. ESPN had considered placing a bid that would see games televised on ABC, but Ourand reports that the World Wide Leader backed out at the last second.
Numerous players ripped the NFL this season for continuing to hold games on Thursday nights, with some of the league’s star players blaming the timing of the games for serious injuries. Money talks, as they say.