Fox Outbids NBC and CBS to Land Thursday Night Football for the Next 5 Years

Fox Outbids NBC and CBS to Land Thursday Night Football for the Next 5 Years 840 460 C-Suite Network

CBS and NBC’s run of broadcasting Thursday Night Football games is over, as Fox Sports has landed rights to the NFL’s Thursday night package for the next five years.

Under the deal, which was announced this morning, 11 games between weeks 4 and 15 of each season (excluding Thanksgiving night) will be broadcast on Fox, NFL Network and Fox Deportes. NFL Network will air seven games exclusively next season, but Fox will produce all 18 games.

Fox also receives expanded digital rights to stream the Thursday games—as well as the Sunday afternoon games in its other NFL package—over several digital platforms, including mobile for the first time. More importantly, the Thursday Night Football package will give the network some stability as it ventures into a new era (when Disney’s deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox closes, and when Fox Broadcasting is among the assets spun off into a company tentatively called New Fox).

“This agreement is the culmination of over 10 years of strategic growth around Thursday Night Football, a period during which this property has grown from a handful of late season games on NFL Network to a full season of games and one of the most popular shows on broadcast television with additional distribution via cable and digital channels,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement.

The NFL Network has aired Thursday Night Football games since 2006. CBS began airing games during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and then shared the package with NBC in 2016 and 2017.

Both publicly and privately, NBC and CBS—which paid a combined $450 million each year for Thursday Night Football rights—had expressed interest in continuing to broadcast the games. They each submitted bids,…