Fox will get Thursday Night time Soccer by '22

FOX obtains rights to 11 NFL Thursday Night Football games

The new deal, which reportedly tops the combined $450 million that CBS and NBC paid previous year, calls for 11 games spanning Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) to be broadcast on Fox, simulcast via NFL Network, and distributed in Spanish on Fox Deportes.

CBS and NBC paid a total of $450 million last season for the rights to air a combined package of ten games that was split among both networks.

The NFL announced Wednesday morning that the package will go to Fox for the next five seasons. The NFL Network will air the other Thursday night games. NBC's "Sunday Night Football" was the top-rated prime-time program past year, according to Nielsen, although it, too, suffered a ratings decline; and 37 of the 50 most-watched programs in 2017 were NFL games, per the Los Angeles Times. In addition, NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games next season, with Fox producing the full slate of 18 games. Rights for the upcoming season have not yet been sold. The agreement allows the NFL to further develop digital-distribution models for Thursday Night Football as well as for Fox's Sunday games.

Even though the league's TV ratings were down 9.7 percent this season, eight of the top 10 single telecasts in 2017 were NFL games.




Thursday night in particular has been a complicated affair since its 2014 broadcast debut, posting strong and consistent ratings but yielding few memorable games and contributing to the glut of games.

"We will continue to work with the NFLPA to make the shorter week more attractive in a way that is better for our players", Goodell said.

League data in 2016 showed that an average of 6.3 injuries per game were sustained on Thursday night versus 6.5 for games played on Sunday.

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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