Wednesday morning, Sports Business Daily reported that FOX has won the rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package. FOX will pay an average of $550 million over the next five years, through the year 2022. That is a step up from the $450 million per year that CBS and NBC shared over the past two years.
Other nuggets from the article, as well as the NFL’s official statement:
- FOX will carry 11 Thursday Night Football games on their network between Weeks 4-15, excluding the Thanksgiving night game. The other 5 games — and 7 in total, presumably some Saturday ones — will reside on the NFL Network and also be produced by FOX.
- Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will not be calling the Thursday night games. It has not yet been revealed who will call the action, but I’d be curious if there’s any chance we can get Gus Johnson back to some NFL work.
- FOX didn’t seem to face stiff competition with their bidding. CBS and NBC submitted a package that was even less than their current deal, and ESPN “decided at the last minute not to submit a bid.”
The Cleveland Browns were not featured at all on Thursday Night football last year, a change from the tradition of the Thursday contests featuring every team in the NFL once. Coming off of an 0-16 season, I’m not sure if we can expect that to change — but if it does, the game will be a FOX production.