Fox Close to Deal to Air NFL's 'Thursday Night Football'

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Fox is getting the NFL's Thursday Night Football package for the next five years.

The deal gives FOX the rights to 11 Thursday games per season (excluding Thanksgiving night), starting in week 4 (typically the first week of October).

Thursday Night Football is changing networks once again.

The company submitted a bid that's higher than the $45 million a game CBS and NBC agreed to pay a year ago, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

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And not soon enough, they will square off for the biggest and - because of what's on the table - the best game of the season. More specifically, we'll be viewing this on a per-drop back basis (Sack NEP per drop back) so as to account for volume.

"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", says Peter Rice, president of 21st Century Fox. Amazon paid $50 million this past season to stream the games on Amazon Prime, up from the $10 million Twitter paid in 2016. The deal also includes expanded digital-rights opportunities. Goodell said this will be done in the next couple of weeks, in partnership with Fox, and the league has seen "unprecedented competition" in this area.

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.

Fox will continue to broadcast Sunday games on top of Thursday ones.

The interruptions in the fall schedule, which remains a key launchpad for networks' primetime shows, may have been a factor in the thinking at CBS and NBC, each of which submitted bids to continue airing Thursday night games. Also of note is that FOX's top National Football League broadcasting team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will not be calling the games, which is a change from the National Football League previously requiring CBS and NBC to use their top duos for the broadcasts. "Our players are unanimous in that they love the 10 days after the Thursday night game". The network is under contract through the 2022 season to the tune of $1.1 billion per year.

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