The NFL is willing to sell off part of the NFL Network’s Thursday night package, but they still want to show the games.
According to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, the NFL is requiring the winning bidder on the package to allow a simulcast of the games on the NFL Network. The inclusion of that clause came as a surprise to several industry sources.
While that demand would cut into any rights fee the league would get from the deal, it would also expand the audience by having the games on a pair of networks at once.
The proposal was sent to all of the league’s network partners along with Turner Sports.
Another element of the league’s proposal that is raising eyebrows is a willingness to accept bids on multiple amounts of games in Weeks Two through 16, except for the opener and the Thanksgiving night game. That would allow another network to bid for any number of games, in a time span covering more of the calendar than the original idea that it would be an early season-only package.