NFL announces five-year deal with FOX for Thursday Night Football

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For the first time, the NFL has agreed to a long-term deal with a network partner for Thursday Night Football.

After years of annual negotiations for the Thursday night package, the league announced this morning that it has reached a five-year deal with FOX for Thursday Night Football.

“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,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “As one of the leaders in sports television and a recognized innovator of NFL game broadcasts for many years, we’re excited to be extending our partnership with FOX Sports, one of our most trusted and valued partners, to include Thursday Night Football.”

FOX will air 11 games each season between Week Four and Week 15. Games will continue to be simulcast on NFL Network, and will also air in Spanish on Fox Deportes. NFL Network will also air seven games per year exclusively and those games will be produced by FOX. The Week One Thursday night game and the Thanksgiving night game will remain on NBC.

The league also announced that Thursday Night Football will be “Presented by Bud Light.” It was not clear from the announcement whether that also represents a five-year deal.

With this agreement, FOX is all-in on the NFL: Between Sunday afternoons and Thursday nights, football will be by far the most important and popular programming on FOX for years to come.

44 responses to “NFL announces five-year deal with FOX for Thursday Night Football

  1. Its all about the $$$$
    Yet players hate,complaint that it a short week rest to play on Thursday. Owners dont care.

  2. “…and one of the most popular shows on broadcast television with additional distribution via cable and digital channels,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

    LOL

    Well, if Goodell says so …

  3. A Thursday night game every week of the season is too much football. 8 games a year would be plenty, especially for players. Troy is good most of the time but can they give Joe Buck Thursdays off?

  4. As the players have stated, I think the league needs to take a look at the impact that Thursday night games are having on the players. There seems to be a high proportion of injuries on Thursday games, potentially due to the players not physically being ready for a game only 4 days after they last played.

    The league should look at doing more to stretch the season out so star players are actually around for these games. Maybe they should take away 1 preseason game and give every team two bye weeks each season. Then you could plan Thursday games, or International games, around those bye weeks. So players would only be expected to play a Thursday game following a bye week, and nobody would be have to play on 4 days rest.

    It’s obviously popular, and gives the NFL more opportunity for primetime broadcasts, but they really need to consider the fact that the viewers would like to see the star players in these games.

  5. The Analytical Kid says: “LOL Well, if Goodell says so …”
    ——————-

    You DO know that TNF gets the number 1 spot on the Thursday Nielsen ratings, right? The games regularly outdraws Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy, etc.

  6. I must be missing something. If Fox airs 11 games between weeks 4 and 15, skipping only Thanksgiving for their usual Cowboys game, how does NFLN get seven exclusive games on top of that? Does that include Saturday games and preseason, or is there some other obvious explanation that I can’t think of?

  7. I watch one Thursday game a year, the ones the Pats play. Other than that by 1/4 of the way through the season I usually forget there’s even a game that night as I get busy with other things.

  8. The new XFL should have 32 teams, each of which serve as the Thursday Night stand-ins for their respective NFL team. Dress them up in NFL uniforms and everything. They’d get way more media exposure, the ‘real’ players would get a bye week, and the games might actually be better.

  9. Thursday night games are a joke and so is Joe Buck. Announcers should have some familiarity to the game or, maybe, even played the sport. Having JB announce is about as stupid as having the NFL Clown, Rich Eisen, on the network. Losers.

  10. I think Fox will do a better job than CBS has done. Or the NFL network. As for the scheduling, I do think it needs to be adjusted so that teams never really play on a short week.

  11. I love Thursday night football. glad it’s back. Most people on this site hate everything not sure why they are even football fans.

  12. The NFL seems really tone deal about the Th Night Football thing, that no one wants it, that the game quality is terrible, that it’s risky for players. Most of all, to sign with FOX, who does not do a very good job covering games…and for godsakes, please, no more Buck…

    I preferred the old CBS (NFC), NBC (AFC) and ABC (MNF) setup. In their own eay, they covered it well.

    Coming Up Next! Murderrrrrr, she wrote.

  13. I LOVE football! More than most people I’m pretty sure. But the NFL needs to listen to the players on this one. Thursday night games need to disappear. There is clear evidence the quick turnaround between Sunday and Thursday causes injuries. If the league says it cares about the health of its players, then it needs to stop playing weekly Thursday night games.

  14. aypeeswhippingstick says:
    January 31, 2018 at 11:39 am
    I LOVE football! More than most people I’m pretty sure. But the NFL needs to listen to the players on this one. Thursday night games need to disappear. There is clear evidence the quick turnaround between Sunday and Thursday causes injuries. If the league says it cares about the health of its players, then it needs to stop playing weekly Thursday night games.

    =================================

    Actually there isn’t. If you have some information that everyone else missed that the Thursday football consistently causes more injuries I’d be happy to look at it. Were injuries up slightly this year? Yes. Were they up previous years? No. What you have is currently an outlier.

    Also, while players complain about playing on thursdays they also complained about the league not maximizing every last dollar in TV contracts during the last negotiations. Ask these players if they want the league to take $550 million/yr out of the league revenue pot and as a result take a pay cut.

  15. When will the fans who complain that TNF should go away realize that the NFL now has $2.75b reasons to keep it running for the next 5 years? The NFL doesn’t care about the fans or it’s players – they care about their TV deals, and this one is massive from Fox.

    They’re paying $50m/game and they don’t get the opening night game (huge ratings) or the Thanksgiving day games (huge ratings), and they think that they can make money on this deal.

  16. Goodell for a long time has wanted to extend the season, but the players have not wanted to subject their bodies to the additional game each year. Players also dont like the 4 day turnaround as it too is hard on their bodies.

    So lets give everyone something they want. Let Goodell have his extra week. But instead of an extra game each week instead give each team an extra bye. Now with those extra byes it should be possible so each team can be coming off a bye for their Thursday night game. That way players are fresh and will be more competative on Thursday night instead of just trying to survive. Fans overall tend to still watch other teams when theirs is on bye so they will not be losing a block of viewers each week to counteract the gains.

    Goodell gets his extra week of revenue
    Goodell gets his Thursday night football revenue
    The players get more rests over the course of the season.
    The players get a way out of doing 4 day turnarounds
    The fans get more competative games from the fresher players.

    For bonus points lose the color rush. Just use regular uniforms or play ‘throwback thursdays’ if they want. But lose color rush. (Except for Denver and Pittsburgh whos throwbacks are a bit scary)

  17. I might actually get to watch one or two next year since it’s on a channel I tune to to see what is on. I never tune on espn or wherever channel it was on so I always forgot about TNF.

  18. Ugh, FOX are the worst. NBC & CBS are better. Glad it’s not on a pay channel, but still.

    And how strange to give it to the network that publicly complained about and undermined the entire concept of Thursday football. Once again, we see that money talks louder than anything.

    Still hate that any NFL game is ever exclusively on NFLN. A lot of people don’t get it, and it undermines the communal quality of the league.

  19. If the players are so against Thursday Night Football, then they should have agreed to forfeit the $275 million increase in the salary cap which the revenue from TNF directly accounts for. People say owners don’t care it’s all about money blah blah, well same thing goes for the players. They don’t wanna show up to work early ONE week a year, but wanted to keep the money that doing so generates. Doesn’t work that way.

    And a handful of entitled star players complain, but i guarantee you 80% of them don’t care. Ask the 2nd or 3rd string guys “hey do you want a slight raise in your salary to play one Thursday game a year” and they’ll gladly say yes. It’s funny how the high paid players who complain about it are the ones who directly benefit from the extra cap space the most since they command the bigger salaries.

    So yeah, the owners want the money it brings. Duh. But so do the players, even if a handful of them don’t feel like playing one game a year 3 days early to actually earn it.

  20. I love TNF – I’m glad it will be around for a while. I agree the NFL has many issues but if you love watching football, then, Oh well! Let’s crank it up!

  21. Ratings may be declining, but from Fox’s stand point I can see the appeal. The NFL blows any other show out of the water when it’s on TV, so the ad space on those games is worth more money than any other show they could run.

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