Report: ABC wants in on Thursday Night Football

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The NFL’s Thursday Night Football package could have a new home in 2018.

ABC is likely to bid on the league’s Thursday night games this year, John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports.

When the league first decided to simulcast its NFL Network Thursday night package on a broadcast network, CBS was its partner. NBC later joined in and got half the network package, with CBS showing the other half. Now ABC could get the rights.

If the games were to air on ABC, they would feature ESPN broadcasters but appear on local ABC stations and not ESPN. Although ESPN has not named a replacement for Jon Gruden in the Monday Night Football booth, the NFL has asked networks to use their top talent on Thursday nights, so it’s likely that if ABC were to get Thursday night games, the Monday night announcers would work Thursday nights as well. Thursday night games will also continue to air on NFL Network.

Although Thursday night ratings were, like the rest of the NFL’s ratings, down this season, they were still strong relative to other programming on American television. Nine of the Top 100 most-watched prime time shows of 2017 were Thursday Night Football games.

23 responses to “Report: ABC wants in on Thursday Night Football

  1. I, for one, really like Thursday night football. I do prefer it over Monday night football, if anything. Its great to watch another game i would have otherwise not have been able to watch. The NFL is such a huge league, it needs to be broadcast on more than just 2 days a week. Otherwise it is bad business losing money that you could be making.

  2. Nobody wants Thursday night football. Horrible for players, ratings, and the players.
    Speak for yourself. I’ve really missed having a game to watch on Thursday nights these last few weeks. I realize it’s horrible for the players (and the players), but they get paid millions and I don’t really care if they like it or not. Point is, you don’t have to turn on your TV, so quit trying to ruin it for the people who want to watch.

  3. Hey NFL, remember when all games were on FREE TV over the airwaves? Making NFL games available to everyone is what got the last generation hooked on NFL football. You back to free football for everyone then you will slow the decline in viewership.
    I reduced my watching of NFL games significantly this past year, and I found out it was not as painful as I thought it would be. Others may come to that same conclusion… Oh, and the commercials are unwatchable…. Dilly, dilly…

  4. zoellner25 says:

    January 15, 2018 at 1:54 pm
    Nobody wants Thursday night football. Horrible for players, ratings, and the players.

    Another case of somebody believing their opinion is the majority when the evidence says otherwise. For all the people who claim to hate Thursday Night Football, there are millions that are watching it which is why it’s usually the top rated program on Thursday night and the TV networks are bidding against each other for it. As for how bad it is for the players, until they get rid of Thanksgiving games that line of complaining is irrelevant. If anyone was and is ok with the Thanksgiving games, they have no argument against Thursday night football.

  5. Good. I can now live with just basic cable and miss nothing. ABC knows this. So does the NFL. Cable is on it’s way out and you can get basic stations through wireless (like I have).

  6. aarons444 says:
    January 15, 2018 at 1:52 pm
    Keep Thursday Night football.

    Give both participants a bye the week before.

    I would agree that if they did this I might change my song. I think the quality of the games might go up if the players werent hurting just to get through it half the time.

    Oh, and more than half the time the color rush uniforms are mildly painful on the eyes. They need to do away with that idea completely. Just let them wear their normal uniforms and find some ither way to get Nike’s money. (Hey, I know, lets tattoo a swoosh on Goodell’s forehead so every time he speaks Nike gets some press)

  7. Football’s ratings are diminished because they have oversaturated their brand.

    Even my toilet gets a game of the week.

  8. greenwhodat26 says:
    January 15, 2018 at 2:50 pm
    Throwback Thursdays. No more color rush, just throwbacks!
    Awesome idea! i would love to see the throwback pats, broncos, seahawks, the titans as the oilers. but the NFL has the pointless rule of only using 1 helmet for the season. makes no sense but “player safety is sOoooOOOoo important”

  9. COMMERCIALS, COMMERCIALS, COMMERCIALS…Destroy game continuity and Watch-ability.
    I refuse to be force fed 1.5 hours of commercials in a 3 game !

  10. ABC must be getting desperate if they wanna acquire the rights to the trash that is TNF.

    On a different note, I wonder if Gruden is gonna regret not staying a broadcaster after he’s fired after 3 seasons.

  11. Keep the TNF games, but schedule better games and give the teams a bye either going into or coming out of the matchup.

  12. minnesoulja says:
    January 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm
    Keep the TNF games, but schedule better games and give the teams a bye either going into or coming out of the matchup.

    Just on the going in. Its the four day turnaround that beats them up. The long rest before the next game is fine for them.

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