And then there were three three-letter networks.
John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal reports that only FOX, CBS, and NBC submitted bids for the Thursday Night Football package.
Per Ourand, ABC was expected to make a proposal, but the network decided at the final minute not to make a bid. Apparently, the network believed it would not be able to turn the product into a profit.
Turner also didn’t submit a bid, even though it had made a bid every other time the league had requested proposals for the midweek slate of games. The league was never going to sell the Thursday broadcasts to a cable channel, and Turner reportedly didn’t want to once again provide a false boost to what the winning network(s) will pay.
CBS and NBC reportedly want to pay less than they did under the deal that covered 2016 and 2017, when they paid a combined $450 million per year to simulcast games also televised by NFL Network. With Ourand reporting that FOX offered a deal that would increase the fee, FOX could end up securing the entire 10-game package.