No word yet on FOX’s Thursday Night Football announcers

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The NFL has always made a point of requiring its Thursday Night Football broadcast partners to use their top broadcasting teams. That meant Jim Nantz calling games on CBS, first with Phil Simms and then with Tony Romo, while Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth teamed up on NBC.

But the NFL has not made that requirement of FOX, its new Thursday night broadcast partner. And FOX told PFT that the network hasn’t yet determined its Thursday night team.

“No decisions on FOX talent have been made at this time,” FOX said in a statement to PFT. “With that said, we are committed to having a consistent Thursday Night announce team that delivers on the quality of a primetime broadcast.”

A consistent Thursday night team would seem to rule out the No. 1 pairing of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. Buck already has a very full plate in the fall because he calls the World Series for FOX. It seems extremely unlikely he would be calling Thursday night games while the baseball playoffs are in full swing. And if FOX wants to have a consistent Thursday night team, it couldn’t start the season with Buck, have him leave for baseball in the middle of the NFL season, and then bring him back to Thursday Night Football later in the season.

So FOX is committed to having a prime time-worthy announcing team on Thursday nights, but that team will not be its No. 1 Sunday afternoon team. That might mean bringing in a new pairing, separate from the broadcast teams FOX already uses for Sunday NFL games. Just spitballing, Gus Johnson on play-by-play and Jay Cutler on commentary is a pairing that could make sense.

Whatever happens, FOX has big plans for Thursday nights. A financial commitment reported to be at $660 million a year means FOX will want to find the right broadcasting team to make it work.

47 responses to “No word yet on FOX’s Thursday Night Football announcers

  1. If NFL want’s Fox’s top broadcasting team, then Gus Johnson should be in there.

    Would anyone shed a tear if they never heard Joe Buck call another game? And Aikman isn’t Mr. Personality either.

  2. Thursday Night Football is pretty much the Jay Cutler of NFL timeslots – seems like it should be successful but ends up underwhelming on all but two or three occasions – so he makes a lot of sense for the booth.

  3. So the same guys who like Tony Romo trying to guess all the plays in advance like a carnival trick and then making random noises during the NE-Jacksaonville game hate Joe Buck? Really?

  4. Not Romo. He tries too hard and comes across as being phoney. There must be an ex-Cowboy QB available. Quincy Carter?

  5. Make the teams coming off BYE WEEK play Thursday nights, rather than have teams play on Sunday and then again on Thursday. That way, Thursday Night Football will air every OTHER Thursday, rather than every Thursday. Players will be Less susceptible to injury that way.

  6. Thursday football fans – and honestly all football fans – deserve better than Buck and Aikman calling games. Will Ferrell and Rafi from ‘The League’ would be better.

  7. walker1191 says:
    January 31, 2018 at 11:57 am

    So the same guys who like Tony Romo trying to guess all the plays in advance like a carnival trick and then making random noises during the NE-Jacksaonville game hate Joe Buck? Really?

    Yep. Even the guys that don’t like Tony Romo hate Joe Buck.

  8. To watch Joe Buck turn to the camera with that false goofy grin is line watching paint dry. Adding to that his cynical comments during a game ” Philly. Philly” make him the true buffoon he is. Anyone but Buck.

  9. Gus Johnson is terrible. There aren’t more than two or three scream-worthy moments in any sporting event. Stop screaming.

    Furthemore, most people who will watch anyway aren’t going to stop watching because of the announcers.

  10. no no no no not Gus Johnson..that guys is the worst

    he overreacts to everything. I have to turn down the volume when a team gets a routine first down

  11. $660 million bucks a year for the TNF package is an awful deal—Fox is going to lose substantial dollars on this deal.
    I feel the NFL is in an over saturation phase and ratings are going to continue to shrink, albeit maybe not on the pace they did this year.
    The TNF games are normally clunkers, and result in a lot injuries.
    This is a package the NFL should have given up for the image of the league…..but big bucks prevails over quality.

  12. Let the home teams local radio people do the games. I don’t care if they are bias or not, at least you will get a different group to listen to every week.

  13. I like Gus Johnson much more on basketball. As for the owners, it is very clear that player safety is just a taking point for litigation purposes. In reality they wouldn’t care if all their players become vegetables after their careers unless it cost them money. I guess the next announcement will be Goodell telling the players he is expanding the season to 18 games as a result of “our unique empathy for our players and our valued partners and distribution channels of the highest quality as we strive to make the brand the safest in all of sports”. That makes no sense? Exactly.

  14. TheWizard says:
    January 31, 2018 at 11:32 am
    Can’t be Aikman, he has to be available to call 8 Cowboys games each season.
    Brilliant. But you forgot the 8 Packer games too.

  15. At first I wondered why the league would give this to FOX after the FOX head badmouthed the very concept of Thur night football.

    But after seeing what FOX is paying for it and the headaches described in this article, I can see league has formulated an exquisite sort of payback.

  16. Thursday Night Football should be scrapped. The players and coaches don’t want it. However, the game is all about making more money so the owners and Goodell stick with it.

  17. Why would Fox pay so much though? One reason could be that their prime time programs are beyond awful. At least some people will watch Fox on those Thursdays.

  18. How about no broadcasters. Just the sound on the field like watching NFL films. Having someone restate what is obvious (what we are seeing) is insane (it’s not a radio broadcast). Most of the ex-football players lack basic communication skills necessary to hold an audience captive today.

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