Thursday Night Football could have a Saturday benefit for FOX.
Via John Ourand of SportsBusiness Daily, FOX may get another wild-card playoff game as part of its successful pursuit of the midweek prime-time package.
It would be the Saturday ESPN wild-card game, for which ESPN reportedly pays $100 million per year. Per Ourand, ESPN does not earn a profit from the postseason game.
FOX currently televises one wild-card playoff game. CBS and NBC have a wild-card game, too.
Ourand explains that the NFL mentioned the possibility of making a wild-card game available in the documents requesting proposals for Thursday Night Football. Although the documents didn’t specifically mention the ESPN game, it’s believed that the ESPN game is the one that would be shifted.
FOX will televise 11 Thursday games at an annual cost of $550 million or $660 million, depending on which report is believed. Either way, it’s a major increase from the combined $450 million paid by CBS and NBC over the past two years.