Sports

Fox gets Thursday night football for 5 years

Fox gets Thursday night football for 5 years

Fox will also have all digital rights, meaning Fox Sports will be able to stream Thursday night games for the first time ever.

According to sources connected to Sports Business Journal's John Ourand, FOX has obtained the rights to 11 Thursday Night NFL games for the coming season, including expanded mobile rights.

Fox will air the games in partnership with NFL Network and a digital outlet. As Ourand said in his tweet, Amazon ran the digital package past year, but those rights are still undetermined for 2018. Thursday Night Football previously aired on both NBC and CBS, with the two rival networks splitting a 10-game package each of the past two seasons as part of a deal that reportedly cost them a total of $450 million annually.

The stock, which had been up modestly in 2018 to date, dropped 4% for the day to close at $36.90 after investors digested this morning's announcement of the National Football League deal.

Adding the Thursday-night games will only increase Fox's reliance on football.

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"Football is in our blood ... and we understand that nothing beats the NFL when it comes to television that captures people's attention", said Peter Rice, president of 21st Century Fox, in a statement released Tuesday morning.

Given that "New Fox" will be a much smaller company after the pending $52.4B deal with Disney, shelling out for rights could have a "disproportionate impact on earnings" at Fox, Nathanson wrote.

Thursday Night Football offers fans less downtime from week to week in consuming football, though it has come with some criticism.

Fox will replace CBS and NBC as the TNF broadcaster in the five-year deal. Fox would keep its Fox broadcast network, Fox Sports and FS1 cable network, leaving it more reliant on live sports broadcasts to draw audiences.

SBD also reported that Fox would not use its top announcing team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on Thursday broadcasts.