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Thursday Night Football to Move to Fox Next Season

New Deal to Start This Fall

The NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” will have a new home in 2018 and for the foreseeable future, moving from CBS and NBC to Fox effective next fall. Fox will broadcast 11 Thursday night games in 2018 as part of a deal that runs through the 2022 season. The games also will be seen on NFL Network, as in the past, and the cable network solely will televise the seven Thursday night games that Fox doesn’t.

The digital rights, last held by Amazon, still are up for grabs.

Fox is reportedly paying out more than $60 million per game in this new deal, according to ESPN, which is up significantly from the $45 million that CBS and NBC paid for each game in the 2017-2018 season.

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman has been writing professionally since 1999 and is the author of the “Mr. Television” for Campaign US (www.campaignlive.com). Most recently, Berman was the creator and Editor-in-Chief of website and newsletter TV Media Insights for Cross MediaWorks. From 1999-2011, he was the Senior Editor for Mediaweek and has also written for The New York Daily News, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Emmy Magazine, among others. Berman has also appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Extra,” “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition,” “The CBS Evening News,” E!, CNN, CNBC, Fox News and MSNBC.

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  1. The NFL regular season is 17 weeks. You said that FOX has 11 Thursday Night Games. According to my math, 17 – 11 = 6 Games for NFL Network ONLY IF Week 17 has a Thursday Game, which was not the case this past season. Also, does NBC lose the Kickoff Game for Week 1 and/or the Thanksgiving Night Game?

    • Tracy that Kickoff Game for Week 1 still belongs to NBC because that’s apart of the Sunday Night Football package which is separate from the Thursday Night Football package. The Thanksgiving Game is also apart of that same package. FOX likely will probably start airing the TNF packages sometime between Weeks 2-5. NFL Network likely gets around the same amount of games that they got last year which was 3 games.

      It’s going to be interesting how it’s exactly setup when the schedule comes out in April because I’ll assume FOX airs TNF straight through except for the Thanksgiving week and NFL Network probably starts off the season. The World Series I believe still doesn’t air on Thursdays so there should be need no break in late October.

    • Tracy that Kickoff Game for Week 1 still belongs to NBC because that’s apart of the Sunday Night Football package which is separate from the Thursday Night Football package. The Thanksgiving Game is also apart of that same package. Thanksgiving Game and Kickoff Game will both remain on NBC.

      It’ll be interesting when the schedule comes out in April but I’d imagine it’ll be same as CBS and NBC from last year except that one network will be airing it the whole time so there might not be a break in between. Thursday Night package also includes late season Saturday games as well FOX and NFL Network could air these or they all air on NFL Network exclusively.

      • I thought that Fox was going to get TNF as I read a couple of weeks ago that CBS & NBC bid lower than when they made a bid a few years ago on TNF package. Big Bang not moving to Mondays then Thursdays after TNF is done for the season on CBS.

        • Yeah me too it sounded like FOX was the leader in the clubhouse to retain the rights and the fact that they even bid was a sign that they were likely going to get the rights. NBC and CBS underpaid so I knew they were out. It looks like both networks were looking to get out of that deal because it was messing with their fall schedules as CBS keeps BBT on Thursdays now for what could be its final season. NBC’s comedy block was hurt by the TNF hiatus this month so they were better without it.

        • CBS and NBC bid lower because they were each losing money on TNF. The ad revenue generated by TNF wasn’t enough to make up for TNF rights fees and each network’s average season viewership didn’t get a huge bounce because of TNF.

  2. I thought that Fox was going to get TNF package as I read a couple of weeks ago that both CBS & NBC made a lower bid than they did a couple of years ago.

    • Yeah it really sounded like FOX was going to get the rights to it and the fact that they’re getting TNF for multiple years and not just one or two puts them in very good position as the network is probably changing to a sports/news format at the start of the new decade so scripted programming is probably on the way out. FOX to me is the best fit for it and TNF was kind of sloppy anyways being on two different networks, keep it on one so people know to go to it on one network every week.

        • Yeah it can get confusing especially for casual viewers to know what network is airing TNF as it goes from CBS one week to NFLN one week to NBC one week. Too much confusion just keep it on one network.

        • If I remember correctly, TNF aired on CBS the 2016-2017 season.
          TNF had some games on CBS and some games on NBC the 2017-2018 season.
          So, it was on one network, CBS, in the first year of TNF.