What: Fox Sports will pay over US $3 billion to broadcast NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” for the next five years.
Why it matters: With this new deal, the NFL hopes to boost ratings while FOX Sports makes an effort to make up for decreases in ad revenue.
Fox Sports has closed a US $3 billion deal to broadcast “Thursday Night Football” for the next five seasons. This agreement shows Twenty-First Century Fox’s goal of becoming a leader in sports after a drop in advertising revenue. Nevertheless, Fox is optimistic Thursday night football will help Fox’s business growth, as president of the company Peter Rice said on a media call. According to CNBC, Fox will be paying about $60 million per game.
“Football is in our blood at Fox and we understand that nothing beats the NFL when it comes to television that captures people’s attention and defines American culture,” said Rice on the call. “Our historic relationship with the NFL dates back to the earliest days of Fox, and we couldn’t be more excited to expand our deep and enduring partnership to include primetime games on Thursday night.”
The deal allows Fox Sports to broadcast 11 games between weeks 4 and 15. It will be streamed via NFL Network and will be distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes. NFL Network will also broadcast seven games next season, with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games. It’s the longest broadcast deal for the Thursday games since they began airing on NFL Network in 2006.
Under the new deal, Fox will be able to air its games on mobile phones for the first time, and while the deal is exclusively between the NFL and Fox, they are looking for a digital partner to live-stream the games, Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner said on the call. In the past, the NFL has partnered with Twitter and Amazon for those rights.