Fox Sports has reached an agreement with the National Football League to broadcast the next five seasons of Thursday Night Football starting with the 2018 season, the two companies said on Wednesday.
Fox is taking over the rights for Thursday Night Football, which for the last two years were shared by CBS Corp and Comcast Corp owned NBC.
The agreement, which marks the fifth media rights deal between FOX Sports and the NFL, comes as a win for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc that is focusing on TV news and sport after the $52.4 billion Walt Disney Co deal.
The five-year deal allows FOX Sports to broadcast 11 games between weeks 4 and 15 (excluding Thanksgiving night). It will be simultaneously broadcast via NFL Network and will be distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes.
The NFL with Fox will decide on a partner to take on the digital rights to live-stream the games, Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner said on a media call Wednesday morning.
In addition, NFL Network will exclusively broadcast seven games next season, with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games.
Both the NFL and Fox declined to comment on the financial terms of the deal. But Deadline reported on Tuesday that Fox had outbid CBS and NBC by $45 million per game. "Fox's bid for Thursday Night Football leans into its emphasis on sports and news for the remaining assets that are not included in the planned $52.4 billion sale to the Walt Disney Co. They include Fox Broadcasting Co. and national sports network FS1 and FS2", Dino-day Ramos wrote.
Sports Business Daily reported that Fox will pay $550 million a year for the rights to show Thursday Night Football. SBD quoted unnamed sources who told it that NBC and CBS submitted bids worth "less than their current deals."