Case in point, Thursday Night Football is leaving CBS for FOX according to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily.
Fox is to carry 11 "TNF" games, which will be simulcast on the NFL Network and on a yet-to-be-named digital platform.
There has been a lot of talk this season about potentially doing away with "Thursday Night Football" for safety reasons, but we all knew the NFL wasn't going to turn down the chance to make hundreds of millions of dollars each year. For the past two seasons, NBC joined CBS to broadcast five games each at a cost of $45 million.
In addition, Ourand reports that Fox's top announcing team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will not be calling the Thursday night games. "Our players are unanimous in that they love the 10 days after the Thursday night game".
Although the NFL's regular season ratings were down 9.7 percent during the 2017 season, games were still watched by an average of 14.9 million viewers, per ESPN.
Fox's pursuit of "Thursday Night Football" is a sign of its strategic direction after a planned sale of assets to Walt Disney Co. for $52.4 billion. Despite the drop in NFL ratings, Nielsen data shows that the 20 of the 30 highest-rated shows on television in 2017 were football games. "Our historic relationship with the National Football League 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". It now pays $1.1 billion a year to broadcast those games through the 2022 season.
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