'Thursday Night Football' is heading to FOX for the 2018 NFL season

Jonathan Hernandez
February 1, 2018

Fox is getting the NFL's Thursday Night Football package for the next five years. In addition, NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games next season, with Fox producing the full slate of 18 games. (This excludes the Thanksgiving night game, which will still air on NBC).

League data in 2016 showed that an average of 6.3 injuries per game were sustained on Thursday night versus 6.5 for games played on Sunday.

The digital rights, last held by Amazon, still are up for grabs. He also said that Fox NFL commentators Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will not be calling Thursday games for the network.

The network has a five-year deal to be announced later today, according to the report - and as it signaled, it will be paying more than the $450M per year that CBS and NBC were paying combined.

When broken down by discrete TV windows, "TNF" is the third most-watched, highest-rated NFL showcase, trailing only the late national Sunday afternoon blockbuster on CBS and Fox and NBC's "Sunday Night Football".

The network will air 11 regular season games between weeks 4-15 beginning in the 2018 season.

The Thursday-night games have sparked debate. This season's broadcasts have faced ongoing viewer dissatisfaction with anthem protests by players as well as a flood of games on the schedule, something even Fox executives had previously criticized.

"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", Peter Rice, the president of 21st Century Fox, said in a statement.

Fox Sports is one of the remaining pieces for 21st Century Fox after the company sold a good portion of its assets to Disney for $52.4 billion. Ourand adds that Fox "will have expanded mobile rights". NFL games, as the league commissioner Roger Goodell pointed out earlier this month, represented 37 of the top 50 broadcasts of all types in 2017, according to Nielsen.

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