Just like former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, the NFL’s Thursday Night package was desperately seeking a long-term deal after a series of yearly negotiations. Well, they finally got what they were looking for.
The NFL and Fox have announced a five-year agreement for the Thursday Night Football rights. Fox will air 11 games in every season through 2022. Just like the old agreement with NBC, the NFL Network will simulcast every Thursday game and will have the exclusive rights to seven every season. The opening night Thursday game and Thanksgiving game will remain on NBC.
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NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell released this statement on the agreement:
This agreement is the culmination of over 10 years of strategic growth around Thursday Night Football, a period during which this property has grown from a handful of late season games on NFL Network to a full season of games and one of the most popular shows on broadcast television with additional distribution via cable and digital channels. As one of the leaders in sports television and a recognized innovator of NFL game broadcasts for many years, we’re excited to be extending our partnership with FOX Sports, one of our most trusted and valued partners, to include Thursday Night Football.
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People who preach about the over saturation of football often point to the Thursday slate as one of the prime culprits. In addition, more often than not, fans were given a mediocre game and matchup at best. However, the NFL still obviously sees Thursday night as a prime time slot. Fox and President Peter Rice seem to agree as they have added more games in addition to their NFC package.
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“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,” said Rice. “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.”
No word yet on who will lead the broadcasting team for FOX. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman lead the Sunday FOX NFL lineup.