"Thursday Night Football" will begin on Week 4 of the season and run through Week 15 with the exception of the Thanksgiving primetime game, which is remaining on NBC. Per the NFL's release, an additional seven games will air exclusively on NFL Network, with FOX producing the full 18-game slate.
CBS and NBC paid a combined $450 million to air 10 games previous year. This fits into what Fox wants to do heading forward with its over-the-air network-a push to live sports and news-oriented fare. This comes as FOX sells off most of the company to Disney to focus more on sports and news. "We believe in buying the very best rights, and the best rights are National Football League". According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, the deal is pegged at an average of more than $660 million per year. Those games will be simulcast on NFL Network and a digital partner still to be named. Those network lost $30 million a game, or $300 million this past season, according to figures from analyst Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research that were confirmed by industry insiders.
"These opportunities come along very, very infrequently", Peter Rice, 21st Century Fox president, told A.P. ABC held the top spot in the 8 p.m. time slot with "Grey's Anatomy", NBC grabs a good size audience at 8:30 p.m. with "The Good Place", and CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" and "Young Sheldon" held down the 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. time slots, respectively.
The networks anxious that the Thursday prime-time games contributed to over-saturation that was a factor in declining pro football ratings overall.
"Thursday Night Football is just another example of the NFL's hypocrisy: The league will continue a practice that diminishes the on-field product and endangers its players, but as long as the dollars keep rolling in, it couldn't care less".
Guess who saved the NFL and friends, ensuring all that the knee-taking - not to mention the other issues fans complain about - didn't kick the league and its players in the bottom line? Per Sports Business Daily, CBS and NBC submitted bids that were smaller than their current deals. "Hard to recover in four days". NBC will be able to schedule its Thursday lineup through the entire fall rather than putting shows on a two-month hiatus in early November.