UPDATED with news of FOX’s official 5 year deal to broadcast the NFL, stealing the rights from NBC and CBS:
(Reuters) – 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.
Source and more: Reuters
21st Century Fox Inc. is close to a deal for the rights to “Thursday Night Football,” according to people familiar with the matter, betting that adding NFL games to its prime-time schedule will boost viewership despite the league’s recent decline in the ratings.
The company submitted a bid that’s higher than the $45 million a game CBS and NBC agreed to pay last year, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The deal hasn’t been finalized and could still fall apart.
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. The Murdoch family, which runs the company, wants to prove to the market that it’s still very interested in sports, the people said.
Source and more: Bloomberg
What are your thoughts FOX stealing the rights to Thursday Night Football?