NFL reaches agreement with FOX to broadcast Thursday Night Football

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Fox Sports and the NFL reached a five-year agreement for the broadcasting rights for Thursday Night Football games, the league announced on Wednesday, the first long-term deal the NFL has struck with a network partner to broadcast the Thursday night games.

Thursday night games have been widely criticized for being poorly played because coaching staffs have less time to game-plan and players have less time to recover from the previous Sunday's game.

The Seattle Seahawks cornerback, who tore his Achilles on a Thursday night game in November 2017, penned an article for The Players Tribune in late 2016 titled "Why I hate Thursday Night Football." .

Presented by Bud Light, Thursday Night Football is a top-5 show in all of television and the No. 2 show in primetime.

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He said repeatedly that he did not know why agents had contacted him and that he had no ties that he knew of to Paddock. It is not clear if Haig is the person of interest Lombardo was referring to in his most recent press conference.

But the thing is - and this is what often gets lost when talking about NFL ratings going down - pro football's popularity has a very long way to fall before it hits bottom. The NFL Network, however, will exclusively televise seven games in 2018. The 2017-18 FOX NFL regular season came to a close with AMERICAS GAME OF THE WEEK averaging 22,745,000 viewers which ranks as televisions No. 1 show for the ninth straight year. But the National Football League deal showed that Fox would compete with the established networks and enabled it to lure some critical affiliates away from CBS at the same time. (This excludes the Thanksgiving night game, which will still air on NBC). It now pays $1.1 billion a year to broadcast those games through the 2022 season. And in a departure from the NFL's unofficial policy of doling out short-term leases on the Thursday night games, Fox's stewardship of the weeknight window will extend through 2022-which is when the existing Sunday afternoon and Sunday night deals are set to expire.

Fox is to carry 11 "TNF" games, which will be simulcast on the NFL Network and on a yet-to-be-named digital platform. CBS and NBC reportedly submitted bids lower than the value of the current deals. This news comes in the wake of 21st Century Fox selling most of its media assets (including 20th Century Fox) to the Walt Disney Company for $52.4 billion.

When Fox outbid CBS in 1993 for the NFC package of games, critics and competitors wondered the same thing. Strong chemistry formed between Burkhardt and Davis, and they be a good choice to call Thursday Night Football. Amazon may yet retain streaming rights, but any deal would be shared with Fox, at least for the next five years. In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com and FOX Sports GO.

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