NFL announces 'Thursday Night Football' is moving to FOX

NFL announces 'Thursday Night Football' is moving to FOX

NFL announces 'Thursday Night Football' is moving to FOX

The agreement allows the NFL to further develop digital-distribution models for Thursday Night Football as well as for Fox's Sunday games.

But for Thursday, November 22, when Fox will air the late-afternoon Thanksgiving Day game from Dallas, the network's new National Football League slate will air across consecutive weeks, stretching from Week 4 of the 2018 season through Week 15. As Ourand said in his tweet, Amazon ran the digital package a year ago, but those rights are still undetermined for 2018. The WSJ reports that an announcement could be made as early as Wednesday. NBC's "Sunday Night Football" was the top-rated prime-time program previous year, according to Nielsen, although it, too, suffered a ratings decline; and 37 of the 50 most-watched programs in 2017 were NFL games, per the Los Angeles Times.

Fox's biggest bet yet on its post-Disney future, locking up rights to Thursday Night Football through 2022, has sent shares of parent company 21st Century Fox tumbling. The rest of the package will appear exclusively on NFL Network, which must carry a certain number of games to fulfill its contractual obligations to pay TV providers.

SBD also reported that Fox would not use its top announcing team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on Thursday broadcasts. CBS and NBC have indicated their interest in airing the games could wane if licensing costs rose without any new benefits, according to people familiar with the situation.

Fox aired "Gotham" and "The Orville" on Thursday nights this past fall, drawing ratings that paled in comparison with those put up by the pro football games broadcast by CBS and NBC. According to the Bloomberg scribes, Fox ranks last among the broadcast networks in total audience and is tied for second among viewers 18 to 49.

The NFL's "Thursday Night Football" isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

NFL ratings declined almost 10% in 2017, marking the second straight year ratings dropped, with the average weekly viewers for Thursday Night Football reportedly dropping to 10.9 million from 2016's 12.4 million.

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