Fox is now the go-to cable destination for NFL games.
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.
The Thursday night package was previously negotiated annually.
The deal is worth an average of more than $660 million per year, according to ESPN. Fox currently pays $1.1 billion per year to broadcast NFC games on Sundays through 2022.
“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 the president of 21st Century Fox, Peter Rice.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement on the deal:
“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,” Goodell said. “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.”
Fox Sports is also expanding its digital rights, which includes broadcasting games from mobile devices.
Fox will broadcast 11 games between Week 4 and Week 15, which will also be simulcast on NFL Network. NBC will continue to air the season-opening Thursday night game and the Thanksgiving night game.
NFL Network will also air seven games exclusively, which will be produced by Fox.