ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX make bids for Thursday Night Football
Via Bloomberg.com, FOX has joined ABC and the two networks that split the package in 2016-17, CBS and NBC, in submitting bids for the Thursday night contract.
Per the report, FOX has submitted multiple proposals involving FOX and FS1; however, with the games already televised on NFL Network, it’s unlikely the league would place game content on anything but a three-letter broadcast network.
FOX’s interest is a bit of a surprise. In October, FOX CEO James Murdoch blamed the Sunday ratings drop on oversaturation arising in part from the Thursday broadcasts. The NFL tried to undermine Murdoch’s complaints by pointing out that FOX doesn’t participate in the Thursday night package.
Under the broadcast antitrust exemption, the league can’t televise games on Fridays or Saturdays from early September through early December.
According to the report, CBS and NBC hope to pay less than the combined $450 million paid by the two networks in 2016 and 2017. The networks also have funded the production of the NFL Network-only games.
The league hopes to announce its decision regarding the TNF package either shortly before or shortly after the Super Bowl.
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