Thursday Night Plight

    • Fox is widely believed to have overpaid for ‘Thursday Night Football.’
    • This article was first published in the FOS Daily Newsletter. Subscribe here.

Fox would pick its Sunday afternoon NFL package over “Thursday Night Football” if the cost of carrying both became too high.

“The heritage of the company was built on Sunday afternoon football,” Fox CFO Steve Tomsic said about a potential cutback.

All of the NFL’s broadcast rights agreements are nearing expiration.

  • The ESPN deal ends after the 2021 season
  • Fox, NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS contracts last through 2022

Fox pays $660 million for Thursday night rights and $1.08 billion for its NFL Sunday package.

ESPN currently pays the most of any rights holder, shelling out $1.9 billion for “Monday Night Football,” up from $1.1 billion in its prior deal.

Current projections suggest that NFL broadcast rights could rise by 50% to 80% in the next round of negotiations.

Fox is widely believed to have overpaid for the Thursday night package, which shares its viewership with Amazon Prime and Twitch. The network has aired the NFL since 1994.