The new deal, which reportedly tops the combined $450 million that CBS and NBC paid past year, calls for 11 games spanning Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) to be broadcast on Fox, simulcast via NFL Network, and distributed in Spanish on Fox Deportes.
Last year, CBS and NBC paid a combined $450 million to air 10 games, both were interested in retaining the rights but not willing to get into a bidding war.
The stock, which had been up modestly in 2018 to date, dropped 4% for the day to close at $36.90 after investors digested this morning's announcement of the National Football League deal.
The Thursday-night games have sparked debate.
"We thought making a long-term commitment was in the best interest of our product and the ownership group", said New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
"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", Roger Goodell said in a statement. The deal comes at a time when Fox's broadcast network is getting ready to separate from a wide variety of other entertainment assets now owned by parent company 21st Century Fox, the bulk of which are in the process of being sold to Walt Disney.
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"Football is in our blood at Fox", says Peter Rice, president, 21st Century Fox.
Digital rights to Thursday Night Football games have also exponentially increased. Games were streamed on Amazon Prime in 2017. Rights for the upcoming season have not yet been sold.
SBD also reported that Fox would not use its top announcing team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on Thursday broadcasts.
After starting out exclusively on CBS, Thursday Night Football was split between both CBS and NBC the past two seasons.
League data in 2016 showed that an average of 6.3 injuries per game were sustained on Thursday night versus 6.5 for games played on Sunday.
This camera could have a new job on Thursday nights.