Potential Game Changer: CBS, NBC, Fox, ESPN and Turner Reportedly All Make Bids For NFL’s Thursday Night Football Package

Jan 20, 2014  •  Post A Comment

"All four of the NFL’s network partners have bid on the Thursday night television package, a person with knowledge of the bidding process told the Associated Press on Sunday."

The AP story adds: "The league has used its NFL Network to televise the games, but recently put up the 13-game series for bids and received them from NBC, Fox, CBS and ESPN. … Turner Sports has also bid, and there’s a strong possibility ESPN would put the games on ABC should it be chosen by the league."

The article also has this quote from NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt, who told TV critics on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014: "We’d love to have more NFL games.Thursday night games might be really interesting to us. I just can’t say. I mean, it’s something we’re talking about, and we have a great relationship with the NFL."

According to the website Inquisitr, "Sunday night football tends to draw the biggest crowds on television based upon the number. For example, NBC averages 21.5 million viewers on Sunday night alone, and ESPN’s Monday Night Football draws in around 13.7 million.

Inquisitr adds, "How much is NFL Thursday night football actually worth? The NFL Network has been broadcasting the Thursday NFL games itself so far. Although viewership has increased by 10 percent from 2012, the Thursday NFL games only averaged about 8 million viewers, well below Sunday night games. For the privilege of showcasing the package of 19 NFL Sunday night games NBC pays about $950 million. So analysts expect the overall cost [for the Thursday night TV package] to be somewhere around $400 million.

"The biggest news about the deal is that some of the previously Sunday night only games may suddenly become Thursday NFL games. The league would do this in order to increase the ratings and sweeten the deal. Worse, popular TV shows like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ air on Thursday nights on CBS, so whoever wins the auction may not matter too much since it may force all of the networks to shift the showtimes for their biggest features so they don’t accidentally end up competing with Thursday NFL games."

One Comment

  1. Thursday Night Football is worth a lot more than $400 Million. Currently it is on the NFL channel which is not in nearly as many homes as the networks. The ratings would be higher and the Movie studios would buy a lot of advertising on Thursday pm on the network with NFL going into the weekend. Somewhere between $660-800 is more realistic for Thursday Night rights to a network.

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