The Fox broadcast network, which is staying put as the centerpiece of New Fox, is poised to lose its main pipeline of entertainment shows when studio 20th Century Fox heads to Cinderella's Castle.
The company submitted a bid that's higher than the $45 million a game CBS and NBC agreed to pay previous year, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.
Now that Fox has locked in the rights to Thursday Night Football, one question still to be answered is the identity of the TNF broadcast crew. Fox already airs Sunday NFC games.
When NBC muscled its way into TNF in 2016, it utilized Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth despite its efforts to get Mike Tirico involved, though Tirico was featured at times during the 2017 season. However, it's easier to wrap your head around that price bump when considering that CBS paid about $37.5 million per game for 8 games during the 2014 season.
"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 Rice. Logically, it would stand that Joe Buck and Troy Aikman would get the call as part of FOX's No. 1 crew, but it is possible they could experiment throughout the year with different combinations.
From a practical standpoint, it means CBS can keep "The Big Bang Theory" in its Thursday home all season rather than airing it on Monday nights for the first month or so of the season. The new deal begins with the 2018 regular season and run for five years. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to National Football League rights, bet on the numbers going up.
Both CBS and NBC are said to have lost money on the Thursday games.
Thursday Night Football (presented by Bud Light, dilly dilly) ranks in the top five for viewership across all programs and was the No. 2 show in primetime last season.