Bidding to Stream Thursday Night Football is Heating Up and FOX is Pushing for Better Matchups

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Bidding to Stream Thursday Night Football is Heating Up and FOX is Pushing for Better Matchups

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FOX threw wads of cash at the NFL to acquire the rights for Thursday Night Football and it’s possible the network’s investment could lead to a better weekly product.

John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal expects FOX to “have a stronger schedule” than previous years on other networks. Further, sources indicate to Ourand that FOX is open to the idea of moving games that are in the network’s late Sunday afternoon window (usually around 3:15 or 3:25 central time) to Thursday night.

The late slate of FOX’s Sunday games tend to be the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to matchups. If the network views Thursday night as a better situation for those games that often feature teams who draw the top ratings nationally (think Cowboys and Packers) then this could be quite the move. Of course, this could create for some serious schedule tweaks, but better games on Thursday would lead to the kind of viewing experience those games have lacked.

Perhaps a better crop of Thursday games would result in more fans streaming the product online.

Streaming Thursday Night Football has been a boon for the NFL, which received $50 million from Amazon last season. That number figures to rise moving forward as Recode.net’s Kurt Wagner reports Amazon, Twitter, YouTube, and Verizon are among those in the bidding for TNF’s next streaming deal, which is expected to be a multi-year pact.

For what it’s worth, Recode.net’s Jason Del Ray reports YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki recently said she would “love” for YouTube to stream NFL games. YouTube has twice bid for the NFL’s streaming rights, but both attempts were unsuccessful.

Having a variety of outlets to watch the NFL in 2018 wouldn’t be a bad thing. And if there were better games on the schedule, then it’s hard to see a scenario where fans, the league, and whatever network or streaming service is providing the action aren’t all winners.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.