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          Fox nabs Thursday Night Football in a massive 5-year deal, reportedly worth $660 million a year

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          Matt Rourke/AP
          • Fox has agreed to a five-year deal with the NFL to broadcast "Thursday Night Football."
          • It will air 11 regular season games.
          • The deal is reportedly valued at $660 million annually.

          The NFL and Fox Sports have agreed to a five-year deal to broadcast "Thursday Night Football," according to a joint press release sent out by the network and league on Wednesday. 

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          The last two seasons, CBS and NBC paired up for the rights to air 10 Thursday night games (simulcast on the NFL Network). It cost them $45 million per game for a deal valued at a combined $450 million. This new deal is "worth an average of more than $660 million a year," according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.

          The average audience for a 2017 regular season NFL game was 14.9 million, down 9.7% from 16.5 million in 2016, and the Thursday night games suffered the most. According to The Wall Street Journal, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus believes the addition of Thursday night games as well as NFL games in London have "diluted the Sunday afternoon packages and affected the ratings." 

          However, NFL games are still one of the most valued live-sports assets. The league boasts that the NFL had nine of TV’s 10 most-watched programs in 2017.

          Fox Sports is one of the remaining pieces for 21st Century Fox after the company sold a good portion of its assets to Disney for $52.4 billion. Live sports seems to be something that Rupert Murdoch and his family wants to prove to the market that Fox is still interested in, people familiar with the Thursday Night Football deal told Bloomberg

          SEE ALSO: E!'s "Citizen Rose" gives an intimate portrait of the activism of Rose McGowan, Harvey Weinstein's most vocal accuser

          More: TV NFL Fox Thurday Night Football
          Jason is a senior entertainment reporter at BI and has covered various aspects of the film industry for close to two decades. On the site his reporting can range from what's going on behind-the-scenes at some of the biggest companies in Hollywood to colorful interview with some of the most well-known names in entertainment.

          Previous to sunbet, Jason was the managing editor at Filmmaker Magazine, one of the leading publications in the independent film industry. He's also written for numerous publications over the years, including Vanity Fair, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vulture, Variety, and indieWire.

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