You’ll Have to Watch Thursday Night Football on Two Different Networks

NFL: NFC Championship-Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
Jan 24, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates on the side lines during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports - RTX23U1E
Photograph by Reuters/USA Today Sports

The National Football League will split the broadcast rights for its Thursday Night Football games between NBC and CBS, a move that reportedly earns the League higher fees and underlines the increasing cost of content for TV networks.

The NFL also said that it was in “active discussions” with potential partners for streaming rights for the games, but it did not name any specific company.

The NFL will get about $450 million in total rights fees from CBS and NBC for broadcasting 10 games, higher than the $300 million CBS (CBS) paid for eight games this season, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Based on the report, the new rights fees works out to $45 million per game compared with $37.50 million earlier.

The rise in content costs comes at a time when TV networks are struggling with falling advertising sales.

NFL, CBS, and Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA) NBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the Journal report.

The NFL said NBC and CBS would broadcast five games each in 2016 and 2017 and “contribute to the production of Thursday Night Football exclusively on NFL Network.”


Reuters reported last month that the League planned to live-stream all three games scheduled to be played in London next season, with Apple (AAPL) and Alphabet (GOOGL) as the tech companies in the running for streaming rights.

In October, Yahoo (YHOO) became the NFL’s first over-the-top streaming partner, when the Internet company broadcast a game between the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars. That game got 33.6 million views.

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