Fox Pays $3B for Thursday Night Football; Streaming Not Announced
The NFL and 21st Century Fox announced a five-year broadcast partnership that will bring NFL Thursday Night Football to Fox stations. That means Fox will pay $660 million per year, coming in ahead of bids from CBS and NBC. Last season, CBS and NBC combined to pay $450 million for rights. This deal brings Fox 11 Thursday night games in the upcoming season.
Fox can stream these games to mobile phone viewers, although the deal does not include wider online streaming. For that, the NFL will negotiate a separate deal with a streaming service, perhaps Amazon or YouTube, which it plans to announce in the next few weeks. Last year, Amazon paid a reported $50 million to stream Thursday Night Football, with access limited to Amazon Prime customers.
In other sports news, YouTube TV has purchased the exclusive rights to locally televised games for the new Los Angeles Major League Soccer team, called the Los Angeles Football Club. This is a first, as YouTube has exclusive rights, not just streaming rights, with the professional team.
YouTube TV subscribers in Southern California will be able to stream 18 games from the upcoming season on the LAFC's channel. Rights to the club's nationally televised games have already been purchased by ESPN and Fox Sports 1, both of which are already a part of YouTube TV.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. A YouTube TV subscription costs $35 per month, and that will include the games. The LAFC's season starts March 4.
Prime subscribers around the world will be able to tune in for 11 games per season, with Amazon reportedly paying $65 million each year.
Verizon will stream live NFL games to more destinations, including Yahoo Sports, but will no longer have a mobile exclusive.
Members around the world will be able to watch highlights as soon as a game ends, while U.S. members will be able to watch two NFL original shows.