January 31, 2018 / 3:01 PM / 3 months ago

Fox Sports to air next five seasons of Thursday Night Football

Jan 31 (Reuters) - FOX Sports has reached an agreement with the National Football League to broadcast the next five seasons of “Thursday Night Football” starting with the 2018 season, the two companies said on Wednesday.

Fox is taking over the rights for Thursday Night Football, which for the last two years were shared by CBS Corp and Comcast Corp owned NBC.

The agreement, which marks the fifth media rights deal between FOX Sports and the NFL, comes as a win for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc that is focusing on TV news and sport after the $52.4 billion Walt Disney Co deal.

The five-year deal allows FOX Sports to broadcast 11 games between weeks 4 and 15 (excluding Thanksgiving night). It will be simultaneously broadcast via NFL Network and will be distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes.

The NFL with Fox will decide on a partner to take on the digital rights to live-stream the games, Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner said on a media call Wednesday morning.

In addition, NFL Network will exclusively broadcast seven games next season, with FOX producing the full slate of 18 games.

Both the NFL and Fox declined to comment on the financial terms of the deal. (Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru and Jessica Toonkel in New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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