New additives which were built into the Fox Thursday Night Football broadcast agreement with the NFL continue to be released.
Earlier in the week, Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand reported FOX may pick up the NFL wild card playoff game that was broadcast by ESPN and ABC in recent years. It also appears FOX will televise the NFL draft.
During Super Bowl week, it was revealed that FOX would broadcast 11 Thursday Night Football games during each of the next five seasons. The reported cost is in the range of $3 billion which surprised many within the industry. The recent reports of FOX gaining an extra playoff game and a simulcast of the NFL Draft are both part of the TNF agreement with the league.
Unlike the NFL wild card game, which ESPN is expected to lose completely, ESPN will still broadcast the NFL draft, but they can’t be excited about the added competition. ESPN has been covering the draft since 1980 and was joined by NFL Network in 2006, now FOX will offer a third option for viewers.
The NFL moved the first round of the draft from Saturday, to the Thursday night primetime television slot in 2010. Now the league will look to grow viewership further by putting the draft on a major broadcast network.
FOX is expected to carry a simulcast of the NFL Network broadcast. According to Ourand FOX could cut away from the NFL Network feed at times to use their own analysts. In 2017, the draft was held outdoors in Philadelphia with more than 70,000 fans attending the first round Thursday night. This year’s draft will be in Dallas at the Cowboys home field of AT&T Stadium.