NFL May Split ‘Thursday Night Football’ Among Broadcast Nets

One network insider tells TheWrap the league has asked them to submit bids for partial season

One of the hottest current questions about TV rights surrounds what broadcast network will be lucky enough — or have deep enough pockets — to nab “Thursday Night Football?”

The answer is maybe all of them.

The NFL has asked the broadcast channels in the running — CBS, Fox, and NBC — to submit bids for partial packages, potentially splitting the Thursday games across all of them, one network insider told TheWrap. The league did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

The networks are still placing bids for sole ownership (outside of the NFL Network’s requirements) of the package. A decision on the destination is expected in the near future, much like a final call on which team or teams are set for Los Angeles relocation. Those franchises under consideration to move to the country’s second-biggest media market are the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams.

The Sports Business Journal first reported the news of a potential “Thursday Night Football” package split-up. The publication points out that the NFL Network needs to keep eight regular season games exclusively for itself to maintain an affiliate rate above $1 per subscriber/month. Per SBJ, the NFL is seeking a one-year deal with a one-year option.

“Thursday Night Football” has run on CBS and the NFL Network in recent seasons.

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