Rupert Murdoch in 1993 gave his Fox broadcast network new life when he paid a whopping $1.6 billion for the rights to Sunday NFL games previously held by CBS. Now, Murdoch and his family are relying on a similar technique.
The network announced on Wednesday that it has required the exclusive rights to the NFL's weekly Thursday night game for the next five years for a whopping $550 million annually or $2.75 billion total.
Beginning in 2006, Thursday Night Football has been a staple of the NFL Network but has been shared at five games apiece between CBS and NBC for the last two seasons, along with making streaming debuts on both Amazon Prime Video and Twitter. According to Deadline, the two networks were paying a combined $900 million for the past two seasons.
The move represents the change in direction for Fox, which sold off its 21st Century Fox television and film departments to Disney back in December.
The massive purchase also saw the company's stock drop four percent with a closing price of $36.90 per share. However, Deadline reports that shareholders overall are not worried about locking up the NFL's game right through 2022.
“While the price tag on Thursday Night Football seems high, this is a clear indication that ‘New Fox’ is putting its money where its mouth is and sticking to the plan,” analyst Michael Nathanson told the site.
The selected games for the Fox broadcast have yet to be announced.