During today’s conference call held jointly by the National Football League and ESPN announcing the new eight year Monday Night Football deal, we received a tidbit of news regarding the other NFL packages.
It’s been speculated that the NFL would soon award a package of 8 Thursday Night Football games to a new cable partner, either ESPN, Fox, NBCUniversal or Turner Sports, for the first half of the regular season that would begin in 2012. NFL Commish Roger Goodell answered a question in regards to that package and informed reporters that it probably would not be awarded this year. Newsday’s Neil Best and Sports lllustrated’s Richard Deitsch both tweeted Goodell’s statement almost simultaneously.
It doesn’t mean that a new Thursday Night Football package is off the table. It just means the NFL will wait until after the current season to award it and having it begin in 2012 is still in play.
As for the other TV packages that are held by CBS (AFC), Fox (NFC), NBC (Sunday Night) and NFL Network (2nd half Thursday Night Football), the Commish said that negotiations to extend the rights are currently underway.
It will be interesting to see what transpires in the coming months for the current NFL TV partners.