Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL notes:Thursday Night Games Moving to Fox Next Season

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

NFL notes:Thursday Night Games Moving to Fox Next Season

Article excerpt

Fox and the NFL have agreed to a five-year deal for Thursday night football games.

Those games previously were televised by CBS and NBC, two of the league's other network partners. Fox announced Wednesday that it will televise 11 games between Weeks 4 and 15, with simulcasts on NFL Network and Fox Deportes.

Fox, which has the Sunday afternoon NFC package, will produce all of the games under the deal, which is worth a little more than $3 billion, according to a person with direct knowledge of the terms of the deal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the league didn't announce its value.

"This is a single partner deal, we are not splitting the package," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a conference call. "We had tremendous amount of interest from all the broadcast partners, all of whom wanted it exclusively. We felt this was the best opportunity for the NFL to grow the Thursday night package."

Goodell added that the league is exploring partnerships with digital outlets, in conjunction with Fox.

CBS and NBC each paid $450 million for the previous two-year package.

Fox could have a conflict if weather causes a World Series game to be postponed from Wednesday to Thursday. In recent years, Series Game 2 and 6 have been scheduled for Wednesday.

"In that hypothetical kind of a scenario, the World Series game would stay on Fox and our Thursday night game would become an FS1/NFL Network simulcast," Fox spokesman Eddie Motl said.

Catch rule to be scrutinized * Goodell wants to see the mystery of the NFL's catch rule solved.

"On the catch/no catch rule, we need to find a rule we think will address that," he said. "We certainly need to get this rule right so everyone can appreciate."

He said the competition committee will discuss it this offseason.

"I would like to start back, instead of adding to the rule, subtracting the rule," he said. "Start over again and look at the rule fundamentally from the start. ... I won't tell you there won't be controversy (in the future), but we need to get to a better place. …

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