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ABC, Turner are out of the running for Thursday Night Football

ABC's News Division To Cut Up To 25 Percent Of Staff

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: The ABC logo is viewed outside of ABC headquarters February 24, 2010 in New York, New York. ABC has announced that the television news division plans to cut 20-25 percent of its workforce, or between 300-400 people, through buyouts or layoffs. The news division plans to use more contractors and freelancers to make up for the loss of fulltime employees. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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And then there were three three-letter networks.

John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal reports that only FOX, CBS, and NBC submitted bids for the Thursday Night Football package.

Per Ourand, ABC was expected to make a proposal, but the network decided at the final minute not to make a bid. Apparently, the network believed it would not be able to turn the product into a profit.

Turner also didn’t submit a bid, even though it had made a bid every other time the league had requested proposals for the midweek slate of games. The league was never going to sell the Thursday broadcasts to a cable channel, and Turner reportedly didn’t want to once again provide a false boost to what the winning network(s) will pay.

CBS and NBC reportedly want to pay less than they did under the deal that covered 2016 and 2017, when they paid a combined $450 million per year to simulcast games also televised by NFL Network. With Ourand reporting that FOX offered a deal that would increase the fee, FOX could end up securing the entire 10-game package.