Fox to air Big Ten, Big 12 and Mountain West football games on Fridays this fall

BIRMINGHAM, AL - APRIL 22:  The FOX Sports logo is displayed on a camera during the USFL game between the Birmingham Stallions and the Memphis Showboats on April 22, 2023 at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama.  (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Fox will televise either a college football or NFL game three days a week this fall. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Fox is set to televise football games three days a week this fall.

The network announced Thursday that it would air a package of Friday night college football games in 2024. The games will complement Fox’s over-the-air college football slate on Saturdays and its NFL package on Sundays.

The games will feature teams from the Big Ten, Big 12 and Mountain West — the three conferences that have television contracts with Fox.

The move to televise college football on Friday nights comes after Fox declined to renew its deal with the WWE for its Friday night “Smackdown” broadcasts. Though the WWE broadcasts are year-round, it’s safe to say that the college football games will outrate wrestling this fall.

Fox noted that its No. 1 game of the week will continue to be at noon ET on Saturdays.

“Fox is football, and our new Friday night package will make Fox the leader in America’s game throughout the weekend,” Fox Sports' Michael Mulvihill said in a statement. “We’ve built our collegiate business by seizing opportunities in previously underutilized timeslots, first with 'Big Noon Saturday' and now on Friday nights. Our goal this fall is to have the No. 1 college football game on both Fridays and Saturdays and the top NFL game on Sundays.”

The specific Friday night games were not announced Thursday and won’t be until later this spring. While there will probably be some good matchups on Friday nights, we’d be surprised to see a heavy dose of marquee teams and programs. As the Big Ten has started to play Friday night games in recent years, programs like Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State have made it clear they want to play home games on Saturdays.

The 2024 season is set to be the first with Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington in the Big Ten and Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah in the Big 12. UCLA and USC announced their intentions to leave the Pac-12 conference in the summer of 2022, while the other six schools bolted (along with Stanford and Cal) in the summer of 2023 when the Pac-12 couldn't agree on a new media rights deal.