NFL announced yesterday that it has partnered with CBS for the TV broadcast of Thursday Night Football games. CBS has reserved the rights to produce and televise the whole 2014 Thursday Night Football season for approximately $250 million. Although it is a yearlong contract, NFL can extend this agreement to include an additional year.
“NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans,” said NFL Commissioner Goodell. “Our goal is to bring these games to more fans on broadcast television with unprecedented promotion and visibility for Thursday Night Football on CBS.”
The NFL Network has been presenting Thursday Night Football games on cable since the past ten years. But this year, CBS will air eight early season games. However, the NFL Network will also simulcast these eight games as well as the eight late-season games exclusively. These 16 games include 14 Thursday night games and two late-season games on Saturday.
“We are very pleased to build on our outstanding partnership with the NFL by expanding our coverage to Thursday nights,” said CBS CEO Moonves. “CBS is a premium content company and the NFL represents the best premium content there is. I look forward to all this new deal will do for us not only on Thursday nights, but across our entire schedule.”
However, CBS will be presenting the full slate of 16 regular-season games. And CBS will use its lead broadcasters and production team, including Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, on all Thursday night games. But NFL Network hosts and analysts will also appear in the pregame, halftime and postgame shows along with CBS Sports announcers.
“The NFL is the most powerful programming in television,” said McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “To add a primetime NFL package to our successful Sunday AFC package further strengthens our position in the sports marketplace. We look forward to having Jim and Phil and our top production team showcased in prime time on Thursday nights.”