CBS acquired the rights to NFL games and will simulcast eight early season games on Thursday nights.
According to Deadline, the NFL cable channel will also air eight additional games with two Saturday matches. Thursday nights are considered the most lucrative for television financial terms and were not announced for the deal, it only runs for the 2014 football season. Google, ABC, Fox, NBC and Turner were also interested in the package with offers that reached $300 million, according to Sports Business.
CBS is producing all 16 games and lead broadcasters Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be part of the Thursday night games. CBS announcers are to join NFL Network hosts and analysts for the pregame, halftime and post game shows.
The NFL “represents the best premium content there is,” CBS chief Les Moonves says. “I look forward to all this new deal will do for us not only on Thursday nights, but across our entire schedule.”
This addition to the Sunday AFC package will help “further strengthens our position in the sports marketplace,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus adds.
Thursday Night Football began five years ago on the NFL network and this past December attracted an average of 8M viewers.