The National Football League will team with long-time broadcast partner CBS to produce and televise Thursday night football games for the 2014 season. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As part of the deal, CBS will air eight early-season games that also will be simulcast on NFL Network. NFL Network will also televise eight late-season games in the run-up to the playoffs. The mix of games will include 14 on Thursday nights and two late-season games on Saturday. The full slate of 16 regular-season games will be produced by CBS with its lead broadcasters and production team, including Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, on all Thursday night games. In a new twist, NFL Network hosts and analysts will be featured in the pregame, halftime and postgame shows along with CBS Sports announcers.
The agreement is for the 2014 season with an additional year at the NFL’s option. “NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans,” said NFL Commissioner Roger 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 is the most powerful programming in television,” said Sean McManus, chairman of 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.”