And the winner is…CBS.
The National Football League will team with long-time broadcast partner CBS to produce and televise Thursday Night Football for the 2014 season, it was announced today by NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL and LESLIE MOONVES, president and CEO of CBS Corp., and SEAN McMANUS, Chairman, CBS Sports.
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 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.”
“We are very pleased to build on our outstanding partnership with the NFL by expanding our coverage to Thursday nights,” said 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.”
“The NFL is the most powerful programming in television,” said McManus. “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.”