The NFL has reached an agreement with CBS and NBC, splitting next season’s “Thursday Night Football” games with the NFL Network, the league announced Monday.
The agreement is reported to be in the $450 million-$500 million range and Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports and it spans two years. CBS previously had a succession of one-year deals with the league.
Under the terms of the contract, CBS and NBC will each get five games, with the NFL Network carrying eight games exclusively. (One Thursday night game is carried on Saturday night.) All the games will be simulcast on the NFL Network. CBS and the NFL Network will televise the first half of the schedule, with NBC and the NFL Network carrying the second half. NBC and CBS will produce the games with their lead broadcasters and crews and will contribute to the NFL Network’s package.
Although it isn’t clear how this will shake out for NBC, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” duo, will broadcast the “Thursday Night” games for NBC, SI.com’s Richard Deitsch reports.
The NFL is also seeking digital partners for OTT streaming rights to “Thursday Night Football,” with a deal coming in the near future, the league says. It reportedly has reached out to companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Yahoo.
“We are continuing to make ‘Thursday Night Football’ bigger and better,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement released by the league. “CBS has played an integral role over the last two seasons in helping build Thursdays as a night for NFL football, and we’re excited to have them on board again. At the same time, we’re thrilled to add NBC to the ‘Thursday Night Football’ mix, a trusted partner with a proven track record of success broadcasting NFL football in primetime, and look forward to expanding with a digital partner for what will be a unique tri-cast on broadcast, cable, and digital platforms.”
It may be a little more complicated for people to figure out which channel is carrying the games in the fall of 2016, but if one thing is certain, it’s that fans will find football.