There’s a great bit of news for for football fans across the country today: the NFL and CBS have just agreed to a new deal which will allow the network to broadcast eight Thursday Night Football games during the 2014 season. Thursday Night Football has been exclusively on NFL Network in the past, restricting access to many fans, but now, at least for half of the season, everyone can tune in on Thursdays:
Per a release by 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, CBS Corporation President and CEO Leslie Moonves and CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus.
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.
It remains to be seen if CBS will eventually get to broadcast all Thursday Night Football games, but it seems like this could be a step in that direction. You can read more details on the new NFL-CBS contract here.