Way back in 2006, Thursday Night Football was born. At the time, it was comprised of eight (8) games that were televised exclusively on the NFL Network. In 2012, Thursday Night Football expanded to a thirteen (13) game schedule, with all games still airing only on the NFL Network. Prior to the 2014 season, the NFL expanded TNF yet again, this time to sixteen (16) games, with eight (8) of those games airing on CBS and the NFL Network. This was great for fans who didn't have access to the NFL Network and bad for anyone who finds Phil Simms' "analysis" painful to listen to, though the concern about the quality of Thursday Night Football games remained, if not grew.
Nevertheless, the undeniable ratings boost that comes from broadcasting games on CBS affiliates hasn't gone unnoticed by the NFL, as they announced earlier today that NBC is now getting into the Thursday Night Football business. From the press release:
Both CBS and NBC will broadcast five Thursday Night Football games, growing the package to 10 broadcast games in 2016 and 2017 from eight in 2014 and 2015. All Thursday Night Football broadcast games will continue to be simulcast on NFL Network. NFL Network will also exclusively televise an eight-game schedule of regular season games comprised of Thursday Night Football, late-season games on Saturday, and additional games to be determined.
Both CBS and NBC will produce Thursday Night Football with their lead broadcasters and production teams, and both will contribute to the production of Thursday Night Football exclusively on NFL Network. CBS and NFL Network will televise the first half of the Thursday Night Football schedule with NBC and NFL Network televising the second half.
Also of note, especially for the cord-cutters among you: The NFL could have a streaming deal soon for Thursday Night Football.
The NFL is in active discussions with prospective digital partners for OTT streaming rights to Thursday Night Football. A deal announcement is expected in the near future.
Your thoughts, if any, on this development?