It’s been rumored for months that the NFL was looking to somehow increase the often piddling ratings for the Thursday Night Football games and today the league announced that it will be simulcasting many of next season’s Thursday games on both the NFL Network and CBS.
According to this press release [WARNING: Auto-play video that you can’t even stop until after the obnoxious ad plays] “CBS will air eight early-season games that also will be simulcast on NFL Network.”
Even the games that only air on NFL Network will be produced by the team at CBS — including the booth duo of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms — a significant upgrade (in my opinion) to the pairing of Mike Mayock and the guy who had to sit next to Mike Mayock for three hours every Thursday.
There will still be an NFL Network presence in these de facto CBS broadcasts, with the cable channel’s crew of analysts and experts appearing in the pregame, halftime, and postgame shows.
Though the deal is technically only for the 2014 season, the NFL has the option to extend it for another season.
“NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, ignoring the fact that even many diehard football fans often forgot that there were games on Thursday night. “Our goal is to bring these games to more fans on broadcast television with unprecedented promotion and visibility.”
This is good news for all the fantasy football players who continually ran into the problem of forgetting to make picks or make starting player changes before the start of a Thursday night game.
We also hope that CBS doesn’t continue using this as the musical lead-in for Thursday Night Football: