After a bidding war, CBS will be the new home for the NFL's primetime Thursday Night Football package during the 2014 NFL season. Here are the details, from the NFL's official release: CBS will produce the 16 Thursday night games next season, with Phil Simms and Jim Nantz handling announcing duties.
According to Awful Announcing's Ken Fang, only eight games will air on CBS next year. The other eight will air on the NFL Network but will still be produced by CBS and utilize CBS's on-air talent. CBS and the NFL Network will live in some kind of harmony: the broadcasts will incorporate both network's stable of analysts and reporters into the Thursday night coverage. The deal with CBS is for one year, with an option for the 2015 season at the NFL's discretion. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. News that the NFL was shopping a package for Thursday night was first broken by The New York Times in mid-January.
Every major broadcast network was reportedly bidding for the lucrative opportunity to air more NFL games. ABC, CBS, ESPN, NBC, Fox and even Turner Broadcasting reportedly submitted offers for the Thursday night package. Most insiders assumed the deal would go to NBC, the home of the NFL's Sunday Night Football, which has overtaken Monday Night Football as the league's marquee attraction in recent years. Besides its cozy relationship with the league, the network has been scooping up as many sports packages as possible to fill out programming for its NBC Sports Network.
Sorry, fans of the Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts, the now former announcers for Thursday night games on the NFL Network. They had some loud and prominent fans.