CBS has won the rights to Thursday Night Football and will televise eight games on Thursday night in 2014, the NFL has confirmed in a statement.
The eight games will all be aired in the early part of the season and simulcast on NFL Network. Previously, NFLN had exclusive broadcasting rights to the TNF package. NFL Network will air the final six games on Thursday and two more on Saturday night, bringing the total package to 14 Thursday games. The Saturday games will be featured in Week 16 as a doubleheader, according to NFL Public Relations' Brian McCarthy.
The interesting part about the release is the intertwined relationship between the two networks. CBS is handling the announcement team and all of the production values, with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms calling every game, while the NFL Network will host pregame activities.
The agreement is for one year, with the NFL holding an option for 2015.
The NFL started airing Thursday Night Football in 2006 on its flagship network, along with the occasional game on Saturday evening. The NFL used to air a Saturday afternoon game every December on broadcast television, but those went away with the launch of NFL Network's TNF package.
This move is a culmination of the NFL's desire to get Thursday night games on broadcast television. It also brings back Saturday Night football, which has been absent from the schedule for several years. With this announcement, CBS will now have to make a shakeup to its Thursday primetime schedule, which currently dominates the ratings with hit shows like The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men.