NFL to Expand ‘Thursday Night Football’ Package for 2016, 2017
NFL to Expand ‘Thursday Night Football’ Package for 2016, 2017

The NFL has announced that 10 games will be broadcast in 2016 and 2017—up from the eight in 2014 and 2015—continuing the partnership with CBS while adding NBC to the lineup as well, according to a report on the NFL’s website.

Both CBS and NBC will broadcast five games apiece, each of the next two seasons. The games will still be simulcast on the NFL Network. The NFL network will exclusively televise eight regular season games between Thursday Night Football, some late-season games on Saturday, and some yet-to-be determined games.

CBS and the NFL Network will carry the first half of the Thursday Night Football season while NBC will work with the NFL Network in the second half.

“We are continuing to make Thursday Night Football bigger and better. CBS has played an integral role over the last two seasons in helping build Thursdays as a night for NFL football, and we’re excited to have them on board again,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Thursday Night Football originally started in 2006 with an eight-game schedule that was exclusively run by the NFL Network.

“Our mission when we first put games on Thursday nights in 2006 was to work strategically to make Thursdays a night for NFL football in the mold of what Monday and Sunday nights mean to millions of fans across the country,” said Bob Kraft, Chairman of the NFL’s Broadcast Committee.

By 2012 it was up to a 13-game schedule—still shown exclusively by the NFL Network.

Not until 2014—when the NFL did a 16-game Thursday Night Football schedule—did CBS join the fun and this past season’s efforts resulted in the highest Thursday Night Football ratings ever with a 7.9 Household rating and 13 million viewers.

Among the highlights of the 2015 Thursday Night season was the Dec. 3 “Hail Mary” ending that saw Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers heave a 61-yard last-second toss to the end zone that was caught by his receiver, Richard Rodgers. The incredible last-second throw put the Packers ahead 27–23 on the final play as time ran out.

In addition, the Jets and Bills played a memorable Nov. 13 game at MetLife Stadium featuring “Color Rush” uniforms where Buffalo wore all-red unis against the Jets’ all-greens. The result was a nightmare for colorblind fans.

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