Football fans, get ready for Thursdays. The National Football League has announced that it intends to expand its Thursday night in 2016 and heading into 2017.
In addition to continuing its partnership with CBS, the NFL is adding NBC as a partner, with both networks set to air five Thursday Night Football games, which increases the package from eight broadcast games — the number for 2014 and 2015 — to 10 broadcast games. The NFL Network, which will continue to simulcast the games, will also exclusively televise an eight-game schedule of regular season games, which will include Thursday Night Football, late-season games on Saturday, and additional offerings.
CBS and the NFL Network are set to televise the first half of Thursday Night Football, with NBC and the NFL Network taking up 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,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a press release. “At the same time, we’re thrilled to add NBC to the Thursday Night Football mix, a trusted partner with a proven track record of success broadcasting NFL football in primetime, and look forward to expanding with a digital partner for what will be a unique tri-cast on broadcast, cable, and digital platforms.”
The deal isn’t too surprising for NBC, which has attempted to make itself a destination on Thursday nights since the days of Must See TV. The 2015 football season was notably the most-watched and highest-rated Thursday Night Football season ever. However, it’s unclear what this will mean for shows like The Blacklist and Shades of Blue.