Thursday Night Football to be shared between two networks

Two leading US networks strike a deal to share the rights of 16 matches to be played on Thursday nights next season.

Two networks have struck up a deal to share the rights for NFL games played on Thursday nights next season.

CBS Sports and the NFL Network will split the production and coverage of 16 games under a 'Thursday Night Football' banner as of September.

CBS will air eight early-season games before coverage switches to the NFL Network for games leading up to the post-season. Despite the banner, 14 games will be played on Thursday nights, with two matches planned for Saturday evenings later in the campaign.

In a statement, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said: "NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans. Our goal is to bring these games to more fans on broadcast television with unprecedented promotion and visibility for Thursday Night Football on CBS."

The deal is a one-year contract, with the NFL having an option to extend it thereafter. It has also been announced that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will provide commentary of the coverage for all 16 of the games which will be aired.

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions celebrates with teammate Calvin Johnson #81 after a first quarter touchdown the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Ford Field on October 27, 2013
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