New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The National Football League announced that it will team with long-time broadcast partner CBS to produce and televise Thursday Night Football for the 2014 season.
CBS will air eight early season games that will be simulcast on NFL Network. NFL Network will then take it from there, airing eight late-season games in the run-up to the playoffs.
"NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans," said league commissioner Roger Goodell. "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 mix of games will include 14 on Thursday nights and two late-season games on Saturday. The full slate of 16 games will be produced by CBS with its lead broadcasters, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, handling play-by-play duties.
"The NFL is the most powerful programming in television," said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus. "To add a primetime NFL package to our successful Sunday AFC package further strengthens our position in the sports marketplace. We look forward to having Jim and Phil and our top production team showcased in prime time on Thursday nights."
In the new format, NFL Network hosts and analysts will be featured in the pregame, halftime and postgame shows along with CBS Sports announcers.
"We are very pleased to build on our outstanding partnership with the NFL by expanding our coverage to Thursday nights," said CBS CEO Les Moonves. "CBS is a premium content company and the NFL represents the best premium content there is. I look forward to all this new deal will do for us not only on Thursday nights, but across our entire schedule."
The agreement is for the 2014 season with an additional year at the NFL's option.