NFL wants to sell Thursday games, but show them too

The NFL is willing to sell off part of the NFL Network’s Thursday night package, but they still want to show the games.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Daily, the NFL is requiring the winning bidder on the package to allow a simulcast of the games on the NFL Network. The inclusion of that clause came as a surprise to several industry sources.

While that demand would cut into any rights fee the league would get from the deal, it would also expand the audience by having the games on a pair of networks at once.

The proposal was sent to all of the league’s network partners along with Turner Sports.

Another element of the league’s proposal that is raising eyebrows is a willingness to accept bids on multiple amounts of games in Weeks Two through 16, except for the opener and the Thanksgiving night game. That would allow another network to bid for any number of games, in a time span covering more of the calendar than the original idea that it would be an early season-only package.

16 responses to “NFL wants to sell Thursday games, but show them too

  1. I would only see this as making sense if a channel like CBS or NBC picked up Thursday night games because then the people without cable or who cable packages don’t carry NFL Network would be able to see the game. Other than that people who have NFL Network will get it on 2 channels and it doesn’t really expand.

  2. Did anyone “watch” the TNF games online at

    Seriously, what is the point to having 2 guys talking about and analyzing the game online while it’s being played?

    Just show the game live online

  3. As far as the quality if Thursday night games, the NFL should schedule teams to play Thursday night games coming off they’re bye week. I know bye weeks are from Weeks 4-15, but they would be able to show more than 1 game on Thurday nights. Teams would be rested and the quality of play would improve !

  4. Nothing wrong with this. Good new for fans! Would be nice if they sold rights to CBS or FOX for those nor subscribed to NFLN.

  5. If the NFL wants to continue having Thursday night games, they should set the schedule so that teams coming off it’s bye week play. That would ensure a better quality product and you could actually schedule two games.

  6. Luv TNF. It keeps the NFL show rolling thru the season at a nice clip. No more Tues-to-Sun dead time.


    They can make it so teams coming off a bye week play each other.

    That won’t work for all the games, so make the other TNF games using teams who played at 1pm the week before.

    Make it so the home team on TNF was at home the week before.

    Also make it an easy travel game for the visitors. (same time zone good, same state even better)

    The TNF schedule can be made better, keeping player recovery time in mind,

  7. It seems like the natural fit is selling to Turner Sports and broadcasting on TBS or TNT since they don’t currently do any business with the NFL and they are included in the most basic of cable/satellite packages.

    As long as they could hold off on advertising 15 year old re-runs of “Everybody Loves Raymond” or whatever crappy original broadcasting they have on TBS, it’s a good fit.

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