Thursday Football May Be Shared This Fall by CBS/NBC, on Wild Schedule

Thursday Night Football Schedule 2016

The NFL has balls, and they’re at a full 13 psi.

Believing — and likely correctly so — that it can make considerably more money by licensing out two Thursday Night Football packages of five games each versus one eight-game package (as it has done with CBS), the NFL is aiming to find two broadcasters to share the midweek package with the NFL Network next season, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NBC is angling to be that second broadcast partner alongside CBS, though Fox is said to be in the (distant) running as well.

But that’s not the wildest part. Far from it.

The Journal also hears that as a means to land the best Thursday-night match-ups on the NFL Network only, the NFL wants to “bounce the games back and forth” between its broadcaster partners and its self-owned cable outlet — effectively deflating the networks’ ability to easily promote their Thursday programming, be it scripted or football. (For the past two falls, CBS has aired most of its Thursday Night Football games all in a row, allowing it to promote a “delayed” premiere for Thursday originals.)

I again direct you to the WSJ, where the dollar figures at play here are detailed —both justifying the NFL’s money grab and illustrating how hugely valuable football ratings must be to the CBSes of the world, that they’d even consider such a deal.

What do you think of the NFL’s new demands? Out of bounds?