The NFL broadcasts 16 Thursday Night games a year, with the previous format including the first eight games being simulcasted on CBS and NFL Network and the final eight exclusively on NFL Network. The idea is to get the fans to sample the broadcast and try to get more people to upgrade their TV package to include NFL Network. It's not a terrible idea, but of course my problem with Thursday Night Football is that teams are basically having to turn around and play four days later. John Ourand of the Sport Business Journal in Washington DC has the details on the new deal.
Sources: CBS and NBC will have five games each. Combined price tag "approaches" $500M.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 1, 2016
Official release: CBS gets five games; NBC gets five games; NFL Network gets eight games (exclusively).— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 1, 2016
Release: "The NFL is in active discussions with prospective digital partners for OTT streaming rights to Thursday Night Football."— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 1, 2016
Source: CBS and NBC are paying $450M combined for NFL Thursday Night Football rights. Plus, OTT money is still out there.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 1, 2016
The NFL is working on a deal to be able to digitally stream these games. I have no problem with this idea and actually encourage it because the best way to increase the ratings for the game is to increase the amount of access for the fans. Some people can't afford to upgrade their TV package to include NFL Network, so they're stuck in the dark. The NFL is looking into the OTT (Over-the-top content) market, which has a lot of potential for them in the future. I wouldn't be surprised to see the NFL stream games on Hulu or Netflix in the next five years.