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CBS Wins the Rights to Thursday Night Football Games

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Scott Halleran

Get ready for some changes to Thursday Night Football next season: some good and some bad.

Let's start with the good: the NFL announced that CBS has won the rights to the league's Thursday Night Football package, while also keeping the NFL Network in the mix. Here's how it will work: CBS will produce all 16 games that are part of the package, the first 8 of which will air on public television. The final 8 broadcasts will air exclusively on NFL Network.

The bad news? Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be announcing all 16 games, which would seem to mean that Mike Mayock and Brad Nessler, arguably one of the most insightful commentating crews, are no more. Nantz and Simms are expected to pull double-duty and still announce games on Sundays for CBS. In an interesting twist, though, the pre-, half-, and post-game shows for Thursday Night Football will feature a mix of CBS and NFL Network personalities in a collaborative effort.

The package also includes two Saturday games, which will reportedly air in Week 16 next season. Why are only 16 games part of the package? The first game of the season should still below to NBC. NBC should also have the Thanksgiving night game. Lastly, there is no Thursday game in the final week of the season. 17 weeks - 3 weeks = 14 weeks of TNF. Since there are 16 games in the package, that is where the two Saturday games come in, presumably.

What do you think of the changes? I like the fact that I won't have to stream NFL Network for half the season, but I'll be irked that Nantz and Simms are on commentary. Hearing Mayock's analysis was always a delight.