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Thursday Night Football Package Increases to 10 Games in 2016 and 2017; NBC Enters the Mix Too

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the NFL announced that they are expanding their coverage of Thursday Night Football games for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Over the past two years, CBS has had the rights to broadcast 8 of the Thursday games. The new deal cuts their games down to 5, but NBC is now also in the mix for 5 games, making a total of 10 games that will air on public television (and will be simulcast on NFL Network). CBS' games will come in the first half of the package, with NBC's games to follow.

NFL Network will exclusively air eight regular season games, comprising of the remaining Thursday Night Football games (but possibly not including the opener), late-season games on Saturday, and additional games to be determined. The NFL is also in active discussions with prospective digital partners for OTT streaming rights to Thursday Night Football.

In the past few years, Thursday Night Football has predominantly featured games within the division, and the Cleveland Browns' games have typically come after the public networks are finished airing their slate of games. This increases the Browns' chances of truly having a nationally-televised game, but I wouldn't bank on the team being given such exposure just yet.