The NFL has invited broadcasters to bid for a new rights package that includes Thursday Night Football. The rights will run for one year, covering the 2014 season, with a reported option to extend the agreement.
Whichever broadcaster that acquires the rights would share coverage of Thursday Night Football with NFL Network, the current broadcaster of the Thursday games. The rights are likely to include up to eight games in Thursday evenings, but Reuters have said that some late-season or playoff Saturday games could be included in the package.
The league has sent out requests for proposals to all the current NFL broadcasters (ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox) as well as media companies such as Turner. Google, which had been rumoured to be interested in a bid for NFL rights, was asked not to put in a bid.
Whether this means that the league will look at expanding the Thursday Night Football slate remains to be seen, but it is hardly surprising that the league is exploring opportunities to develop yet another revenue stream – at least, until they decide that there need to be even more games played in London.