Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:50 pm

NFL approves 9-year TV deals with CBS, Fox, NBC

By Will Brinson

The NFL is a booming business and one that's set to continue growing exponentially over the next decade, thanks to the latest CBA providing 10 years of labor peace.

The business of growing began in earnest on Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings when the league announced a nine-year extensions of television agreements with CBS, FOX and NBC.

"NFL clubs have approved 9-year extensions of TV agreements w/CBS, FOX, NBC thru 2022," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted. "NFL stays on broadcast TV."

The new television deals will provide some changes to current coverage. For instance, CBS will begin broadcasting NFC and AFC games for the first time in the history of the partnership.

“CBS has been broadcasting the NFL for 52 years, and we are extremely pleased to extend our long-term partnership,” said Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports. “This commitment is further proof of the valued relationship CBS shares with the NFL and of the overall strength of CBS Sports. The opportunity to add quality NFC games greatly enhances our television package. We look forward to continued growth as we broadcast the NFL for many more years to come.”

As a result of the extended agreement, CBS will broadcast Super Bowl L in 2016, Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and Super Bowl LVI in 2022, in addition to Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans in 2013. Fox and NBC will also televise three Super Bowls over the course of the agreement.

The Thanksgiving night game, aired on the NFL Network since its inception, will be moved to NBC beginning in 2012, giving each major broadcast network a holiday game.

Additionally, the deal also provides for an expanded Thursday night package on NFL Network and the possibility for "flexing" games between Fox and CBS, the latter beginning in 2014.

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Posted on: June 27, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 12:27 pm

Report: League shopping new eight-game TV package

Posted by Will Brinson

There have been many signs that point to positive momentum from the NFL and the players for new football over the past week or so.

But this may be the best part yet: The NFL is reportedly shopping a new eight-game, Thursday night package to the television networks.

"Sources said the league currently has the rights to take enough games from CBS and Fox’s Sunday afternoon schedules to fill the new eight-game package and does not have to wait for those contracts to expire after the 2013 season," Daniel Kaplan and John Ourand wrote in today's Sports Business Journal.

So, as we know, at some point there will be 16 games played on Thursdays; it's more football in the national spotlight, and it's a vehicle to really crank up the presence of the NFL Network, which the league owns.

And under this scenario, eight games would air on the NFL Network and eight games would be shopped to an additional and/or current service provider. But who's that gonna be?

Well, Ourand and Kaplan report that Turner and Comcast "have emerged as the most serious bidders for such a package." Comcast would want to put the games on Versus -- therefore giving people a reason to find out what channel number it is and maybe later on watch hockey -- while Turner would obviously love to beef up the sports presence of TBS, TNT and truth.

"There’s going to be another package because when this [labor] deal finally happens, somebody is going to have to pay for it,” an unidentified network executive told SBJ. “Part of it is going to be paid by a new NFL package.” Additionally, Kaplan and Ourand note that ESPN is close to locking in a deal that will guarantee them possession of Monday Night Football for another decade-plus, at a the not-so-low cost of $1.8 billion per year.

This is particularly important because it sets the stage for a hefty price tag on the Thursday-night package. You can expect the league to demand well north of $500 million for the eight games that will be shown in primetime.

And while there's a great argument that Thursday night games don't draw as many viewers as Monday night games, those early week contests haven't been broadcast on nationally available cable yet.

A couple of compelling matchups on the right channel could immediately change the way the world looks at Thursday night NFL football, and net someone a pretty good revenue stream for the next few years.

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Posted on: December 18, 2010 9:07 pm

Memo to FOX: NFL doesn't need soundtrack

Posted by Will Brinson

90 percent of America probably hasn't realized that FOX is dubbing in music during live football games, because the only game they've done it on so far involved the Seahawks and 49ers.

But they did just that, either putting in goofy music when they showed a replay of Leon Washington getting walked down by Jason Baker the week before, or adding horribly cheesy, generic over-drama licks during plays. Don't believe me? Just watch:

Just absolutely terrible. But, according to Michael Heistand of USA Today, this is something the world might have to get used to, as FOX is considering using it during the Super Bowl.

"This is all in the execution," Shanks says. "Just like music in movies, you have to use it at the right times. And imagine trying to score a movie the first time you're seeing it."

Shanks called the Super Bowl option "a possibility."

For now, it will just be broadcast during the Cardinals-Panthers game at 1:00 on Sunday, which should tell you how nervous FOX is about doing this (look at the craptastic games that are getting the treatment.)

Personally, I think it's terrible. NFL games are slammed full of drama and intensity without us having to be told that something big is happening, and that applies 10,000 fold to the Super Bowl.

It's the same reasons that shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development are infinitely funnier without a laugh track -- being told that we just saw an impressive physical play during a football game vis-a-vis an aural dramatic cue is just unnecessary.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com