It appears the National Football League continues to throw feelers about Thursday Night Football. Last week, there was talk about creating a doubleheader on Thursday nights which was quickly shot down.
But since word came out about that rumor, news about Thursday Night Football keeps leaking. This week, John Ourand at Sports Business Journal reports that while there's been no official word about a new TNF package, there has been discussions about selling a package of as many as eight games to a cable network, think Fox Sports 1, NBCSN and TNT.
The NFL would expand the current package of games from 13 to 16, then keep half for NFL Network and sell the other half. To make the other half attractive for bidding, the NFL would throw in some late season Saturday games and a Wild Card playoff game. That could increase the package to as many as 13 games.
You know that interested bidders would want an extra postseason game. Currently, the NFL playoffs are divided among CBS, Fox and NBC. When the new TV contract begins next season, ESPN will reportedly air a Wild Card playoff game. So if the NFL puts a second package of Thursday Night Football games up to bid there could be a feeding frenzy among the networks for another Wild Card playoff game.
And if the second package of games go to bid, they would most likely start in 2015 which is when the league plans to expand the postseason.
Any NFL package would be a gamechanger for Fox Sports 1 or NBCSN and give them a much needed boost in the programming arm. There's no bigger property than live NFL games and the two 24/7 sports networks would likely do anything they could to get their hands on a package of NFL games.
This story keeps evolving. We'll keep you updated on the latest developments.