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Reuters, Published February 05 2014

CBS, NFL Network join forces on broadcasts

CBS will air eight NFL games on Thursday nights during the first half of the 2014 season and will produce eight games telecast by NFL Network during the second half of the schedule.

CBS and the NFL announced the agreement on Wednesday. Two of the NFL Network games will be played on Saturday late in the season.

Play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz and color analyst Phil Simms will be paired for all 16 games. NFL Network hosts and CBS announcers will work together on the pregame, halftime and postgame shows.

"We are very pleased to build on our outstanding partnership with the NFL by expanding our coverage to Thursday nights," CBS Corporation president and CEO Les Moonves said in a statement. "CBS is a premium content company and the NFL represents the best premium content there is. I look forward to all this new deal will do for us not only on Thursday nights, but across our entire schedule."

The agreement runs through the 2014 season with a NFL option for 2015.

"NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans," commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Our goal is to bring these games to more fans on broadcast television with unprecedented promotion and visibility for Thursday Night Football on CBS."

The new arrangement will give CBS, which has broadcast AFC games in recent years, the opportunity to expand into the NFC.

"The NFL is the most powerful programming in television. To add a prime-time NFL package to our successful Sunday AFC package further strengthens our position in the sports marketplace," CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said. "We look forward to having Jim and Phil and our top production team showcased in prime time on Thursday nights."