CBS and the National Football League struck an interesting deal that would bring back an old, pro-football tradition known as Saturday Night Football. The bidding war between the big four networks ended with a deal for CBS next season that not only brings back Saturday night games but also some other perks that football fans might find interesting and ABC, FOX and NBC find absolutely maddening. [Image via SD Dirk/Flickr]
Next season, the NFL will start scheduling games on Saturday nights after the end of the college football’s season towards the tail end of the NFL’s season. The new contract requires the NFL to schedule and CBS to broadcast two Saturday games and 14 Thursday games with a doubleheader scheduled for Week 16 of the regular season. The deal also keeps announcers Jim Nantz and Phil Simms in the broadcasters’ box to provide color commentary for every game, not just on NBC but also for games broadcast on the NFL Network.
The big development is how this news is basically making every other major network programmer wet their collective pants. The NFL is one of the most hotly contested television properties among the four major networks and this deal means that CBS will get the biggest chunk of its programming in the 2014-2015 season. That leaves NBC, ABC and FOX with a lot of time to fill on the nights that football is gobbling up most of the ratings. What could they possibly air that would even have a chance of beating the NFL? If its ratings they are after, I suppose they could extend the Puppy Bowl’s season a bit.