One of the things the NFL is expected to focus on once the labor situation is behind them is the addition of eight more Thursday night games starting as soon as 2012. The NFL already has Thursday night games toward the end of the season that are shown on NFL Network, but the league sees an opportunity to generate more revenue by expanding the Thursday night schedule.
While the new CBA isn't in place just yet, the NFL is already shopping the rights to this new Thursday night package of games, according to the SportsBusiness Journal. The new package includes eight games and could add quite a bit of revenue to the NFL.
The potential Thursday night package could be worth as much as $700 million per year, the sources said. Such a windfall, providing a sudden increase in overall league revenue, could help soften the blow to the players from the emerging labor deal in which they are likely to receive a smaller percentage of revenue than they previously have received.
It appears Comcast and Turner are the two front-runners to land the new Thursday night package. Comcast would put the games on Versus, and Turner could put the games on TBS, TNT or truTV. Fox (for FX), ESPN and Spike TV are all expected to at least give the new package a look before deciding whether to bid or not.