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NFL, CBS extend 'Thursday Night Football' partnership for next season

Eli Manning of the New York Giants warms

Eli Manning of the New York Giants warms up on the field prior to an NFL game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on Nov. 30, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Chris Trotman

The NFL has exercised its option to continue its "Thursday Night Football" partnership with CBS for at least one more season, the league and network announced Sunday.

Like this season, CBS will carry the first eight Thursday games, which will be simulcast on NFL Network, after which NFL Network will show the games exclusively, using CBS' announcers and production team.

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said Sunday that the plan is for Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and the rest of the No. 1 broadcast crew to again work the full Thursday night schedule in addition to select Sunday games.

The NFL has another option for 2016, but by then the league is expected to name a long-term partner for Thursday nights.

Ratings were strong considering there were numerous blowouts on Thursday nights in 2014.

The NFL sought to increase the package's visibility and viewership when it decided before the 2014 season to sell some games to a broadcast network.

McManus said he is pleased with CBS' performance and said it helped the league "further establish Thursday night as a viewing destination for NFL fans."

CBS will carry Super Bowl L next year, another incentive to remain the NFL's outlet for additional games.

McManus said having Thursday night, Sunday afternoon and the Super Bowl to sell together to advertisers will be a bonus for the network.


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