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February 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In a move that might be regarded as a defensive play aimed at protecting its Thursday-night dominance, CBS has outbid rivals Fox, NBC, and TNT for the right to simulcast eight NFL games on Thursday night in the first half of the season beginning this fall. Published reports indicated that CBS agreed to pay less than $300 million to broadcast the games and also agreed to produce not only the eight games that it will simulcast with the NFL network but also the remaining Thursday-night games, which will air exclusively on the cable network. The Los Angeles Times also observed that CBS’s outlay for the telecasts could at least be partially offset by its ability to delay the launch of its expensive Thursday-night productions and order fewer episodes. It could also move some of those productions, such as The Big Bang Theory, often the highest-rated scripted show of the week, to other nights during the eight weeks of football to boost ratings of its other shows. But perhaps most importantly, it prevents its broadcast rivals from mounting a challenge to it with football on Thursday night. Almost invariably, football telecasts are the most-watched programs of the week during the football season and regularly triumph over CBS’s powerful Thursday lineup when they’re carried on NBC on the first day of the football season and on Thanksgiving. The CBS deal will not affect those two NBC telecasts.