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September 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The NFL will be collecting $5.5 billion from CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and DirecTV this season — a 22-percent increase over last year, according to media analyst Michael Nathanson, who notes in a research report that the increase will drive overall network costs higher. Last year the same networks paid the NFL $4.435 billion. Part of that increase comes from the $275 million that CBS agreed to pay to televise eight games (seven on Thursdays, one on Saturday) this season, but the rest comes from increases that were negotiated between the networks and the NFL two years ago that kick in this year. Moreover, additional increases are on the way. "We estimate the new programming rights deals are set to grow at a range of +5-7 percent over the life of their deals," Nathanson wrote. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that CBS’s deal for Thursday Night Football includes a provision that would allow the NFL to cancel it after just one season. "If the deal is open to others next year," the newspaper observed, "CBS will probably face stiff competition from Fox and NBC, which also are hungry for weeknight games."