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CBS pounces for NFL Thursday night rights package

US network CBS has been awarded the rights for a new Thursday night package of NFL American football games.

The agreement will run for the 2014-15 season with the NFL having an option to extend the deal by one further year.

The package includes live coverage of a total of 16 regular-season games, including 14 on Thursday evenings and two on Saturday evenings. The first eight “early-season” games will also be simulcast on the league-owned pay-television channel NFL Network.

CBS will produce coverage of all 16 games. NFL Network hosts and analysts will be featured in the pre-game, half-time and post-game shows along with CBS Sports presenters.

CBS, which already has rights for Sunday NFL American Football Championship games, was one of several current NFL rights-holders to be approached by the league regarding the opportunity.

In the recently-completed 2013-14 season, NFL Network showed 13 Thursday night games.