NFL invites bids for Thursday night games

American football’s NFL has invited broadcasters to bid for a new package of rights comprising Thursday night games.

The rights will run for one year, covering the 2014-15 season, with the option of extending the agreement, according to various reports.

The broadcaster that acquires the rights would share coverage of Thursday evening games with NFL Network, the league-owned pay-television channel.

The rights are likely to include up to eight games on Thursday evenings, but the Reuters news agency said that some late-season Saturday night games could be included in the package.

Requests for proposal have been sent out by the NFL to its current broadcast partners – pay-television broadcaster ESPN and the NBC, CBS and Fox networks – as well as other media companies, including pay-television broadcaster Turner Broadcasting System. Internet company Google, which had previously been linked with a bid for NFL rights, was not asked to bid.