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NFL awards Thursday TV package to CBS

Move over Big Bang Theory.

The NFL is partnering with CBS to broadcast 8 of its 16 “Thursday Night Football” games for 2014, a one-year agreement with an option for another.

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Those eight games will also be simulcast on NFL Network.

CBS’s Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will take over the broadcasting duties for all 16 games, relieving NFL Network hosts Mike Mayock and Brad Nessler. The latter duo will be featured in pregame, halftime, and postgame shows with CBS Sports announcers, according to the league. The other eight games, six of which will be on Thursday night and two others on Saturday, will continue to be broadcast exclusively on NFL Network.

“NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “Our goal is to bring these games to more fans on broadcast television with unprecedented promotion and visibility for ‘Thursday Night Football’ on CBS.”

The NFL had sought to unload a portion of its “Thursday Night Football” lineup since mid January, hoping to sell six to 13 games to a new NFL partner. With CBS, the NFL continues a familiar relationship and teams up with the network’s top broadcasting duo.

“We are very pleased to build on our outstanding partnership with the NFL by expanding our coverage to Thursday nights,” Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corp., said in a statement. “CBS is a premium content company and the NFL represents the best premium content there is. I look forward to all this new deal will do for us not only on Thursday nights, but across our entire schedule.”

CBS will have to reshuffle its Thursday night lineup, which includes sitcoms “Big Bang Theory,” “The Millers,” “The Crazy Ones,” “Two and a Half Men,” and “Elementary.”

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