/// 4 Burning Questions About CBS’ New NFL Package

February 6, 2014  |  Media Week

In securing the rights to the National Football League’s new Thursday night franchise , CBS effectively pulled the rug out from under its broadcast competition. While it’s no secret that NBC has been having a rough time of it on the crucial night, Fox isn’t faring all that well on fall Thursdays, either. (While its 8 p.m. time slot remains a quandary, ABC’s battery of the indefatigable Grey’s Anatomy and the smash hit Scandal make it bulletproof, especially among female viewers.) Those who were absolutely convinced that NBC would spend its way to a rights win remain perplexed by how the Peacock let itself get outflanked by CBS. But according to sources with insight into the auction, CBS’ offer, which was estimated to be around $275 million, actually did not overshadow its rivals—in fact, one suitor suggests that NBC’s bid was the highest of the five. Instead, the network’s dominance on Thursday nights and its willingness to shoulder the load on the production costs for all 16 games (this includes the eight telecasts that will run on NFL Network in the second half of the season) gave CBS the edge. And while the impact of erecting another broadcast NFL tent pole will be significant, CBS faces some uncertainty as it plans its fall schedule. Here are five of the biggest questions facing the network as of today: 1) What’s going to happen to The Big Bang Theory? It’s a ratings monster and generates tremendous amounts of ad sales revenue , but the endearingly nerdy sitcom’s 8 p.m. start time is likely to overlap CBS’ pre-game show. (NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football games kick off at 8:29 p.m. ET.) So, while CBS could just as soon bench The Big Bang Theory until Nov. 6, it’s more likely to shift the show to Monday night in the slot currently occupied by the departing How I Met Your Mother

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4 Burning Questions About CBS’ New NFL Package


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