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Major networks, TNT bid for NFL Thursday package

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jan 19 2014 05:24:34 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 19 2014 05:24:34 PM CST

Formal bids for the NFL's Thursday night game telecasts were submitted by all four major television networks and Turner Sports, according to reports.

On Friday, Brian Rolapp, NFL Media's chief operating officer, confirmed to Reuters that requests for proposals were sent to broadcast and cable companies, including the NFL's current media partners.

The NFL is seeking bids for as many as eight of the 13 Thursday games currently telecast by NFL Network with an eye on drawing larger viewing audiences.

Formal requests were sent to ESPN, NBC, CBS and FOX, which already air regular-season games. ABC, ESPN's partner under the Disney portfolio, is also in the running according to the Associated Press.

As was first reported Friday, Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System, which holds NCAA Tournament and Final Four rights in 2014, is also entering a bid for the NFL package.

Reuters reported Friday that Google is not expected to bid.

Sunday and Monday night telecasts are posting record ratings numbers.

However, NFL Network's Thursday night games were viewed by an average of 8 million viewers, whereas NBC averages 21.5 million viewers for "Football Night in America" on Sunday night.

NBC pays nearly $950 million for 19 games. The eight-game Thursday package is expected to draw in excess of $400 million.