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NFL extends TV contracts through 2022 season

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By PFW staff

The NFL agreed to extend its broadcasting package with CBS, FOX and NBC for nine more years through the 2022 season on Wednesday.

The league also announced that the NFL Network would receive an expanded schedule of Thursday-night games but did not determine how many more would be aired.

CBS, FOX and NBC will each televise three Super Bowls during the term of the agreements, continuing the current rotation.

The TV package is the longest ever agreed upon by the NFL and coincides with the new CBA labor agreement that the league and union agreed upon prior to this season.

"These agreements underscore the NFL's unique commitment to broadcast television that no other sport has," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "The agreements would not have been possible without our new 10-year labor agreement and the players deserve great credit. Long-term labor peace is allowing the NFL to continue to grow, and the biggest beneficiaries are the players and fans."

The NFL is the only professional sports league that broadcasts all of its games — regular season and postseason — on free television. The ESPN Monday-night and NFL Network Thursday-night games are required to be shown locally in the cities of the teams involved in those games.

NBC will continue to broadcast the season-opening Thursday game, featuring the previous season's Super Bowl champion, and has added the Thanksgiving prime-time game that had been on NFL Network since 2006.

"Sunday Night Football on NBC is the most-watched program on prime-time television, and we're excited to continue our long-term partnership with the NFL," NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said. "The new prime-time Thanksgiving game starting in 2012, the upgraded playoff package and the three Super Bowls are all major enhancements to our new agreement. The additional digital and programming rights add tremendous value to the NBC Sports Group portfolio."

In addition, the "flexible scheduling" has been expanded in the new agreement, with CBS and FOX broadcasting both AFC and NFC games.

"This commitment is further proof of the valued relationship CBS shares with the NFL and of the overall strength of CBS Sports," CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said. "The opportunity to add quality NFC games greatly enhances our television package. We look forward to continued growth as we broadcast the NFL for many more years to come."

The league previously had extended its deal with ESPN for Monday-night games.

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