With CBS winning the rights for Thursday Night Football, they have all but secured dominance on that night for two months come this fall.
In addition to the network airing their regular games on Sunday afternoon, CBS won a much sought-after opportunity to air an eight-game package of Thursday night football. The collection are early season games, meaning they will air in September and October, while the NFL Network will simulcast these matches and air the latter half-season of the Thursday games exclusively.
It’s a huge score for CBS, especially since, as we’ve mentioned, ratings for the NFL have been up for all networks throughout the season. Sunday Night’s Super Bowl was the most watched event ever in the history of United States television – and the game was a blowout.
With CBS airing football on Thursday, which starts at 8:30 p.m EST and will likely involve a pre-game show one half-hour prior, the network will be forced to shift around its primetime lineup.
The most notable show is ‘The Big Bang Theory,’ a sitcom now in its seventh season that regularly dominates the evening. Just last Thursday, the show earned 18.9 million viewers, beating out FOX’s ‘American Idol’ by some seven million viewers, as well as NBC’s ‘Community,’ which only nabbed 3 million.
Thursdays on CBS also feature comedies ‘The Millers,’ ‘The Crazy Ones,’ ‘Two and a Half Men,’ and the drama ‘Elementary.’ They will all have to find new homes, at least temporarily, come September, but it’s safe to say that wherever ‘The Big Bang Theory’ ends up, its loyal fans will follow.