CBS reportedly wants to buy piece of NFL Network

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CBS could be in the midst of doing everyone a favor and helping to make the NFL Network a real channel we watch outside of Thursday nights in the latter half of the season. USA Today Sports reports that the network is in the midst of negotiations with the league to purchase up to 40% of the NFL Network, which has been a limited success in the hands of NFL owners.

The article states, "Three sources say that CBS Sports could potentially acquire 40% or more of the NFL Network, and both sides see it as a win-win for all parties involved."

But why would the NFL give up on a gem like the NFL Network? Oh, right, because it's only on the super premier packages of just about any cable or satellite network and it's patently unwatchable for most of the season. Also the network has created a devastating moment for NFL fans once a week for years now since the league decided to make Thursday night games a weekly thing.

At least once a week, an NFL has groaned and said, "That game's on NFL Network? Never mind then."

CBS saved the day this year for at least the first half of the season when they agreed to air Thursday night games on their network, but that still left the second half of the slate to sit in the purgatorial NFL Network.

Now, NFL owners are excited about the prospect of the merger for a few reasons, per USA Today.

1) Owners aren't making much money off NFL Network for all the reasons stated above. That's pretty much the only reason this group needs as an impetus for change, but there's more.

2) CBS offers an opportunity for the league to relinquish some overhead on maintaining their own network while bringing greater promotional power to its Thursday night slate.

The article also notes, "It's unclear if there's a timetable yet for the deal to be completed. One source said before next season begins; another said if a deal is reached, the partners would wait to make a 'splashy announcement' ahead of next year's Super Bowl."

CBS will once again air the first half of the season's worth of Thursday night games before those games are aired exclusively on NFL Network. By the end of next season though, we may have a better idea via a league announcement what the two conglomerates have in mind.

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