The NFL offseason is barely three days old, but it’s already seen its most lucrative acquisition: CBS announced this morning that it will air eight Thursday Night Football matchups next fall. The deal, a partnership with NFL Network, was first rumored in January, when all four major broadcast outlets and the networks of Turner Broadcasting were said to be in the running. For ABC, the package would’ve been a chance to broaden the audience base for Thursday-night staples Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal; for NBC, it would’ve been the network’s best shot at ever seeing Seinfeld numbers again. In the end, however, the powerful and most popular athletic league chose the powerful and most popular network, a cruel echo of high-school-prom inevitabilities that are surely familiar to the comedy geeks at NBC, who could only court the handsome-and-rich jock with an invitation to see Bill Cosby. At press time, CBS and Thursday Night Football were overheard renting a stretch Navigator while debating about making a dinner reservation at Benihana; NBC, meanwhile, wept into Adam Levine’s shoulder.
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