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NFL shopping Thursday night games for $700 million

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Basic cable is about to get a boost thanks to the NFL looking to expand its presence and pool of revenues in the wake of the antitrust lawsuit settlement talks with players. Part of that plan includes expanding to a full season of Thursday night games for 2012, and the league said to already be shopping an eight game package covering the first half of the season. 

According to the Sports Business Journal, the league is looking to bank $700 million for the eight Thursday night games. Those game would come from the Sunday packages on CBS and FOX. Apparently the league has rights to snatch enough games within the boundaries of those contracts (remind me to have the NFL negotiate my next contract). Money from the expanded prime time package would offset the smaller revenue split for players while expanded the profits for owners who initially wanted another billion dollars off the top. It also nixes the 18-game revenue grab, I mean expanded schedule. 

The most likely landing spot for the new Thursday night games is basic cable. Turner and Comcast are the lead bidders, per the SBJ. Comcast would put the games on the Versus network, while Turner could stick them on TNT, TBS or the always riveting truTV, which make NFL games instantly the most "true" thing on that network. 

Thursday night games in the second half of the season would still be broadcast on the NFL Network.