As the National Football League continues to grow into one of the most popular sports around the globe -- thanks to the playing of games outside the United States and increased television ratings -- fans of the sport and even those who don’t consider it among their most beloved games have the ability to follow the NFL on a daily basis, even when the season comes to an end. Thanks to the annual televising of the NFL Draft and consistent coverage of the sport from networks such ESPN and the NFL Network, professional football maintains a strong fan base 365 days a year.

The league plays the bulk of its schedule on Sunday’s during the fall and winter with Monday Night Football broadcasts remaining a popular event as well but thanks to the inclusion of Thursday Night Football, football fans have the ability to watch meaningful games on multiple days during the season. While the NFL Network has carried Thursday Night broadcasts in recent years, the CBS Network was recently awarded the rights to cover games throughout the 2014 season. Granted the ability to broadcast 8 Thursday night contests for the approaching season, CBS hopes to continue the success of Thursday Night Football.

“The NFL is the most powerful programming in television,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said recently. “To add a primetime NFL package to our successful Sunday AFC package further strengthens our position in the sports marketplace.” The broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz and color commentator Phil Simms will step out of full-time Sunday duties to anchor the Thursday Night games, giving each talent a few extra Sunday’s away from the announcer’s booth. The new agreement will run through the entire 2014 schedule with the NFL owning the option to continue the recent agreement heading into the 2015 campaign.

“NFL Network built Thursday into a night for NFL fans,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said after CBS won the contract over FOX, NBC and Turner. “Our goal is to bring these games to more fans on broadcast television with unprecedented promotion and visibility for Thursday Night Football on CBS.”