Report: 16-game Thursday night TV package coming in '12

Are you ready for some Thursday night football? A full season of it?

That could be in the works for the NFL starting as soon as the 2012 season. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the league will expand its television opportunities and capitalize on a bigger share of the prime time market. It would start with a 16-game Thursday night package.

That’s one of the ways the league will expand revenue in the deal with players that is being negotiated. Per the report, in the proposal being discussed by owners today at a hotel in Rosemont, Ill., players will receive 48 percent of all revenue without taking a $1 billion hair cut off the top.

The deal is far from done, but signs are positive. What’s interesting is Mortensen says the league $9 billion annual revenue could double to $18 billion by 2016 in a span of just five years. Imgaine that. Also being discussed is a higher salary cap floor for teams, raising it up 90 or 93 percent. An 18-game season is something that could be negotiated in the future.

Owners and players are expected to continue their clandestine meetings later this week. It will mark their fourth set of meetings since secret mediation began in St. Charles, Ill.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

Upcoming Games

Aug 5th, 8:00 PM

Dallas

Pittsburgh

@

Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Washington

New England

@

Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Pittsburgh

Philadelphia

@