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American Football: As simple as AFC for CBS

CBS, which four years ago lost its long-standing National Football League contract to its rival network Fox, is getting back in the football business. According to a CBS radio report, CBS Television will pay $4bn (pounds 2.4bn) over the next eight years for the rights to broadcast the American Football Conference games, wresting the package away another rival network, NBC.

NBC has been broadcasting professional football since 1965, when it was the network of the American Football League, and held the AFC package since the merger with the NFL in 1970.

Negotiations for the Monday Night Football package currently held by ABC, as well as cable rights were ongoing. It was four years ago that Fox outbid NBC for the NFC package, leaving the league's original network partner out in the cold.

Unless NBC can land Monday Night Football, the recovery by CBS will leave NBC without live professional football on their screens for the first time in more than three decades.