NEW YORK - After weeks of insisting they wouldn't cave in, NFL officials did just that yesterday. Now all of America can see the Patriots' shot at history.

Saturday night's game between New England and the New York Giants on the NFL Network, which is available in fewer than 40 percent of the nation's homes with TVs, will be simulcast on CBS and NBC.

The Patriots could become the first team to go 16-0 in the regular season.

"We have taken this extraordinary step because it is in the best interest of our fans," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

The NFL had claimed that the onus of making the game widely available fell on the major cable providers with which the league has bitterly feuded. Companies such as Comcast have declined to carry the network as part of basic packages.

But lawmakers have pressured the NFL to ensure more viewers could see the game. Last week, Sen. Arlen Specter, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, and the committee's chairman sent Goodell a letter threatening to reconsider the league's antitrust exemption.