NFL votes to expand postseason following cancelled annual meeting
CBS and NBC will be granted broadcasting rights for one additional game each
The vote was not disclosed, but it required approval from 75 per cent of the NFL’s 32 owners. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA Wire
NFL owners voted on Tuesday to expand the postseason to 14 teams for the 2020 season.
The decision was made in a conference call, which substituted for the NFL’s annual league meeting. The meeting was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The playoff expansion means the number of wild-card teams will expand from two to three in each conference. Instead of double-headers on wild-card weekend, there will be triple-headers, which are scheduled for Saturday January 9th and Sunday January 10th, 2021.
CBS and NBC will be granted broadcasting rights for one additional game each. As part of CBS’s coverage, the game also will air on Nickelodeon in a separate broadcast designed for children.
The new format makes gaining the No 1 seed in each conference more important. The No 1 seeds will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but they also will be the only teams with a bye.
The No 2 seed in each conference, which previously had a bye, will host the No 7 seed on wild-card weekend. As in the past, the No 3 seed will host the No 6 seed, with the No 5 seed playing at the No 4 seed’s home field.
The vote was not disclosed, but it required approval from 75 per cent of the NFL’s 32 owners. Players already agreed to the plan when they approved the new collective bargaining agreement earlier this month.