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NFL Playoffs Add Broadcasts as Format Expands

(Image credit: NFL)

NEW YORK—There will be more playoff football starting with the 2020 NFL season, as NFL teams voted to expand the playoff format from 12 teams to 14. This expanded format will lead to two additional games being played in the Wild Card round, with CBS and NBC handling one each.

With the bump up to 14 teams, the seeding of the playoffs will be changed. The top team in both the AFC and NFC will receive a bye into the Divisional Round of the playoffs, while the remaining six teams in each conference will play on Wild Card weekend—#2 vs. #7, #3 vs. #6 and #4 vs. #5 in each conference.

The NFL has already scheduled its Wild Card round to take place on the weekend of Jan. 9-10, 2021, with three games played each day. The broadcast networks handling the NFL playoff games will remain the same as last year (ESPN, Fox, CBS and NBC), but CBS and NBC will each have an additional game that will air on Jan.10.

The CBS game, which is scheduled for a 4:40 p.m. ET kickoff, will be available on CBS All Access as a livestream, while Nickelodeon—another ViacomCBS-owned broadcaster—will produce a separate simulcast of the game that will be tailored for a younger audience.

The NBC game, with a 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff, will be available on NBC, the Peacock streaming service and Telemundo.

At this time, the NFL plans for its season to start as scheduled, despite the current coronavirus pandemic.