The NFL schedule is set to be released over the next few days and with that we are learning of television schedules that have been set up or changed for this upcoming season. While so far no regular season games have been announced, some playoff changes have been passed along and they are rather significant.
We learned on Tuesday that ESPN would be televising a Wild Card game for the first time in the network’s 35-year history and today we learned where that Wild Card game will be coming from. According to NBC, the network will be giving up its Wild Card game in 2014 and will instead air one of the four Divisional Round games the following week.
According to the press release, NBC will then air a Divisional Round game for each of the following seasons through the 2022 postseason.
This is a rather significant change as NBC has only hosted NFL Wild Card games in the recent past but seem to be moving to their 90s style schedule of airing more playoff games. NBC then owned the rights to AFC games in the 1990s, but they lost those rights to CBS following the 1998 season and didn’t air another NFL game until 2006.
NBC only airs primetime games now but they’re making moves to acquire more playoff games and they have clearly started to work their way up the ladder of important games.