CBS, NBC Will Get Extra NFL Playoff Game Under Expanded Format

NBC’s game will also stream on Peacock, while Nickelodeon gets its own separate broadcast of CBS’ matchup

Patrick Mahomes
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CBS and NBC will each get an extra NFL playoff game next season under the new expanded format, which will see 14 teams qualify for the postseason, up from the previous 12 teams.

CBS is paying around $70 million for its extra playoff game, while NBC is forking over an additional fee in the mid-$70 million as well, multiple individuals with knowledge of the deals tell TheWrap. Sports Business Journal first reported on the amount.

For those counting, that means Fox and ESPN still have one apiece, with CBS and NBC now getting two during the playoffs’ opening weekend. Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9, and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

CBS’ extra game will be the late-afternoon window on Sunday, Jan. 10 at 4:40 p.m. ET, with NBC’s extra game coming in primetime on that same day at 8:15 p.m. ET. NBC’s extra game will also be available on Peacock, the forthcoming streaming service from NBCUniversal that will be available nationwide this summer.

Nickelodeon, which is now part of the same company as CBS due to the ViacomCBS merger last year, will produce its own separate broadcast of CBS’ game tailored for a younger audience. CBS’ game will also be streamed on CBS All Access, which has been the case for last few seasons.

The NFL last expanded the playoffs for the 1990 season, increasing from 10 to 12 the number of teams to qualify for the postseason. The NFL’s 32 teams voted to approve the new format on Tuesday, which is part of the recently-ratified collective bargaining between the NFL owners and the players. The new CBA all called for the regular season to be expanded to 17 games, though that won’t happen for at least anther year.