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Report: CBS, NBC to broadcast expanded wild-card games

NFL Playoffs
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

NFL owners will meet this on a conference call and are expected to approve the expansion of the playoffs to 14 teams with two additional wild-card games beginning with the 2020 season. Once the new playoff format is approved, team owners are reportedly expected to vote on approving deals to allow NBC and CBS to broadcast the games.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the NFL’s conference calls with owners will begin on Monday to go over issues they will vote on Tuesday. The conference call, being held in place of the canceled owners meeting, is expected to widely approve the new playoff format and the broadcast deal with NBC and CBS.

As part of the new collective-bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players, the deal gave owners the authority to expand the playoffs to 14 games in 2020 and they could push to a 17-game regular season by 2021.

Under the new playoff format, the No. 2 seeds in each conference will lose the first-round bye and face the third wild-card team in the first round of the NFL Playoffs.

If the new rule had been in place for this past season, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams would have represented the No. 7 seed in their respective conferences. It also would have resulted in the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers losing the first-round bye.

CBS recently made Tony Romo the highest-paid NFL analyst in television history. Now with Romo back in the booth for years to come, CBS will boast an additional playoff game starting with the upcoming season.

NBC will welcome back Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels into the booth once again for the 2020 season. The network declined ESPN’s request to acquire Michaels and move him into the Monday Night Football booth. The legendary broadcaster will also now get another shot on primetime to broadcast a playoff game, once NFL owners approve the deal.