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 canceled 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 doubleheaders on wild-card weekend, there will be tripleheaders, which are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021.
CBS and NBC will granted broadcasting rights for one additional game each. As part of CBS’ 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 percent of the NFL’s 32 owners. Players already agreed to the plan when they approved the new collective bargaining agreement earlier this month.
–Field Level Media