NBC, ESPN announce NFL postseason coverage changes

Ronald Martinez

You'll get all of your regularly scheduled playoff games this season, you'll just have to put in the legwork to change the channel.

The way you'll watch the 2014-15 NFL playoffs has just been altered slightly. The first significant piece of news comes from a press release saying ESPN will televise one of the Wild Card playoff games in January 2015, marking the first time that the network will host an NFL playoff game in its 35-year history.

ESPN and the NFL agreed on an eight-year contract extension in 2011 for the "Monday Night Football" package. That agreement gives the NFL an option to air postseason Wild Card playoff games on ESPN, according to the release. It's unclear if that agreement also includes an option for more playoff games down the road.

Local markets will still get games on their local affiliates in a simulcast with the ESPN broadcast.

The other big announcement comes from NBC, which will carry the Super Bowl this upcoming season. In addition, NBC will be getting a Divisional Round playoff games for the first time since the "Sunday Night Football" deal was signed in 2006. In total, NBC will host three playoff games: a Wild Card game, a Divisional Round game and the Super Bowl.

Last season, the Divisional Round games were hosted on CBS and FOX, with two games apiece. The Wild Card games were divided so that one went to FOX, one to CBS and two to NBC. With the league announcing a broader "Thursday Night Football" schedule that includes eight games on CBS this year, we may see the formula tweaked even further in the coming years.

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