NFL clubs have voted to expand the postseason by two teams beginning with the 2020 season, increasing the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14.
Expanding the NFL postseason was addressed in the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Players and clubs both recognized that nothing energizes fans like the chance to see their team qualify for the playoffs and compete for the Super Bowl.
The vote follows the recommendation of the Competition Committee, Management Council Executive Committee and Media Committee.
Two additional Wild Card teams — one each in the AFC and NFC — will qualify for the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the Wild Card round. The remaining division champions in each conference will be seeded 2, 3 and 4 based on their records, followed by the three Wild Card teams seeded 5, 6 and 7 based on their records.
AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.
Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games each on Saturday, Jan. 9, and Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021.
CBS will broadcast one additional Wild Card game on Jan. 10 with kickoff at approximately 4:40 p.m. ET. The game will also be available via a livestream on CBS All Access. As part of CBS’ coverage, a separately produced telecast will air on Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience.
NBC, its new streaming service Peacock, and Telemundo will all broadcast an additional Wild Card game on Jan. 10 with kickoff at approximately 8:15 p.m. ET.
The NFL last expanded the playoffs for the 1990 season, increasing from 10 to 12 the number of teams to qualify for the postseason. Since 1990, at least four new teams have qualified for the playoffs that missed the postseason the year before — a streak of 30 consecutive seasons.