Expanded playoff field is approved

The annual NFL Owners Meeting has been delayed because of COVID-19, but that didn't stop NFL owners from getting on the phone on Tuesday to discuss league issues.

And one of the main topics of discussion was the NFL's expanded playoff system, which was approved and is set to begin for the 2020 season. The vote included how teams are seeded for the postseason, when they would be played and how TV networks will carry the games.

The vote expanded the postseason from 12 to 14 teams, something that is included in the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. It's the first time the playoff field has been expanded since 1990.

"I am excited about that," said Steelers General Manger Kevin Colbert. "Not that we want too many teams in the playoffs, but I thought 12 was a little too little. Maybe that 17th game will be influential in who those extra teams will be. The more teams we can have compete for a championship the better it will be for our game."

Under the new format, seven teams from each conference qualify for the postseason instead of six, which is the current number. One team will now receive a first-round bye, the No. 1 seed, instead of two as in the past. There will now be six games in the first round instead of the traditional four.

Here are the details:

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 on Saturday, January 9, and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

CBS will broadcast one additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 4:40 p.m. ET. The game will also be available via a livestream on CBS All Access. Additionally, as part of CBS' coverage, a separately produced telecast of the game will air on Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience.

NBC, its new streaming service Peacock, as well as Telemundo will all broadcast an additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 8:15 p.m. ET.

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