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NBC gains 2014 divisional playoff game; ESPN adds wild card game

NBC will televise a divisional round game in the 2014 postseason, the network announced on Tuesday.

NBC, which will also televise one wild card game on the weekend of January 3, 2015 and Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015, has the right to broadcast one divisional round playoff game from the 2014 season through the 2022 season, the network said.

NBC televised two wild card games in 2013.

That’s not all for changes to the NFL’s playoff broadcast schedule.

ESPN announced Tuesday it would televise a wild card game this January. The network has never broadcast an NFL playoff contest. According to ESPN, the wild card game “will be simulcast on over the air stations in the primary markets of the participating teams.”

ESPN also announced Tuesday it would broadcast the Pro Bowl this January.

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56 Responses to “NBC gains 2014 divisional playoff game; ESPN adds wild card game”
  1. 87hollywoodhorn says: Apr 22, 2014 11:33 AM

    I Like the idea of more primetime playoff football. So the NBC thing is good.
    I dont like football games on cable though. Less people watch it and know what happened.
    So give that ESPN game to ABC, same company.

  2. schmitty2 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:34 AM

    So this means we have to listen to Collinsworth in a divisional playoff game AND the Super Bowl? YIKES!!!

  3. redandgoldhitman52 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:36 AM

    bad idea to televise playoff games on espn.

  4. wiskybuck says: Apr 22, 2014 11:37 AM

    As long as Berman doesn’t do the game, all is well.

  5. naes says: Apr 22, 2014 11:39 AM

    Wasn’t it just a week or two ago some suit from NFL HQ was blathering about how l the playoff games are on free TV?

    I really dislike Goodell and his crew. They feel very slimey and corporate to me.

  6. n0hopeleft says: Apr 22, 2014 11:39 AM

    (Marv Albert Voice)



  7. nygmann says: Apr 22, 2014 11:40 AM

    With the additional 2 wildcard games slated for 2015 NFL Season, you can have a scenario where you would have 2 ESPN games as permanent fixtures for Wild Card weekend on Saturday and Sunday. The result 3 playoff games on Saturday and Sunday. That may be asking a lot for fans to see 18 hours of football in one weekend.

    Of course that is just one of many possible viewing scenarios but it seems the most logical.

  8. ronin36 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:40 AM

    ESPN.. oh god yet another game of “I love this guy”…

    Please, somebody, hire Jon Gruden away from ESPN.

  9. shackdelrio says: Apr 22, 2014 11:40 AM

    Great, more Gruden.

    Just what nobody wanted.

  10. artvan15 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:41 AM

    Just the start of moving more games to cable.

  11. motsuret06 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:41 AM

    These cable scumbags are not going to rest until they have about all of the NFL game package and the people who do not subscribe to cable or satellite will be left out in the cold just the same as with the NCAA and NBA playoff games. Its all about the almighty dollar and the cable networks are willing to pay more for the product. As usual, the loser is the sports fan with limited means.

  12. Go-Hawks! says: Apr 22, 2014 11:43 AM

    Oh, wow. You want people to not watch the Pro Bowl. Put it on cable TV.

    Of course large portions of football watchers have cable or dish, you will still see a significant drop in Pro Bowl ratings even beyond the fact that the game sucks and means nothing.

    …But I’ll still be watching it…

  13. buddysguys says: Apr 22, 2014 11:44 AM

    ESPN had to fork over a pretty penny for the NFL to take a playoff game to Cable.

    Getting closer to Pay Per View NFL games.

  14. says: Apr 22, 2014 11:44 AM

    Agreed. If they think people are going to dole out $40+ a month to the greedy cable jerks just for ESPN, they have another thing coming. I miss MNF, but not enough to pay $40+ a month.

    One of the great things about the NFL was how it was readily available without a plethora of overhead charges. It started with ESPN taking MNF. Then NFL Network doing a Thursday game. And now even a PLAYOFF game AND the Pro Bowl?

    The greed is disgusting. It feels like a Pay-per-view Super Bowl isn’t far around the corner.

  15. bigdawg24 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:50 AM

    ESPN sucks. Their graphics and overall television presentation really lag behind NBC and CBS.

  16. grimreaper12 says: Apr 22, 2014 11:55 AM

    John Gruden > Collinsworth

    However, Al Michaels > Tirico

  17. snickersdecat says: Apr 22, 2014 11:59 AM

    You know one thing….. ESPN will NOT get one of the marquee games.

  18. dtownsportslions says: Apr 22, 2014 12:02 PM

    ESPN commentators for the game: Doris Burke, Skip Bayless, and Stephen A. Smith

  19. southpaw2k says: Apr 22, 2014 12:07 PM

    I wonder why there isn’t this kind of outrage over TBS televising MLB playoff games.

    Also, if NBC televises one divisional round game, then I’m curious to see which network will have to give one up. Maybe it will alternate between an NFC and an AFC match up every year, since that would fairly divide the number of games up among the networks.

  20. Pittsburgh Steelers says: Apr 22, 2014 12:09 PM

    Andy Dalton is scared to death of the playoffs, let alone primetime playoffs!

  21. oldfootballisbetter says: Apr 22, 2014 12:10 PM

    my family spends its quota of home entertainment dollars on dsl hookup. we own an hdtv with an outside antenna and get plenty of channels although i`m the only one who uses it to WATCH FOOTBALL during the season. thanks nfl for that nice lil favor. i`m really starting to loose interest.

  22. sixringsofsteel says: Apr 22, 2014 12:20 PM

    I’ve got a fever…

    and the only prescription…

    is more COLLINSWORTH!

  23. Brown Anchor says: Apr 22, 2014 12:24 PM

    Won’t be long till they move a playoff game to London.

  24. dontbugmeonsundays says: Apr 22, 2014 12:27 PM

    Bring back John Madden!

  25. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Apr 22, 2014 12:31 PM

    If they are going to put more games on pay TV anyway, they should allow people to buy the entire season for just their favorite teams. That way, Green Bay Packer fans that live outside of WI can still see their beloved Packers without having to pay for the Sunday Ticket. Why do you have to pay for games you don’t want to see?

    Probably don’t need to offer the package in Minnesota, because Packer fans there get to watch a lot of Packer games due to the large number of blacked out Viking games.

  26. 11stanleycups says: Apr 22, 2014 12:46 PM

    Somewhere Mark Cuban is having a good laugh.

  27. shaggymarrs says: Apr 22, 2014 12:46 PM

    The ESPN game is going to be simulcast on over-the-air stations in those teams’ markets. So no whining about games moving to cable.

  28. rajbais says: Apr 22, 2014 12:47 PM

    Congratulations! There still is one lingering issue: Jim Nantz, the golf announcer (Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz) is still calling football for CBS.

  29. cptbuff says: Apr 22, 2014 12:50 PM

    ESPN isn’t just lagging behind in in-game football coverage, its lagging behind in all aspects of its programming. At this point, I really only tune in for live baseball and football broadcasts, since Sportscenter has devolved to be nothing but 55 minutes of dunks by 7 foot athletes (ooooo, impressive!), and maybe 1 minute of hockey coverage if Crosby and Ovechkin each score when Pittsburgh and Washington play each other.

  30. Remember Brian Brohm says: Apr 22, 2014 12:54 PM

    How much do you have to pay to see the blacked out Packer playoff games on TV?

  31. wannabear says: Apr 22, 2014 12:57 PM

    Jay Cutler will shine regardless of where you air him.

  32. rob471773 says: Apr 22, 2014 12:58 PM

    NBC has the best broadcast by far. Michaels is the best broadcaster of all time and the picture itself on NBC broadcasts just looks better than anyone else.

    CBS’s picture looks like crap in comparison to NBC and Fox.

  33. Brown Anchor says: Apr 22, 2014 1:00 PM

    ESPN really has devolved into garbage. Especially Sportscenter.

  34. artiesliver says: Apr 22, 2014 1:00 PM

    an actual all out pay per view model wouldn’t work as a whole. Bad teams would get no exposure and even their own fans wouldn’t fork over money for a losing product. At least now they can sell their beer ads and whatever because as a fan you’ll still watch because it’s just on. If i had to actually pay money to watch my specific team that i know will be bad then I wouldn’t. An example is when years ago the Red Sox and Celtics were on( NESN-RedSox still are and Celtics on Sports channel) these were pay channels. Lots of fanatical fans of each but almost anyone i knew never subscribed to these channels unless the teams were good. No one is going to subscribe to Jags games if they’re going 2-14.

  35. doctormantistoboggan says: Apr 22, 2014 1:06 PM

    Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?

  36. bnwpnw says: Apr 22, 2014 1:08 PM

    NBC is far and away the best choice for NFL games. Best presentation. Best announcers.

  37. FreewayJim says: Apr 22, 2014 1:15 PM

    I really don’t like this, don’t screw with the Post-Season, seriously, it’s prefect the way it is.

  38. mrlaloosh says: Apr 22, 2014 1:16 PM

    Mark Cuban is right. Starting to put playoff games on cable is the beginning of the end.
    A lot more people then the fans of the two teams playing want to watch the games. ESPN is ruining college football and now the NFL.

  39. lastdukestreetking says: Apr 22, 2014 1:25 PM

    Al Michaels is the worst football play-by-play announcer not named Joe Buck.

  40. RG3D says: Apr 22, 2014 1:29 PM

    My interest in the NFL wanes with every piece that ESPN acquires. I don’t refuse to pay for tv, but I refuse to pay to hear Denis Leary scream at me about Ford F150s

  41. southpaw2k says: Apr 22, 2014 1:46 PM

    Definition of irony: People who think televising an NFL playoff game on cable proves Mark Cuban is right in projecting the NFL will die off in 10 years, when the majority of the NBA’s playoff schedule is televised on cable.

    Sigh….kids really don’t think things through for themselves anymore, do they?

  42. baddegg says: Apr 22, 2014 1:47 PM

    Big Thumbs down on putting NFL playoff games on ESPN, where you have to pay premium to get it.

    NFL is making enough money to leave all the playoff games on free TV.

    Thumbs down you greedy bastages!

  43. thelastpieceofcheese says: Apr 22, 2014 1:49 PM

    One more game listening to bob costas.

  44. ilovefoolsball says: Apr 22, 2014 1:49 PM

    Seriously ” theNFL”?
    Playoff games on cable tv?
    What are you doing?

  45. 6ball says: Apr 22, 2014 1:53 PM


    No cable = No Game


  46. sparty0n says: Apr 22, 2014 1:57 PM

    This sucks for those of us without cable

  47. surigaostraits says: Apr 22, 2014 1:59 PM

    ESPN will televise a wildcard game this January,maybe next January

  48. skolvikesskol says: Apr 22, 2014 2:40 PM

    For the first time in my forty years of being a 24/7 football junky, I can honestly say my interest in the NFL is at its lowest. It has been a slow process, but over time all of the poor experiences began to add up: bad stadium experience, stadium deals, odd “protective” rule changes, poor officiating, strikes, arrests, lockouts and cheerleader drama (really?). However the two things that have made me lose interest the most are:

    1. TV choices. I’d pay $X just to watch my team and $Y for all teams. Stream through APP. I don’t want or need cable. It’s expensive and there is no a la cart pricing. In my state they regulate it to actually be a monopoly. Just give me what I want and I’ll pay for it.

    2. Fishy games. We all have seen some odd games. It feels like it happens much more than usual.

    I have gone from being a season ticket holder and watching every NFL game
    no season tickets + watching my team + all NFL games, to watching my team + game of the week, TO
    watching a mix of my team + the game of the week + follow NFL on internet.

    I will probably just watch the Sunday night game from now on. It bums me out, because of all the great experiences I’ve had at games and watching games. But I have seriously just lost interest.

  49. baltimoresnativeson says: Apr 22, 2014 3:05 PM

    Playoff games should be free. Not everybody has cable.

  50. footballchic777 says: Apr 22, 2014 3:05 PM

    I’m sorry, the cable stations have got to stop overtaking games. These games should be broadcast on network channels. If the NFL is really concerned about expanding its fan base, the last thing they want to do is take more games away from people. especially games that are going to be some of the best games of the year!

  51. jgedgar70 says: Apr 22, 2014 3:09 PM

    I have DirecTV and subscribe to Sunday Ticket Max, so the money isn’t an issue for me. The idea of listening to more self-serving bloviating by Chris Berman, Jon Gruden, Tom Jackson and Cris Carter bothers me greatly, but I can always watch with the volume down.

    What really gets my goat is the 1970s broadcast model of starting games so late on the East Coast that I can never see the end of a game, because I have to get up at 5:30 to go to work. It’s all because the TV suits think no one in the Pacific Time Zone owns a DVR and if they start prime time games before 9:00 Eastern, everyone on the left coast will get OFFENDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get with it, TV knuckleheads. Let the Pacific Time Zone people use their DVRs to start watching the games when they get home from work, thus letting us East Coast people have at least a minor chance to see the whole game. Do that for me and I won’t complain about what network you put the game on.

    And just a word of warning – once you relocate the Jaguars, Raiders and Dolphins to London, Frankfurt and Paris, those fans are going to be plenty POed if you make their new teams play games at 3:00 AM local time because the Pacific Time Zone fans would be offended if the game started any earlier than 7 PM Pacific Time.

  52. dkalev says: Apr 22, 2014 3:54 PM

    Thank heavens someone else said it… NBC and FOX have the best picture and overall broadcast (minus the announcers… Colinsworth and aikman? Pass, as a giants fan listening to their personal vendettas on air and clear biases… Quite annoying)… Why CBS sucks in terms of quality I do not know.

  53. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 22, 2014 3:54 PM

    All this criticism towards Gruden is laughable. Here’s an idea: Hit the mute button. Football on television should require no explanation.

  54. olcap says: Apr 22, 2014 4:09 PM

    So now they’ve finally gone and made a playoff game non-accessible unless you have cable/satellite. Do fans benefit from this in any way? No. Another deal forged in greed to get even more money and in the process, shut out FANS from seeing an NFL playoff game on broadcast TV.

    People are getting off the dinosaur cable and satellite money-trap scams and are watching games on free, beautiful High Def with an antenna. The NFL has drawn a line and said “we will help you cable companies stay alive by forcing people to have your service to see our games.”

    That is wrong no matter how you want to slice it. This is a new precedent in crumminess.

  55. vikesandravens78 says: Apr 22, 2014 4:15 PM

    So it begins… If they keep moving games to cable they will kill the golden goose, just like Mark Cuban predicted.

  56. kevpft says: Apr 22, 2014 4:43 PM

    Playoff games and Super Bowls should NEVER be on cable or other pay-only channels.

    This is one of those rare things that sets the NFL apart. It’s a mess all through the season, with games in multiple places, various types of subscription packages, restrictions on who can view what where, inconsistent online viewing, etc.

    But come playoff time, EVERYONE is EQUAL. Rich, poor, if you have a TV and a cheap antenna, you are on the same page as everyone else, watching the drama unfold.

    Moving even one playoff game to cable is BS. I have watched NFL games my whole life, and I will not pay a cent to watch a playoff game, ever.

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