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.

56 responses to “NBC gains 2014 divisional playoff game; ESPN adds wild card game

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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?

  18. 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!

  19. 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
    TO
    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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

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

  24. 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.

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

  26. 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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