ESPN, NBC Sports add NFL playoff games

By Daniel S Levine,

ESPN is finally going to air its first NFL playoff game and NBC Sports announced that it has added a playoff game to its roster.

Disney’s ESPN will televise a wild-card playoff game during the first round in January 2015, the network said. It will be the first time the sports network will air a playoff game in its 35 years of existence.

The deal is part of an eight-year extension ESPN signed with the league in 2011. ESPN currently airs Monday Night Football.

ESPN president John Skipper said that the network is “thrilled” to finally get a playoff game. “This game will be among the highest-rated programs of the year on cable and it is compelling content that will help us better serve football fans during the postseason,” Skipper added.

NBC Sports announced that it will get a Divisional Playoff game during the second round of the playoffs. NBC also has a wild card game, in addition to the 2015 Super Bowl for this season.

The added game is part of NBC Sports’ nine-year extension with the NFL. NBC is the home of Sunday Night Football.

These deals come on the heels of a pact with CBS to give the eye network rights to air some Thursday Night Football games. NBC and ESPN both tried to reach that deal, so the playoff games can be seen as a consolation prize.

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