ESPN, ABC To Televise First NFL Monday Night Wild Card Game
NFL football fans will be able to watch a NFL wild card playoff game for the first time on a Monday night from ESPN and ABC at the end of this year’s regular season, as part of a deal announced between Walt Disney Co. and the National Football League.
The wild card finale game will be the sixth contest of the second annual “Super Wild Card Weekend”, which was introduced last year as the league expanded the post season to 14 playoff teams.
ESPN announced Wednesday that the deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, will run through the next five years. The league’s first scheduled weekday prime-time playoff game is to take place Jan. 17, 2022.
The “Super Wild Card Weekend” finale game will be central to a planned megacast for the two Disney networks that is to include a simulcast on ESPN and ABC. Former NFL star quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning will host an alternative telecast on ESPN2 and ESPN Plus.
In addition, ESPN Deportes will present coverage of the event with a Spanish-language telecast. Other productions are also in the works, ESPN said. The game will also be streamed on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ABC and NFL digital properties, and on mobile via Yahoo Sports and the mobile apps used by the two participating teams.
The deal is part of a package of long-term broadcast rights agreements worth $100 billion that the NFL first announced in March including: Disney, Fox, Comcast NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS and Amazon Prime Video.
None of the networks has announced if any of the games will be presented in 4K or HDR this year.
Yet to be announced is renewal of the NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market game package, which has had along-time domain on DirecTV.
The NFL Wild Card weekend playoff game schedule includes two games on Saturday, Jan. 15 (4:35 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. ET), three on Sunday, Jan. 16 (1:05 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 8:15 p.m. ET), and the Monday finale (8:15 p.m. ET). CBS and NBC will broadcast two games apiece in this round, while FOX will air the other.
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By Greg Tarr
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