Are you ready for some more football?
Peter King of Football Morning in America reported weeks ago that it was “highly likely” the NFL would expand the regular season to 17 games for the 2021 campaign as the league looks to recover revenue lost over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio explained that the NFL’s confirmation of new media deals makes the 17-game schedule “a done deal.” “The only question left to conclusively resolve is whether the league will have three or two preseason games,” Florio wrote while adding it’s “most likely” the NFL will keep three preseason contests to make for a total of at least 20 games played by every club across a campaign.
King noted in his piece that the NFL won’t start over Labor Day weekend due to concerns about television ratings during a period when many Americans typically take vacations or spend time outdoors. Thus, the 17-game schedule will inevitably push Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles back seven days from Feb. 6 to Feb. 13 unless the league adds a second bye week, which isn’t expected.
Sports Business Journal reports the NFL will earn $10 billion annually through the broadcast deals announced earlier on Thursday.