After 35 years of existence, ESPN is finally getting into the NFL playoff picture. It was announced earlier this afternoon that ESPN will air one of the wild-card playoff games next January.
This will be the first time ever that ESPN will air a live playoff game, a major milestone for the sports broadcasting network.
The announcement comes as a part of ESPN and NFL’s recently signed eight year deal for their Monday Night Football broadcasts and various other studio, multimedia and international rights.
A clause in the agreement gave the NFL the option of airing a wild-card game on ESPN, and the NFL is taking advantage of the clause and choosing to do so this season.
In a statement EPSN President John Skipper spoke of the milestone event saying:
“We’re thrilled to televise our first Wild Card playoff game and we thank the NFL for the opportunity. 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.”
The wild-card game will be called by the Monday Night Football team of Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters, and Mike Tirico. The game will also be simulcast on broadcast networks in the primary markets of the featured teams and will be available through WatchESPN.
What do you think of the NFL’s choice to air a wild-card game on EPSN?