The NFL has officially announced what had been so much rumored for weeks. After closing all negotiations with the NFLPA (Players Association) and the television networks, the extension of the season has been made official. The 2021-2022 regular phase will leave behind the 16-game format, so that each franchise plays one more game.
NFL to 17 dates
After tense negotiations with the NFLPA, the agreement has finally been closed. The NFL has been exploring the idea of extending the regular phase calendar for some years, but it had been the union that put the obstacles. Now, after Tuesday’s meeting, the league has finally been given the green light to change the schedule.
Much of the decision to play 17 games in the regular phase comes from the internationalization plan of the NFL. It is worth remembering that the American football entity plans for each franchise to play at least one game abroad every 8 years, so the calendar would be affected by travel and other reasons. The league’s desire to bill a higher amount for television rights is also evident.
«This is a monumental moment in the history of the NFL. The labor agreement with the players and the recently signed television contracts provide the basis for improving the quality of the game experience. NFL for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular season games is the ability for us to continue growing the game around the world ”were the words of the commissioner, Roger Goodell.
3 preseason games
The new formula for the calendar NFL includes one new interconference game per year, between teams with similar positions in their respective divisions. It should be noted that, with the extension of the regular phase to 17 games, there will be a cut in the preseason. Now, instead of 4 matches, the teams will have only 3 preparation matches.
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