The NFL is hoping to wring just a little more cash out its regular season, specifically by bringing viewers more games and expanding the playoffs.
According to ESPN, the NFL has proposed a new collective bargaining agreement that would increase the regular season from 16 to 17 games, while shortening the preseason to three games. Meanwhile, the playoff field would be expanded to seven teams from each conference.
Under the new playoff format, only one team from each conference would receive a first-round bye, as opposed to the two that currently get that luxury. That would mean the new postseason schedule would include six games on wild-card weekend, with three on Saturday and three on Sunday.
ESPN reports that the new CBA would give players a bump from 47 percent revenue share under the current deal to 48 percent share at 16 games, and then to a 48.5 percent share if they go to 17 games, representing a $5 billion shift of revenue to the players' side.
The current CBA is set to expire in 2020. A source told ESPN that the new CBA isn’t done yet.
“There's no term sheet yet,” the source said. “There still are issues being negotiated, but I'd be very surprised if there's not a new CBA for the new league year.”