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We've known it's been on the cards, but now it's finally going to happen.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL has anticipated to officially expand the regular season from 16 to 17 league games.
Schefter pointed out; it's been 43 years since they last did it. The NFL started with 12 games in 1947, moved to 14 games in 1961, and then 16 in 1978. Now we're up to 17games played in 18 weeks; this is far by far the longest stretch without a change in NFL history
It seems like this was bound to happen a lifetime ago, but it was only last year. The 17-game season was always a part of the new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, which started in March 2020.
As well as this, the NFL officially announced a TV rights deal, as the league will rake in around $10 billion per year thanks to their new agreement with Fox, CBS, ESPN,NBC, and Amazon.
The deal has made the NFL a lot of money, and part of the reason TV networks were so willing to spend big cash in the exchange was the understanding that a new media rights deal would come to an expansion to the upcoming NFL schedule.
When the league and players association agreed to some CBA tweaks back in August 2020 to deal with the pandemic's financial realities, the players were confident that the salary cap wouldn't go below $175 million.
The league was given the green card to expand the schedule to 17 regular-season games, provided they also agree to lock in the new TV deals. This would boost and raise their revenue over the next few years, and this would also mean a contribution to the players as they are always appointed to 48 percent of all NFL league revenue.
Now the NFL can move forward with plans to expand to 17 regular-season games.