The NFL playoffs aren't going to limit their games to the weekend anymore.
ESPN and the NFL reached a five-year deal, starting this season, to present a wild-card game on Monday night. The network announced that with a news release. There has never been a scheduled NFL playoff game for prime time outside of Saturday or Sunday.
There will be a Manningcast for it too. ESPN and ABC will have the normal broadcast with Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick in the booth, with Lisa Salters and John Parry contributing. ESPN2 will have Peyton and Eli Manning in their instantly popular alternate broadcast that started this season. The game will also be on ESPN Deportes.
It's another way for the NFL to expand playoff coverage. The league added two playoff teams last season, and that meant two triple-headers on Saturday and Sunday. That was fun but extending the playoffs to a third night will give the NFL more visibility.
The Monday night wild-card playoff game will run through the end of the 2025 season, at least. The first game under the new agreement will be Jan. 17, 2022, kicking off at 8:15 p.m. ET.
There have been some Monday playoff games. In 1983 two wild-card games were played on Monday afternoon because Christmas that year fell on a Sunday. The 1955 NFL championship game was also played on a Monday afternoon.
The new format will give the winning team on Monday night a short week, though presumably that team will play the following Sunday. Already some playoff teams who win on Sunday have to play the Saturday of divisional round weekend, so that's not a huge shift.
Now you'll have to block off Monday night of wild-card weekend for your NFL playoff appointment viewing too.