The NFL International Series is taking the next step toward expansion.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports the league is taking the next critical step toward playing a regular season game in Germany, possibly as early as 2022.
The NFL will announce Germany’s three finalist cities on Tuesday, Oct. 12, according to Rapoport. The NFL requested proposals for future regular-season games in Germany this past June.
The league remains committed to multiple games in London and a game in Mexico City with Germany potentially in the mix going forward. This past April, in accordance with expanding the regular season to 17 games, NFL owners approved a new scheduling formula for international games. Starting in 2022, there will be at least four games played internationally every season and each NFL team will take a turn to host an international contest once every eight seasons.
Beginning in 2007, the International Series has comprised 28 regular-season games in London and three games in Mexico City. The initiative has featured 31 of 32 NFL teams with the Green Bay Packers being the only club not to play a regular-season game internationally.
The news comes ahead of the first international game in nearly two years after the league cancelled its five scheduled games for the 2020 season in London and Mexico City due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons (1-3) will host the New York Jets (1-3) at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The NFL returns to the same location in Week 6, when the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 17.
Expanding to Germany shows the continued growth and success of the NFL International Series.
>>Report: NFL Planning to Host 2022 Regular-Season Game in Germany::::
The NFL is reportedly planning a Tuesday announcement of the three cities in Germany that have been selected as finalists to host a game as early as the 2022 season.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Saturday the German contest would be in addition to “multiple” games in London annually and one in Mexico City as part of the league’s international series.
In June, the NFL announced it sought proposals from interested cities in Germany after television ratings for American football in the country rose more than 20 percent since 2017.
Brett Gosper, the league’s head of Europe & UK initiatives, explained the league was “very excited about the development of our German fanbase” and hoped the bid process would yield the right city to host future games:
>>>NFL to name German cities in running to host regular-season game
The NFL is set to announce the three German cities that are in the mix to host a regular-season game, NFL Network reported Saturday.
The naming of the cities will come Tuesday, per the report. Germany would be a new destination for the league’s International Series, and a game could be played there as soon as 2022.
The news of the potential expansion comes a day before the NFL’s first international game in nearly two years; 2020 games were canceled because of the pandemic. The New York Jets (1-3) and Atlanta Falcons (1-3) will meet Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Next Sunday, the stadium will host the Week 6 meeting between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins.
>>Multiple cities in Germany interested in hosting NFL games
In April, league owners agreed the NFL will play at least four games outside the United States every season, with each team hosting one international game every eight seasons. Two months later, the NFL requested proposals from German cities interested in hosting a game.
Games have been played in London and Mexico City since 2007, with London hosting all but three of the contests. Only the Green Bay Packers have not played in the International Series.
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The National Football League (NFL) regular season begins on the weekend following the first Monday of September (i.e, the weekend following the Labor Day holiday) and ends in early January, after which that season’s playoffs tournament begins. It consists of 272 games, with each of the NFL’s 32 teams playing 17 games during an 18-week period with one “bye” week off.
Since 2012, the NFL generally schedules games in five time slots during the week. The first game of the week is played on Thursday night, kicking off at 8:20 PM (ET). The majority of games are played on Sunday, most kicking off at 1:00 PM (ET), with some late afternoon games starting at either 4:05 or 4:25 PM (ET). Additionally, one Sunday night game is played every week at 8:20 PM (ET). Finally, one Monday night game then starts at 8:15 PM (ET) In addition to these regularly scheduled games, there are occasionally games at other times, such as a Saturday afternoon or evening, or the annual Thanksgiving Day games in which two daytime Thursday games are played in addition to the normal Thursday night game.
In place since 2006, the current broadcasting contract establishes broadcast partners for each game. The Sunday afternoon games are broadcast either on CBS or Fox. CBS has the broadcast rights for teams in the American Football Conference while Fox has the rights for teams in the National Football Conference. In games where teams from both conferences play each other, the network with the broadcast rights for the “away” team will broadcast the game. In each local television market, three Sunday afternoon games are shown. One of the two networks shows two games back-to-back in each time slot, while the other network has the right to broadcast a single game, showing one game in either time slot; the networks generally alternate weeks (but not always) when each has the right to show both games. In addition to the regular Sunday afternoon games, there are three prime time games each week. The Thursday night game is broadcast by the NFL Network (with some of the games also simulcast on broadcast TV by one of the other networks). The Sunday night game is broadcast by NBC, while the Monday night game is broadcast by ESPN.
The NFL uses a strict scheduling algorithm to determine which teams play each other from year to year, based on the current division alignments and the final division standings from the previous season. The current formula has been in place since 2021, the last year that the NFL expanded its regular season. Generally, each team plays the other three teams in its own division twice, all four teams from a single division in the AFC once, all four teams from a single division in the NFC once, two additional intraconference games, and one additional interconference game.