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Traditional CBS/Fox network assignments still apply to postseason, with one exception

In the second year of the removal of the traditional CBS and Fox network assignments, with AFC games going to CBS and NFC games going to Fox, 49 games that would have landed at one network have been shifted to the other.

In the playoffs, the NFL says the old rules remain in effect. With one exception.

Per the league, if CBS or Fox have only one game in the wild-card round, the traditional alignment applies. Where, however, CBS or Fox have a second game, the traditional conference alignment applies only to one.

So CBS could get, for example, Ravens-Bills and Rams-Eagles — if it’s a year in which CBS has two wild-card games. Even though there are, in every wild-card round, three AFC playoff games.

For divisional weekend, the traditional conference alignments apply to the CBS and Fox games. And, obviously, CBS will televise the AFC Championship and Fox will televise the NFC Championship.

It points to a not-too-distant future in which the networks get whichever games the NFL gives them, with no traditional alignments or formulas. It also suggests that packages will be carved up even more than they are, with regular-season games and playoff games being sold separately.

That’s one of the non-obvious takeaways of the Netflix deal for Christmas games. The league is realizing that it makes more sense (and more money) to sell big games on an a la carte basis instead of serving up entire meals.