In the United States, playoffs are typically the most exciting time of year regardless of the sport. The NFL, NBA and March Madness draw some of the biggest ratings annually when the postseason rolls around, making it must-watch television.
Football’s design for crowning a champion is largely different though, outside of Major League Soccer. For decades, the Premier League, Serie A and other major football leagues around the globe have named their domestic winners based on the entire body of work over the course of a season.
Now, reports of a change could be on the way in Italy starting as early as 2024 when Serie A’s domestic television deal renews.
The Italian first division is mulling a change back to its previous setup of 18 teams in the top flight, instead of the current 20. That’s something that Serie A had from 1988 to 2004 and a similar format throughout the history of the league.
A more exclusive first division could be seen as appealing to some, but the more intriguing proposal is a playoff system that would potentially decide teams that get relegated but also the champion each season.
That’s where the equation to American sports comes into play.
Football is a challenging sport when it comes to the rigors of an entire season, which is why playoffs don’t necessarily feel right for deciding which teams win the league.