Channel 4 Inks New NFL UK Broadcast Deal
August 30, 2013
Channel 4 has signed a broadcast deal with the NFL to showcase Sunday Night Football and the Super Bowl in a two-year deal.
In a deal that sees the station become the NFL’s exclusive free-to-air TV partner in the UK, Channel 4 will also feature live coverage of the NFL’s annual games at Wembley Stadium – beginning with the two games scheduled in 2013 – and a weekly highlights show.
Channel 4 was the first UK station to feature regular NFL coverage when it began its ‘American Football’ programme after its launch in November 1982. The station’s coverage evolved into a mix of live games, highlights and magazines shows and continued until January 1998. The sport returned to Channel 4 in 2010, with weekly live broadcast of the league’s Sunday Night Football match-up.
Channel 4 secures the free-to-air Super Bowl rights which were previously held by the BBC and will show the International games at Wembley which were previously exclusively live on Sky Sports.
Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4 sports editor, said: “The NFL has always had a connection with the Channel 4 audience and it’s fantastic that after the return of Sunday Night Football we now can tell the story of the whole season right up to its spectacular conclusion. The Super Bowl is an iconic event and alongside the live Wembley games we can showcase the sport in all its glory. We are proud to be the NFL’s sole terrestrial partner. ”
Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFL UK, said: “We are thrilled to be announcing a new partnership with Channel 4 and very pleased with the commitment to the sport the station is demonstrating through its extensive line-up of NFL programming across a range of time slots. NFL popularity is at an all-time high in the UK as we continue to grow more fans and this new deal will help introduce even more people to our incredibly dynamic sport.
“Alongside our long-standing relationship with Sky Sports, who have been partners for more than two decades and will be airing more than 70 live games again this year, we feel we have the ideal television package for the UK.”
Channel 4’s season of NFL coverage will kick off on the night of Sunday September 8 with a traditional NFC East division rivalry as the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants.
Dunn Leaves NFL UK
Ben Dunn, the commercial director of NFL’s UK arm, has left the organisation.
Australian native, Dunn has moved back to his home country to become the commercial director of National Rugby League team Melbourne Storm. He had been at the NFL for eight months and had prior stints as sponsorship activity head for the Telegraph Media Group.
Marc Reeves, the international commercial director, will temporarily take over Dunn’s responsibilities while a replacement is found.