NFL UK Fans Set to Miss Out on New Season after Broadcast Deal Yet to Be Agreed

By Community | September 4, 2012

With the NFL season beginning tomorrow night, the NFL UK has still failed to procure a broadcast deal with Sky Sports and ESPN.

NFLUK has successfully struck a deal with Channel 4 to show the Sunday night games, and the Super Bowl will be shown on the BBC, but the rest of the coverage is still up in the air.

A statement from the company suggests that there are several deals in the making with last year’s broadcasters. Sky television provided the Sunday Afternoon double-header and had access to NFL Network’s ‘Total Access’, while ESPN held the Monday night game and provided both their Sunday and Monday night countdown shows, but the deal looks unlikely to be completed until Tuesday at the latest.

The lack of communication that all sides of this discussion have had with the British NFL community is reproachable, and has left many fans feeling undervalued.

This was the worst possible time for such a conflict between the NFL and the broadcasters to occur, considering that the NFL has had its highest growth in UK viewership and participation over the past five years since the first boom back in the early 80s. They were the Seventh most watched sport on Sky Sports in the Uk last year.

This growth was already damaged by the St Louis Rams pulling out of their three-year deal to play at Wembley stadium in February.

The international game has been a great success, with near sell-outs over the past five years, but confusion over the Rams’ ability to play and several postponements of ticket sales has shaken consumer confidence that the event will go ahead.

But instead Jacksonville Jaguars have signed a deal to play a game at Wembley for the next few years.