There’s good news for fans of the Arena Football League. ESPN and the AFL have announced that they have reached a deal that would bring a handful of games to the Worldwide Leader in Sports. The multi-year agreement gives ESPN broadcast rights to more than ten games on the league’s schedule. That includes many regular and post season games, and the league’s annual championship, the Arena Bowl. Terms of the deal also mean that seventy-five games or more will be available for viewing online via ESPN3. Fans will also be able to go to the official AFL website, http://www.ArenaFootball.com to see games on ESPN’s video player.
The new deal between ESPN and the AFL is not the first between the two organizations. ESPN carried the AFL’s first ever Arena Bowl in 1987. It carried the league’s regular and post season games from 1995- 1999, playoff games from 2000 – 2002, and playoff games from 2007 – 2008. ABC, which is part of the ESPN family of networks also covered the AFL. It broadcasted the Arena Bowl from 1998 – 2002. Matthew Volk, ESPN’s director of Programming and Acquisitions, expressed his respect for the rich history between ESPN and the AFL as he commented on the announcement. He tied that in to the network’s dedication to football coverage throughout the year stating, “ESPN has a long history of working with the Arena Football League and this new agreement is a great opportunity to showcase the AFL as part of our year-round commitment to football.”
Arena Football League Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz also shared his thoughts on the partnership between the AFL and ESPN. He was optimistic about the league’s future in discussing the deal. Speaking to reporters, Kurz said, “The AFL’s return to ESPN is the latest example of the strides our sport has made in recent years.” He went on to say, “Having the ArenaBowl on the ESPN family of networks for years to come puts our Championship game alongside some of the most prominent events in television.”
AFL fans that get their video and internet from affiliated providers will have access to ESPN3 online at WatchESPN via mobile devices through the WatchESPN app. Subscribers can also stream games on TV through ESPN on Xbox Live with a Gold membership. Games will also be available to stream for Apple TV customers and those with Roku. ESPN’s AFL broadcasts will begin with the league’s 2014 season. A full schedule for the 2014 season will be announced at a later date. More information on the deal and ESPN’s full upcoming AFL coverage will be available online at http://espn.go.com/afl/. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.