Sky Sports takes over more NFL coverage after C4 gives up covering the sport

Sky Sports is taking over coverage of the NFL's Sunday Night Football from Channel 4. The broadcaster has acquired the rights for the next two years, bringing viewers an additional game a week and taking the schedule to more than 100 live matches a season.

Vernon Kay, who had presented Channel 4's coverage of the NFL last season had confirmed earlier this summer that the broadcaster had decided not to continue its coverage of the sport, in the latest chapter in the NFL's mixed reception by UK broadcasters. Prior to Channel 4's acquisition of the rights, the BBC had shown NFL Sunday Night Football on its red button service.

Monday Night Football
In addition to Sunday Night Football, Sky Sports will also show Monday Night Football, part of deal reached between the NFL and Sky last year. Alongside Thursday and Sunday games, the deal provides viewers with more matches during the regular season. Sky Sports will also be showing exclusively live pre-season coverage for the first time in seven years, as New Orleans Saints host the Houston Texans on Sunday 30 August.

There will be all the drama and scores from around the NFL each Sunday of the regular season from RedZone, available via the red button and Sky Sports Xtra, which is available to customers through and the Sky Sports iPad app.

Sunday Night Football is America’s most watched programme and from week five of the season, the NFL’s flexible scheduling ensures that a key match-up with playoff implications is featured.

Sky 1 simulcast
In the final six weeks of the regular season Sunday Night Football will also be simulcast live on Sky 1. Commentary comes from NBC's award-winning pairing of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.

Jonathan Licht, director of Sky Sports strategy, said:
“We’re excited to add Sunday Night Football to our extensive NFL coverage this season. Viewers can now enjoy over 100 games a season on Sky Sports, which added to our digital and On Demand offering, makes it our most comprehensive line-up of NFL ever. NFL fans in the UK and Ireland are going to be in for a fantastic season.”

Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFLUK, added:
“We are very excited about Sky Sports' plans for NFL coverage over the next five years. The addition of Sunday Night Football this season will further deepen the outstanding partnership we have enjoyed for more than two decades and demonstrates Sky’s commitment to the sport here. We are looking forward to the programming and promotion of the NFL that they will be bringing to UK and Irish fans in this upcoming season and beyond.”

Coming up
The schedule for week one of live NFL on Sky Sports has now been confirmed:

New England Patriots    v     Pittsburgh Steelers
Thu 10 Sept     midnight

Chicago Bears      v     Green Bay Packers   
Sun 13 Sept      5.30pm

Denver Broncos        v     Baltimore Ravens 
Sun 13 Sept     9:00pm

Dallas Cowboys        v     New York Giants
Mon 13 Sept     12:30am  

Atlanta Falcons      v    Philadelphia Eagles
Tue 15 Sept     12:05am

San Francisco 49ers     v     Minnesota Vikings
Tue 15 Sept     3:15am

Alternative ways to access coverage
Viewers without a subscription to Sky's satellite service can access NFL coverage via NOW TV, via one of the Sky Sports passes (current prices: day pass £6.99, week £10.99, month £31.99). The action will also be available via Sky Sports on Virgin Media and TalkTalk. 

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  1. From the news above, I take it that there will be no more NFL coverage (including the Superbowl) on terrestrial TV for the next two years?

    1. I think there is some indication they'll try and flog the Wembley and Superbowl games, but little interest. When you look at the times of most the broadcasts it's little wonder they're not of much interest - the time zone does it no favours and channels are barely spending after 10pm nowadays, never mind after midnight.


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