NFL Launch New European Home With Sky

August 26, 2020

- Grant Whittington

European fans of American football are no strangers to the frustrations associated with broadcasting restrictions and a general lack of live viewing options. But following a game-changing new broadcasting agreement between the NFL and Sky Sports, at least for fans in the UK and Ireland, all of that is at long last about to change.

Fans living in the United Kingdom and Ireland will soon have instant access to weekly live games, all of which will be made possible to the launch of a brand-new NFL channel scheduled to go live leading up to the start of the upcoming new season.

Pre-Season Launch

According to a report published by a major sports and business broadcaster, the new channel is expected to launch before on or before September 10 and will run all the way through the 2024-2025 American football season.

Sky Sports NFL will according to the mentioned report, provide coverage of at least 5 games every week, as well as select games played on Sundays, the Pro Bowl, Super Bowl, and all NFL playoff competitions and contests.

Exciting too is that several broadcasting gaps in between the live transmission of games and competitions will reportedly be filled by additional programmes focused on American football, opinions and sport actuality productions.

NFL Presence To Be Boosted

And it’s a five-year agreement, so says NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, that is expected to significantly boost the growth of the American football in the United Kingdom and in Ireland. The UK and Ireland are filled with millions of NFL fans, said Goodell, fans who will eventually have a home for live NFL content.

This is of course not the first time that the NFL has worked alongside Sky. The league and the broadcaster have enjoyed a sterling working relationship that is this year more than 25 years in the running. Even so, the launch of the dedicated live NFL channel will be the very first time the league is getting its own channel on the broadcasting network.

Intensified Focus On Safety

The NFL has in the meantime declared itself unwilling to roll out any major plans to its regular schedule – this even despite football having had to face extreme challenges over the course of recent months. But with this having been said, the league has also been conducting regular tests for infections, with reports indicating that less than 1% of all tests conducted among players, coaches, and support staff having been received back as positive.

The league certainly appears to have stepped up its proactive efforts. This is evident from the fact that instead of only submitting players to mandatory tests every other day, which was the original plan announced by the NFL, players and staff are now being tested on a daily basis. This has been the outcome of a new agreement recently forged between the league and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).

And needless to say, given that full-contact practice sessions are scheduled to resume as early as this week, the NFL will naturally be eager and determined to keep the rates of infection as low and undisruptive as practically possible.

Even just one significant spike in infections could unnerve and even cause the entire upcoming season to be called off and cancelled with immediate effect. This could potentially devastate the league. The expectation is therefore that the NFL will continue putting its money where its mount is as far as readily available test kits, physical distancing control, the proper implementation of health and safety measures, etc., are concerned.

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