For the first time since folding in 2009, the Arena Football League will return to ESPN. In other news, ESPN has reportedly agreed to trade rights to next year’s Ryder Cup for more EPL highlights, and Fox Sports has officially announced a new extension with UEFA.
- The Arena Football League has agreed to a new television deal with ESPN, it was announced Tuesday. ESPN will televise at least ten AFL games each season under the new deal, including the ArenaBowl and one conference championship game. The AFL last reached agreement with ESPN in 2007, but the five-year deal ended abruptly when the league folded in 2009. According to Sports Business Daily, AFL games will continue to air on CBS Sports Network. (ESPN Media Zone)
- Completing a saga that began with Al Michaels‘ 2006 departure from ABC, ESPN has reportedly agreed to trade first day rights to the 2014 Ryder Cup back to NBC Sports in exchange for expanded access to English Premier League highlights. The 2014 Ryder Cup was to be the last on ESPN before the event moved exclusively to NBC in 2016. ESPN first acquired rights to the Ryder Cup in the 2006 trade that sent Al Michaels to NBC. (geoffshackelford.com via Fang’s Bites)
- The UEFA Champions League will remain on Fox Sports through 2018 after the parties agreed to a three-year media rights extension, Fox Sports announced Monday. Nearly 150 matches per year will air on the Fox Sports family of networks, including the UEFA final on the FOX broadcast network. The extension was first reported by Sports Business Daily. (Fox Sports)