NFL Heading to ITV in U.K. After Seven Years on BBC – The Hollywood Reporter
The U.K.’s small but growing legion of NFL fans has a new free-to-air home to get their (late night) TV football fix.
Following a new three-year deal, the NFL will be heading to Brit network ITV next month, taking over from the BBC after seven years. The NFL is also shown on Comcast’s pay TV giant Sky in the U.K.
ITV will begin coverage on Sep. 9 — the day after the 2022 NFL season kicks off — with the first in a series of hour-long weekly shows airing at 11:30 p.m. U.K. time, and will air the climax of the season, Super Bowl LVII, live from Glendale, Arizona on Feb. 12, as well as two of the season’s three London Games.
Sports presenter Laura Woods will host the shows alongside analysts Osi Umenyiora, a two-time Super Bowl winner, and Jason Bell.
“I’ve been a fan of the NFL for many years, so, with the new season just weeks away, I’m thrilled to be part of the team that will bring ITV viewers its best action and biggest stories each week,” said Woods.
Added Umenyiora: “We have seen the NFL grow to a level I could never have imagined from when I played here for the Giants in 2007. This new partnership can see us bringing the sport to an even broader audience. We have felt so embraced by British fans and we are excited that they will be able to watch us on ITV.”
The new partnership marks the NFL’s return to ITV for the first time since the network aired the last of its three consecutive Super Bowls in 2007.
“This is another significant milestone for the NFL in this country,” said Henry Hodgson, managing director of NFL U.K. “We have enjoyed seven fantastic years of NFL coverage on BBC TV and the time is right to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a new partnership with ITV. When you look at the development of the NFL in the UK in recent years – with momentum behind fan growth, more London games, successful British players in the NFL, the launch of an Academy and a charitable foundation – this announcement is another sign of our ambition to grow and develop the sport in the UK.”