ITV and NFL close a new three-year partnership

Sports Presenter of the Year Laura Woods will join award-winning analysts Osi Umenyiora, a two-time Super Bowl winner, and Jason Bell when ITV kicks off its coverage on Friday, September 9.

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The National Football League (NFL) has a new free-to-air television home in the UK and Ireland with the announcement of a three-year partnership with ITVSports Presenter of the Year Laura Woods will be joining award-winning analysts Osi Umenyiora, a two-time Super Bowl winner, and Jason Bell when ITV kicks off its coverage on Friday, September 9, with the first in a series of hour-long weekly shows, airing at 11.30 pm on ITV. The 2022 NFL season kicks off the previous night when defending champions Los Angeles Rams take on the Buffalo Bills.

ITV will air the season’s climax, Super Bowl LVII, live from Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, February 12, and two of the season’s three London Games. The New York Giants will face the Green Bay Packers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, October 9, kicking off at 2.30 pm UK time, before the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, October 30, kicking off at 1.30 pm UK time.

“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. We have seen the NFL grow to a level I could never have imagined when I played here for the Giants in 2007,” said Umenyiora. “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,” Laura Woods said.

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. “I can’t believe the growth of the NFL, not only in the UK but globally, and I’m so grateful to be at the forefront of that. I can’t wait to expand the NFL audience with the new team at ITV. Osi and I are excited to be working with Laura, and I know that our passion and energy will be exactly what existing NFL followers expect from us, as well as opening the eyes of new fans,” Bell added.

The weekly ITV show will focus on providing NFL fans, new and old, with an update on everything they need to know heading into each weekend of NFL games. The show will also be repeated at 8.30 am on Saturdays on ITV4 and will be available on ITV Hub. “This deal will bring to ITV viewers the best of the NFL each week in our highlights shows throughout the season and key live games. We’re delighted to be able to offer viewers, free to air, across our channels as well as the ITV Hub, the unique spectacle and action the NFL brings,” Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, stated.

ITV’s NFL programming will also be broadcast on STV in Scotland and Virgin Media in Ireland, while all programming will be available on demand on ITV Hub, ITV Hub+, STV Player, and VM Player. “This is another significant milestone for the NFL in this country. 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,” Henry Hodgson, Managing Director, NFL UK, added.

This new deal adds to ITV Sport’s portfolio of first-class events, including the FA Cup, England Women’s football, the EFL, the 6 Nations, exclusive coverage of both the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup, the UK horse racing, and the Tour de France. “We’re excited to announce this new partnership with ITV, which, with the new and enhanced weekly Friday evening shows and live coverage of the London Games and Super Bowl, will take the NFL’s free-to-air coverage into a new era and reach a new audience across ITV’s channels, to showcase to the UK what the NFL is all about: passion, unpredictable competition and exceptional entertainment,” Laura Louisy, Director, International Business Development and Media, stated.

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