The NFL circus is back in London for the second time this year, as the Detroit Lions take on the Atlanta Falcons at a crucial point in the season, live on Channel 4 and Sky Sports.
This season’s NFL International Series gets a whole lot bigger and better as in a ground-breaking and historic move, the NFL will play three games at Wembley Stadium in 2014, sending some of the biggest stars from America’s most popular sports league to London.
Two fan favourites clashed in the first of the three Wembley visits at the end of September when the Oakland Raiders played the Miami Dolphins , while the UK’s adopted team – the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have committed to play in London each year through 2016 – will take on America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, in November, ensuring British fans have never had it so good as far as the NFL goes.
There should be plenty of points on offer in the second Wembley NFL clash of the regular season when the Atlanta Falcons play host to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, October 26.
The Lions are very much in contention to top the NFC North, while NFC South side the Falcons have struggled so far, winning just two of their first six matches of the campaign.
Atlanta, who have the honour of being the designated home team for this Wembley match-up, is led by Quarterback Matt Ryan, known as ‘Matty Ice’ for his ability to keep cool under pressure.
He’s going to be looking to get the ball into the hands of his wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, as well as veteran running back Steven Jackson.
Watch out for Lions receiver Calvin ‘Megatron’ Johnson, whose legendary athletic prowess would make him competitive in most Olympic track and field events.
‘Megatron’ will be having the ball slung to him by quarterback Matt Stafford, who may looks like a guy that’s been pulled out of the pub and had a helmet and pads put on him, but is actually shaping up to be a truly elite player with an arm like a cannon.
UK fans will not have to miss a second of the fast-paced and dramatic gridiron action heading their way as all three NFL games at Wembley this this season will be broadcast live on free-to-air television by Channel 4, as well as on Sky Sports.
Channel 4 will have all the action covered for NFL fans as the sport makes its second trip of the season to the UK as Atlanta Falcons ‘host’ Detroit Lions on Sunday, October 26.
The free-to-air broadcaster will dedicate a large portion of its Sunday schedules to gridiron with two live games as well as a special NFL-themed edition of the weekly Channel 4 morning show Sunday Brunch.
Coverage of the game itself from Wembley will be anchored by Nat Coombs with Vernon Kay alongside, starting at 1.00pm ahead of a 1.30pm kick off UK time.
Analysis and comment from the studio overlooking the fabled Wembley pitch comes from respected NFL broadcaster Mike Carlson, as well as number of special guests and famous faces, plus regular pitchside reports from Gethin Jones and Rachael Latham.
In a change to previous NFL games at Wembley, kick-off has been moved forward to 1.30pm UK time, meaning the match will be shown in its entirety on Channel 4 and in high-definition on Channel 4 HD, with no channel changes and all the usual pre and post-game analysis all in one place.
Channel 4 will be taking the coverage and commentary feed provided by host broadcaster FOX Sports, who will be screening the game in the United States.
Before the game itself, NFL fans can sample all the build-up and atmosphere ahead of this highly anticipated contest by watching a special edition of Sunday Brunch on Channel 4 from 9.30am, presented by Tim Lovejoy from Wembley.
Lovejoy will interview celebrities, including Freddie Flintoff, and Adam Richman, and introduce music performances from the show’s specially themed double decker bus located outside the stadium, with fans also able to join in with the event throughout the bumper three-and-a-half hour show, which runs through to the start of Channel 4’s live coverage of the main event at 1.00pm.
There will also be a second helping of live free-to-air NFL action later in the day as Channel 4 has live coverage of the Sunday night clash between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers, presented by Nat Coombs and Mike Carlson from 12.10am.
Highlights of the Wembley contest, as well as a full round-up of the action from week 8, will be shown in Channel 4’s NFL: The American Football Show on Monday night at 11.50pm, presented by Vernon Kay and Nat Coombs.
Channel 4 regained its status as the home of the NFL on terrestrial television last season after signing a two-year deal to screen Sunday night games, the three Wembley international contests, and the Super Bowl.
A preview of Sunday’s second Wembley clash of the season will also feature in Channel 4’s weekly Saturday morning highlights programme ‘The American Football Show’, hosted by Vernon Kay, at 9.00am.
Sky Sports will also provide comprehensive live coverage of the NFL’s second visit to Wembley this season as Sky Sports 2 goes gridiron crazy on October 26.
NFL programming is taking over the entire channel for 24 hours from Sunday at 1.00am, with the packed schedule including three live games and a host of documentaries and special shows focussing on some of the greatest names in the sport.
This includes live coverage of the main event from Wembley between the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions, followed by a double-header from stateside – Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals at 5.00pm, followed by Philadelphia Eagles @ Arizona Cardinals at 8.25pm, which completes a bumper NFL triple header.
Kevin Cadle introduces coverage of the Wembley game from Sky Studios with an hour-long build-up programme ahead of the 1.30pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports 2 and in high-definition on Sky Sports 2 HD, alongside special guests.
Regular Sky Sports analysts Neil Reynolds and Cecil Martin will be pitchside at Wembley with the ‘Sky Cart’ to analyse all the key match-ups ahead of the fixture, as well as provide incisive in-game analysis and comment.
Sky Sports will also be taking the coverage and commentary feed provided by host broadcaster FOX Sports, who will be screening the game to audiences in the United States.
Subscribers can view the game on the move via Sky Go on PCs, mobiles and tablet devices, plus a special half-hour preview show will be shown on Saturday evening on Sky Sports 3 at 7.00pm.
On the eve of the first Wembley match of the 2014 regular season in late-September, Sky Sports signed a new five-year deal to continue screening live NFL games until at least 2019, with the new arrangement including Monday night games from 2015 onwards.
Saturday 25th October
NFL London Game Preview
9.00pm-9.30pm Sky Sports 3
Sunday 26th October
MIAMI DOLPHINS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS
Kick-off: 13:30 | Wembley Stadium
LIVE: 1.00pm-5.00pm Channel 4
LIVE: 12.30pm-4.45pm Sky Sports 2
Monday 27th September
NFL: The American Football Show
11.50pm-12.50am Channel 4