Sky Sports has announced that will take over the rights to broadcast NFL’s Sunday Night Football live for the next two years.
The new deal ahead start of the 2015/16 campaign will allow Sky Sports subscribers to watch an additional game a week, taking Sky’s schedule to more than 100 live matches a season.
Sky takes over the rights to Sunday night regular season matches from Channel 4, who failed to agree a new free-to-air TV deal ahead of the 2015/16 season.
The addition of Sunday night matches to the pay-TV broadcaster’s NFL portfolio means there will be no regular live free-to-air coverage of the sport in the UK this season, with late-night matches having been a regular fixture terrestrial television for many years.
Gridiron fans with Sky Sports can watch more NFL coverage than ever before across TV, online, mobile and tablet devices with at least five games a week across the regular season, every playoff clash, the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl.
Also new on Sky Sports for this season is Monday Night Football, previously shown by British Eurosport, which alongside Thursday and Sunday games, provides viewers with more matches during the regular season.
For the first time in seven years, Sky Sports will also be showing exclusively live pre-season coverage, as New Orleans Saints host the Houston Texans on Sunday, August 30.
There will be all the drama and scores from around the NFL each Sunday of the regular season from RedZone, available via the red button and Sky Sports Xtra, which is available to customers through skysports.com and the Sky Sports iPad app.
Sunday Night Football is America’s most watched programme and from week five of the season, the NFL’s flexible scheduling ensures that a key match-up with playoff implications is featured. In the final six weeks of the regular season Sunday Night Football will also be simulcast live on Sky One. Commentary comes from NBC’s award-winning pairing of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.
Jonathan Licht, director of Sky Sports strategy, said: “We’re excited to add Sunday Night Football to our extensive NFL coverage this season.
“Viewers can now enjoy over 100 games a season on Sky Sports, which added to our digital and On Demand offering, makes it our most comprehensive line-up of NFL ever.
“NFL fans in the UK and Ireland are going to be in for a fantastic season.”
Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFLUK, added: “We are very excited about Sky Sports’ plans for NFL coverage over the next five years.
“The addition of Sunday Night Football this season will further deepen the outstanding partnership we have enjoyed for more than two decades and demonstrates Sky’s commitment to the sport here.
“We are looking forward to the programming and promotion of the NFL that they will be bringing to UK and Irish fans in this upcoming season and beyond.”
As well as live games, Sky Sports will offer full coverage and analysis through online and social media including all the news, previews and game reports.
Video content will be available every day during the season on Sky Sports platforms, including the “Top 5 Touchdowns” of the week.
Viewers can also enjoy the latest edition of the NFL and HBO produced series, NFL Hard Knocks, featuring the Houston Texans, as well as other award winning NFL films programming.
On the opening week of the 2015 regular season, Sky Sports will bring fans six live games with reigning Super Bowl holders the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys all featuring.
On Thursday, September 10, fans can watch the 2015 season opener at the Gillette Stadium as reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers – with or without Tom Brady as his ‘Deflategate’ court case rumbles on.
On Sunday, September 13, the Packers and the Bears renew their rivalry from 5.30pm, where 2014 MVP Aaron Rodgers in action for Green Bay against Chicago, who will be playing for the first time under new head coach John Fox.
Following that game, coverage heads to Denver for the Broncos clash with the Baltimore Ravens, where legendary quaterback Peyton Manning comes up against his opposite number Joe Flacco.
Sky’s Sunday triple-header concludes with the New York Giants trip to the Dallas Cowboys after midnight. Watch out for Giants’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, who made the catch of the season last year, plus the star line-up of the Cowboys including Dez Bryant and Tony Romo.
Then the action resumes late on early Tuesday morning for two Monday Night Football games. First up the Philadelphia Eagles, with new running back Demarco Murray make the trip to Atlanta to play the Falcons.
That’s followed by Adrian Peterson’s Minnesota Vikings visit to the Bay Area to play the San Francisco 49ers.
All these games and many are the beginning for a busy year of NFL on Sky Sports, which will also screen live coverage of all three NFL games at Wembley later in the campaign.