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Thread: Monday Night Football.......Arena Style?

  1. #1
    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Dayton Area

    Monday Night Football.......Arena Style?

    ESPN acquires minority stake, TV rights in AFL

    ESPN buffeted its year-round football programming lineup and Monday night presence, acquiring minority ownership in the Arena Football League as part of a five-year agreement announced Tuesday.
    The deal includes extensive multimedia rights and a minimum of 26 televised games per season beginning in 2007.

    "We are committed to the Arena Football League and its exciting brand of football," John Skipper, executive vice president for content at ESPN, said in a statement. "We will help grow the league across all of our multimedia platforms. As the league grows, so will our business, and we see a bright future for us both."

    Similar to recent major ESPN content acquisitions, the agreement entails a broad range of rights among the network's 15 platforms, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN on ABC, ESPN Classic, ESPN.com, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes and ESPN360. ESPN also gains the right to both air and syndicate AFL games through ESPN International.

    ESPN will televise a minimum of 17 regular-season games and nine playoff games -- including a minimum three wild-card games, three divisional playoff games, both conference championships and the Arena Bowl -- on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.

    ESPN will also have an exclusive window for weekly Monday night primetime games on ESPN2 -- continuing to establish Monday night as a "football night" for fans.

    "This is the longest and most comprehensive media partnership in AFL history," AFL commissioner David Baker said. "ESPN's brand is ingrained in sports fans, who watch, read and listen to its multiple media properties. Through its equity purchase, ESPN now owns a piece of the AFL and has the ability to provide exciting football content on Monday nights for fans on a year-round basis.

    "There is no better partner to help grow the AFL into a leading global, multimedia property."

    The network's 2007 coverage will kick off on ABC with a pair of regional games -- Chicago Rush at Kansas City Brigade and Dallas Desperados at New York Dragons -- on March 4. ABC will broadcast ArenaBowl XXI on July 29 from the New Orleans Arena; it will be the city of New Orleans' first host team championship event since Hurricane Katrina.

    The 2007 AFL television schedule on ESPN (all times Eastern):

    March 4: Chicago at Kansas City; Dallas at New York, ESPN on ABC (regional), 12:30 p.m.
    March 12: Los Angeles at Orlando, ESPN2, 7 p.m.
    March 22: Colorado at Philadelphia ESPN2, 7 p.m.
    March 26: Dallas at Orlando, ESPN2, 7 p.m.
    April 1: Los Angeles at Chicago, ESPN2, 1:30 p.m.
    April 9: Georgia at Philadelphia, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
    April 16: Philadelphia at Dallas, ESPN2, 8 p.m.
    April 23: Philadelphia at Columbus, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
    April 30: Philadelphia at Chicago, ESPN2, 8 p.m.
    May 7: Colorado at Chicago, ESPN2, 8 p.m.
    May 14: New York at Philadelphia, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
    May 21: New Orleans at Philadelphia, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
    May 28: New York at New Orleans, ESPN2, 8 p.m.
    June 4: Colorado at Utah, ESPN2, 10:30 p.m.
    June 11: Los Angeles at Arizona, ESPN2, 10 p.m.
    June 18: Chicago at Colorado, ESPN2, 10 p.m.
    June 25: Dallas at Colorado, ESPN2, 10 p.m.

    Postseason television schedule
    June 29: Wild card, ESPN, 7 p.m.
    June 30: Wild card, ESPN, noon
    June 30: Wild card, ESPN, 3 p.m.
    July 2: Wild card, ESPN2, 10 p.m.
    July 7: Divisional playoff, ESPN, 3 p.m.
    July 7: Divisional playoff, ESPN, 8 p.m.
    July 8: Divisional playoff, ESPN2, 9 p.m.
    July 9: Divisional playoff, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
    July 14: Conference championship, ESPN, 3 p.m.
    July 15: Conference championship, ESPN2, 12:30 p.m.
    July 29: ArenaBowl XXI, at New Orleans, ESPN on ABC, 3 p.m.
    Note: ESPN will carry a minimum of three wild-card games and three divisional playoff games
    One wonders if they incorporated flex scheduling.........

    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Naperville, IL

    Re: Monday Night Football.......Arena Style?

    Just great, now we can look forward to a good chunk of ESPN programming hyping this up. Just wait until Arena football gets more coverage on Sportscenter than major sports. ESPN just need to start reporting the stories and not creating the stories.

  4. #3
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Oakwood, OH

    Re: Monday Night Football.......Arena Style?

    We are committed to the Arena Football League and its exciting brand of football," John Skipper, executive vice president for content at ESPN, said in a statement.
    Somebody wake me up when the AFL season is over...
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Indianapolis, Ind.

    Re: Monday Night Football.......Arena Style?

    While I'm not an AFL fan, the league has to be excited about this. They will get 50x more coverage than they got before.

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