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Volume 24 No. 158
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Back Where It Began: Arena Football Signs Multiyear Broadcast Deal With ESPN

ESPN will carry Arena Football League games for the first time since '08, having signed a non-exclusive, multiyear rights deal with the league. The deal sets ESPN up as the league's third TV partner in the past three years. CBS Sports Network carried 19 regular-season games last season. NFL Network carried games in the AFL's previous season, having signed a series of one-year deals since '10. CBSSN also will continue to air games in '14 with the AFL's primary regular-season package. ESPN has committed to show more than 10 regular-season and postseason games on one of its TV networks annually, including a conference championship and ArenaBowl. It will carry another 75 games per year for its ESPN3 broadband service. These games also will be available on the AFL's website via ESPN's video player. ESPN carried the first ArenaBowl live in '87. ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski owns the AFL Philadelphia Soul franchise.