Arena Football Returning To ESPN Via Multiyear TV Rights Deal
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. CBSSN carried 19 regular-season games last season, while NFL Network carried games in '11 and '10, having signed a series of one-year deals. CBSSN also will continue to air games in '14.
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 the 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.