ESPN adds American football coverage to its autumn line-up

LONDON - ESPN is to broadcast key American football games as part of its UK programme schedule this autumn.

ESPN: adds American football to autumn line-up
ESPN: adds American football to autumn line-up

'Monday Night Football', the longest-running sports show in US history, will show an NFL game each week on ESPN, from 14 September, at 1am.

The sports channel will also air an accompanying pre-game programme, 'Monday Night Countdown', hosted by Chris Berman.

'Monday Night Football', first aired 40 years ago, has been broadcast exclusively on ESPN in the US since 2006.

Recent highlights for the programme have included the Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings game broadcast last year, which attracted 21.8 million viewers, the biggest US cable audience on record according to ESPN. 'Monday Night Football' has also received 25 Emmy Awards.

Jeroen Oerlemans, vice-president, ESPN, TV Channels Europe, Middle East and Africa said: "Monday Night Football is an enormous global sports franchise with an incredibly strong heritage, and it regularly features the very best NFL match-up of the week.

"With the NFL's continued growth in the UK, this is another example of how we are building quality global programming around our core UK sports schedule."

ESPN made its first major move into the UK market by adding 46 Barclays Premier League football matches to its portfolio, following the collapse of Setanta last summer.

In the UK, the ESPN portfolio includes television and digital brands including ESPN, ESPN Classic, ESPN America, ESPNcricinfo.com, ESPNscrum.com, ESPNsoccernet.com, ESPN360.com and Racing-live.com.

Other sporting events in the ESPN autumn line-up include the FA Cup, Guinness Premiership rugby, Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League football, and Europa League football.

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