NFL Network To Produce, Broadcast 11 American Flag Football League Games, USOF Tournament
NFL Network will produce and broadcast 11 live American American Flag Football League (AFFL) games during its debut season, as well as distribute highlights from the AFFL’s upcoming 2018 U.S. Open of Football (USOF) Tournament. The agreement is the first-ever broadcast deal for professional flag football, and “provides a unique opportunity for the NFL to explore digital distribution of AFFL content,” according to the league’s announcement. The 11 game telecasts will be produced by NFL Network and feature NFL Network talent.
“Today marks great progress for football fans and players,” says AFFL CEO/founder Jeffrey Lewis. “As the first-ever broadcast and distribution deal focused on bringing the game of flag football to the broadest possible audience, we are thrilled to partner with NFL Network, the premier platform for football.”
The AFFL is set to launch this summer, and NFL Network is expected to build on the unique use of technology deployed for coverage of the AFFL’s first exhibition game on June 27, 2017, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, CA. In an effort to create a wholly revamped football-viewing experience similar to the Madden NFL gaming look, the AFFL production team deployed SkyCam as the primary play-by-play angle (prior to NBC Sports’ decision to do so for several games during the 20017 NFL season), RF cameras inside the huddle, and SMT virtual graphics and augmented-reality elements all over the field.
The USOF is a 132-team, single-elimination tournament that will ultimately pit a team of elite former professionals against a team that has conquered a 128-team open national bracket. The tournament marks the AFFL’s first major competition, following an exhibition game in June 2017. NFL Network will televise 11 USOF games live June 29-July 19, concluding with the Ultimate Final, where America’s Champion and the Pros’ Champion will meet in a winner-take-all contest for $1 million.
The broadcasts are currently scheduled for the following dates:
- June 29 | America’s Bracket Quarterfinals – 2 games
- June 30 | America’s Bracket Quarterfinals – 2 games
- July 7 | America’s and Pros’ Bracket Semi Finals – 2 games
- July 8 | America’s and Pros’ Bracket Semi Finals – 2 games
- July 14 | America’s and Pros’ Bracket Finals – 2 games
- July 19 | Ultimate Final between winner of America’s and Pro’s Bracket – 1 game
The four Pro teams are expected to be led by Michael Vick, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, basketball duo Nate Robinson and Carlos Boozer, Justin Forsett, and Olympic champion Michael Johnson. Airtimes and broadcast talent for USOF games on NFL Network will be announced at a later date.
“Football fans are passionate about having continuous access to entertaining football content all year round,” said Mark Quenzel, SVP, programming and production, NFL. “AFFL games on NFL Network will give viewers a chance to experience a new kind of football competition in the summer months, and we’re excited for the opportunity to deliver more live programming that fans enjoy.”
The AFFL is extending the application deadline for the USOF from March 1 to March 8. Interested applicants can apply to play in the USOF here. Those selected will play in America’s Bracket, which comprises 128 teams.