ESPN Becomes Media Rights Holder of All Arena Football League Regular Season Games in 2019
The Arena Football League (AFL) and ESPN announced a media rights agreement for all of the AFL’s 2019 regular-season games. Effective immediately, all regular-season games will be available on ESPN3 and the ESPN App. In addition, ArenaBowl XXXII will be televised on ESPN2.
“We are delighted to be the national media home for Arena Football League – the leading professional indoor football league in the country,” said Scott Guglielmino, Senior Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions, ESPN. “The AFL complements our commitment to serve fans with the best available football action year-round.”
All games will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN App, beginning Friday, May 3, at 7:00 p.m. ET, when the Baltimore Brigade host the Philadelphia Soul at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, M.D. On Saturday, May 4 at 3:30 p.m., the Atlantic City Blackjacks host the Columbus Destroyers, in their first-ever home game at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Following this matchup, the Albany Empire host the Washington Valor at 7:30 p.m. ET at Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.
“We are pleased for the AFL, its players, coaches and fans, to be able to announce that all of our games will be broadcast on ESPN,” said Randall Boe, Arena Football League Commissioner. “We are pleased and proud to be working with ESPN and think they will be a great partner to help us grow the AFL.”
ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. ESPN3 harnesses the quality ESPN has built through its TV networks and delivers sports programming to fans through a rich interactive and easy-to-use experience. Sports fans are empowered to access compelling live or recently completed events.
“I’m delighted that AFL games will be on ESPN this season,” said Ron Jaworski, AFL Executive Committee Chair. “I’m very proud of my broadcast career at ESPN and I know first hand that there is no better organization in sports.”
AFL games can be accessed through ESPN3 on computer, smartphones, tablets and other connected devices through the ESPN App. The network is currently available nationwide at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.
“ESPN is one of the most premier and progressive networks in all of sports both domestically and internationally and through this deal we are excited to have the opportunity to reach a greater number of fans while preserving access to media rights for our regional sports networks in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Albany, and Columbus,” said Zach Leonsis, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Monumental Sports and Entertainment. “ESPN is constantly pushing the envelope on its digital platforms with the evolution of ESPN3 and ESPN+, as well as expanding and experimenting in the realm of sports betting, which aligns perfectly with our strategy at the AFL.”