Yes, it's that time of the year again when the American football fanatics of the world turn their mouths up to 11 and the news cycle becomes entirely dominated with brown rugby balls and big shoulder pads. Still lost? It's the Super Bowl, this time coming up for its 49th iteration as the Seattle Seahawks face up to the New England Patriots at the University of Phoenix Stadium. In celebration of this event, Sky are to broadcast what they describe as 'unprecedented' coverage of the game, including seven days of non-stop NFL programming on a single channel. This won't entail a dedicated channel like Sky Sports Ryder, Sky Sports Darts or Sky Sports World Cup, but will instead be broadcast on Sky Sports 3.
The schedule includes over 50 hours of live broadcasting from Arizona, of which 10 hours will be build up to the huge match on Super Bowl Sunday. British viewers will be treat to a breakfast news show entitled 'NFL AM', a live debate and discussion programme called 'Playbook Primetime' and all the latest team news and reports from inside the team camps on 'NFL Total Access', plus all the late breaking news stories from the event across day.
On the news of Sky's increased coverage, Kevin Cradle, a Sky Sports presenter had this to say: "Sky Sports 3 will be the one-stop shop for NFL fans during Super Bowl week as for the first time ever they will be able to watch all the build-up to Super Bowl Sunday and the game they call ‘the greatest show on Earth.’ We’ll be able to show all the latest news from both teams’ camps, interviews with stars past and present, and previews from our team including Neil Reynolds, Jeff Reinebold and Shaun Gayle on what it’s going to take to win Super Bowl XLIX and bring the Vince Lomabri trophy home.”
American football has been gaining popularity within the UK over the last few years, as the hype from American's on the Internet has rubbed off on a portion of the English population who now understand the intricate rules and particular skills involved in the sport. Sky has even noted an increase in the number of calls fielded on the Sky telephone number asking if they can see more coverage. That's been news to the ears of Sky, who have been looking for more ways to entice customers to their subscription service as the number of Premier League football matches it shows decreases.
For the next season of NFL, Sky Sports will be showing Monday Night Football as part of over 80 live fixtures, including five games a week of the regular season, the playoffs, and of course, the Super Bowl itself. That marks a much increased presence of American Football on English TV and will also include the NFL Internationals Series as a select group of teams travel to the UK in order to play exhibition matches at Wembley stadium, which has been a sell-out event for almost a decade now.
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