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ITV wins NFL coverage after seven years on BBC

NFL is moving to ITV

Following seven years broadcasting from the BBC’s MediaCityUK base, the corporation has lost its right to coverage of the American National Football League (NFL) to rivals ITV.

The new three-year deal means that the UK’s small, but significant, cohort of fans of the game will need to switch over for their NFL fix from September 9 for the first of ITV’s 23 hour-long weekly shows, airing at 11:30 pm UK time.

The season will climax on ITV with live coverage of Super Bowl LVII, live from Glendale, Arizona on Feb 12, and it will also offer live coverage of two of the season’s three London Games.

Laura Woods has been hired to present the ITV coverage, alongside analysts Osi Umenyiora, a two-time Super Bowl winner, and Jason Bell, who both move over from the BBC show.

Woods said: “I’ve been a fan of the NFL for many years, so, with the new season just weeks away, I’m thrilled to be part of the team that will bring ITV viewers its best action and biggest stories each week.”

Umenyiora added: “This new partnership can see us bringing the sport to an even broader audience. We have felt so embraced by British fans and we are excited that they will be able to watch us on ITV.”

The new partnership marks the NFL’s return to ITV for the first time since the network aired the last of its three consecutive Super Bowls in 2007.

NFL coverage will continue to be produced by Birmingham and London-based North One, though one significant loss to the team will be former host Dan Walker.

The erstwhile BBC Breakfast and Football Focus anchor said via Instagram: “It was always one of my favourite shows to do. North One were great and [Umenyiora and Bell] are 2 of the best people I have ever worked with…I want to wish @itvsport all the best and I know that in @laurawoodsy they have one of the best in the business. It will only get better with her at the helm.”

ITV’s NFL programming will also be broadcast on STV in Scotland and Virgin Media in Ireland, and on demand on ITV Hub, ITV Hub+, STV Player and VM Player. The new deal adds to ITV Sport’s portfolio of key sporting events, which also includes the FA Cup, England Women’s football, the EFL, the Six Nations, exclusive coverage of both the men’s and women’s Rugby World Cup, UK horse racing and the Tour de France.

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