Spokane Arena will host the inaugural game of Arena Football One.
Weekly Telecasts to Occur on Friday Nights
Tulsa, Okla. (Wednesday, February 10, 2010) – Arena Football One has received a major boost of accreditation, with a pending announcement reportedly on the docket that the league has reached a television deal with the NFL Network. Arena Football One will air a weekly Friday night telecast on the official station of the National Football League, and the partnership is believe to be a one year deal with an option for a second season.
“We embrace football at all levels,” said Charles Coplin, vice president of programming for the NFL. “This spring schedule gives us a weekly live game featuring some players who may eventually play in the NFL. They are playing at a time where it made perfect sense for our schedule.”
According to reports, the deal will kick into effect on Friday, April 2nd, when the Spokane Shock hosts the Milwaukee Iron in the first official game in league history. The partnership, which was first announced by Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal, is expected to be made official sometime in the upcoming week. Currently, there is no confirmation of the news on the website of Arena Football One.
While the remarks of Coplin make it appear that the deal is imminent, no plans to extend the partnership between the NFL Network and Arena Football One seem to be on the horizon.
“This is a programming deal between the NFL Network and (Arena Football One) to cover their games,” Coplin stated. “The programming made sense to us. The economics made sense to us. It’s not indicative of a larger or broader relationship. This deal is very consistent with how we’ve programmed the network from the beginning.”
Arena Football One has remained fairly tight-lipped about the news, but Tulsa Talons co-owner Paul Ross has been quoted by Tulsa World as saying the league is close to a television deal "that will surprise you. It surprised me that they were interested."
League Commissioner Jerry Kurz was also very short in any type of response to the curiosity, with his only public statement being, “We are pleased with where we are, and we are about to announce a national game of the week arrangement.”
Arena Football One will kick off its inaugural season with 15 teams and play an 18-week schedule with each team playing eight home and road contests. The league is split into two divisions and two conferences, and the regular season will conclude in July with playoffs beginning the first week of August.
For more information regarding Arena Football One, visit www.arenafootballone.com.