Advertisement

NFL Network to Televise Arena Football League, Overtime OT7 Games

A slew of live football games are coming to NFL Networks starting next month … but they won’t feature any NFL teams.

The dominant sports league’s cable channel and streaming service — NFL Network and NFL+ — have secured rights to Arena Football League games, and games from Overtime’s OT7.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

NFL Network and NFL+ will televise and stream over 30 AFL games this season, beginning April 27, following coverage of the NFL Draft. Coverage of OT7 will begin April 6 and 7 at 4 p.m., continuing through May 5.

“We are excited to partner with the AFL and OT7 to bring more live football to NFL Network,” said David Jurenka, senior VP at NFL Media, in a statement. “The energy surrounding live football games is unmatched, and we’re thrilled to provide our fans such great action from these two leagues throughout the spring.”

Spring football is not a new concept (also this year, the UFL will debut, having merged Dwayne Johnson’s XFL with Fox’s USFL), but most spring leagues have a small fraction of the viewership that the NFL drives in the fall and winter.

The league has also televised games from other leagues in the past, including with the AFL, the Canadian Football League, Alliance of American Football and American Flag Football League. And NFL Networks has also broadcast some collegiate and high school games over the years.

More recently spring leagues have reinvented themselves as potential incubators for future NFL stars, with the XFL and USFL previously touting their players that moved to the “big league.” In fact, Overtime was created with the specific goal of developing players and betting on many of them moving on to bigger deals. OT7 is distinct from the AFL and NFL in that is is 7 on 7, and features high school-age players, while the AFL is played in indoor arenas.

“The Arena Football League and Overtime’s OT7 provide yet another opportunity for coaches, players and officials to develop their skills and showcase their talent to the growing football fanbase,” says Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL executive VP of football operations. “This expanded coverage further underscores the many avenues available in the sport of football.”

Best of The Hollywood Reporter