ITV Becomes U.K. Home of NFL


The National Football League (NFL) has inked a three-year partnership with ITV to be its new free-to-air home for sports coverage in the U.K. and Ireland.

Sports Presenter of the Year Laura Woods will be joining analysts Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell when ITV kicks off its coverage on Friday, September 9, with the first in a series of hour-long weekly shows, airing at 11:30 p.m. on ITV. The 2022 NFL season kicks off the previous night.

ITV will air Super Bowl LVII, live from Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday, February 12, as well as two of the season’s three London Games.

The weekly ITV show will provide an update on the latest action heading into each weekend of NFL games. The show will also be repeated at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays on ITV4 and will be available on ITV Hub.

ITV’s NFL programming will also be broadcast on STV in Scotland and Virgin Media in Ireland, while all programming will be available on demand on ITV Hub, ITV Hub+, STV Player and VM Player.

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. It had been airing on the BBC.

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.”

“We have seen the NFL grow to a level I could never have imagined from when I played here for the Giants in 2007,” said Umenyiora. “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.”

Bell added, “I can’t believe the growth of the NFL, not only in the U.K. but globally, and I’m so grateful to be at the forefront of that. I can’t wait to expand the NFL audience with the new team at ITV. Osi and I are excited to be working with Laura, and I know that our passion and energy will be exactly what existing NFL followers expect from us, as well as opening the eyes of new fans.”

Niall Sloane, ITV’s director of sport, said, “This deal will bring to ITV viewers the very best of the NFL each week in our highlights shows throughout the season as well as key live games. We’re delighted to be able to offer viewers, free to air, across our channels as well as the ITV Hub, the unique spectacle and action the NFL brings.”

Henry Hodgson, managing director for NFL UK, said, “This is another significant milestone for the NFL in this country. We have enjoyed seven fantastic years of NFL coverage on BBC TV and the time is right to take advantage of the opportunities offered by a new partnership with ITV. When you look at the development of the NFL in the U.K. in recent years—with momentum behind fan growth, more London games, successful British players in the NFL, the launch of an Academy and a charitable foundation—this announcement is another sign of our ambition to grow and develop the sport in the U.K.”

Laura Louisy, director of international business development and media, said, “We’re excited to announce this new partnership with ITV, which, with the new and enhanced weekly Friday evening shows and live coverage of London Games and Super Bowl, will take the NFL’s free-to-air coverage into a new era and reach a new audience across ITV’s channels, to showcase to the U.K. what the NFL is all about: passion, unpredictable competition and exceptional entertainment.”