After being on NFL Network for the past three seasons, the Arena Football League has decided to take its talents to the CBS Sports Network. It’s a two year deal that begins with the 2013 season. As a result, CBSSN will air 19 regular games on Saturday nights and two postseason games. The Arena Bowl will then be aired on CBS Sports. Next season’s edition of the Arena Bowl will be aired on a Saturday afternoon in August 2013 on CBS.
This provides CBS Sports Network some programming in the spring and summer months, something that had been sorely lacking as it had once focused on college sports. Now with lacrosse and bull riding along with Arena Football and the US Open, CBS Sports Network is beginning to expand its portfolio.
We have the official press release from CBS Sports and the Arena League.
Weekly AFL Game to Air Saturday Night in Prime Time;
ArenaBowl XXVI to air on CBS Sports
CBS Sports Network and the Arena Football League announced a two-year agreement today that makes the Network the national television partner of the AFL. CBS Sports Network will feature 19 regular-season games throughout the 2013 season, as well as two playoff games. The CBS Television Network will air ArenaBowl XXVI on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 at 1:00 PM, ET.
As part of the deal, CBS Sports Network will televise the League’s Saturday night game of the week in prime time. The national package kicks off March 23, 2013. The announcement of the complete CBS Sports Network AFL television schedule will be released at a later date.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have the CBS Sports brand associated with the AFL and to have the growing CBS Sports Network as the new television home of our League,” Arena Football League Commissioner Jerry Kurz said. “One of the many noteworthy aspects of this partnership is that we will have an increased ability to showcase our West Coast teams. In addition, closing the season with ArenaBowl XXVI on CBS is something that our millions of fans can look forward to with great anticipation.”
“We’re excited to partner with the AFL and bring this fast-paced, high-energy style of football to viewers,” said Dan Weinberg, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports Network. “The AFL has an established fan base and adds to our already robust lineup of football programming.”
CBS Sports Network is available across the country to more than 99 million households through local cable, video and telco providers, and via satellite on DirecTV Channel 613 and Dish Network Channel 158. For more information, and to access the CBS Sports Network channel finder, go to www.cbssportsnetwork.com.
Very interesting move.