(April 25, 2006) -- NFL Network has acquired the exclusive rights to televise the premier all-star game in college football, the Senior Bowl, plus its practices in a multi-year deal.
With 52 NFL preseason games, 31 NFL Europe League games, eight NFL regular-season games, 75 NFL games on NFL Replay and the annual Senior Bowl game, NFL Network is now the national television home to 167 games each year.
Beginning with the 2007 Senior Bowl, played annually during the bye week between the conference championships and the Super Bowl, NFL Network airs week-long coverage leading up to the game and culminating with the Senior Bowl and postgame show.
"Acquiring regular-season NFL games and now the Senior Bowl helps cement NFL Network's place as the year-round television home for football fans," said Steve Bornstein, NFL Network President and CEO. "We are ready to push the accelerator on this channel and the Senior Bowl is an important piece of the puzzle."
The Senior Bowl is essentially the first game of these players' potential NFL careers. The week-long practices and game are key tools used by NFL coaches, scouts and training staffs to judge the best talent in the country against one another as they prepare for the NFL Draft.
Fans will have an open window to the action all week, including practices and the game, giving them the same view every team uses to help determine its draft.
Played in Mobile, Ala., the Senior Bowl features 100 of the country's best senior collegiate football players and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South. Coaching staffs from two NFL teams oversee each squad.
On average, the Senior Bowl yields 10 NFL first-round draft choices per year with 95 percent of players in the game making active NFL rosters.
"Our great association with the NFL and its teams has now gotten even better," said Steve Hale, Senior Bowl President and CEO. "We are delighted to have the Senior
Bowl telecast on the NFL Network and look forward to its unprecedented programming of our week's events and practices."
The Senior Bowl is attended annually by over 700 NFL coaches, scouts and front-office personnel searching for the next great NFL superstar. The 2006 NFL Pro Bowl rosters featured 26 former Senior Bowl players, including this year's NFL offensive MVP Shaun Alexander and defensive MVP Brian Urlacher.
NFL Network announced earlier this year the addition of live NFL regular-season games during the 2006 season after attaining rights to the "run up to the playoffs" eight-game, Thursday/Saturday package which will begin airing this Thanksgiving.