NFL deal for Ion


Not live games, of course. Those are all spoken for, with big price tags attached. But Ion has secured the rights to air the NFL Films production, "NFL Game of the Week," for the 2007-2008 season. Ion will also get a new series, "Stories of the NFL," beginning in February.

NFL Game of the Week dates back to 1965 in syndication and has aired on the NFL Network since 2003. The series will premiere on Ion Television at 6:00 pm ET on Saturday, September 15, with the Giants-Cowboys game from Kickoff Weekend, which Dallas won 45-35.  A new episode will air each week of the 17-week NFL regular season, with a one-hour show that NFL Films says "tells the story of the game that viewers didn’t see on the original broadcast," with new footage and commentary. NFL Films President Steve Sabol, will continue to host the series.

"This NFL state-of-the-art production, with its stunning cinematography, all-access sound, stirring music and great storytelling, has set the standard for excellence in television sports programming for decades, and it will be a terrific addition to our lineup of entertaining programs that the entire family can enjoy," said Ion Media Networks’ CEO Brandon Burgess.

The new series coming in February, "Stories of the NFL," will take a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of NFL players when they’re not on the field.  Using NFL Films’ original music, candid interviews, voluminous archives and award-winning cinematographers, these half-hour episodes will "reveal the hidden gems of the NFL."  The first season will have 21 original programs.