NFL confirms third early kick-off

nfl-international-series-atlanta-falcons-vs-detroit-lions

The NFL has confirmed that the third International Series game due to be played at Wembley Stadium in 2015 will also be an afternoon kick-off in London.

The November 1 meeting between the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions will kick off at 2.30pm UK time – which would be another 9.30am kick-off on the east coast of America. All three International Series games being played in London in 2015 will start in that same 9.30am window in the United States.

In an exclusive interview for the Inside the Huddle podcast last week, NFL Executive Vice-President International Mark Waller spoke about how the experimental early kick-off game in 2014 was well received by American fans, as well as the broadcaster of the Atlanta-Detroit showdown, FOX. That game rated higher than six of the seven contests in the 2014 Major League Baseball World Series aired on the same channel.

On the subject of earlier kick-off times in the UK, Waller added:

“We want to be much more considerate to the UK fan rather than have the UK fan essentially conform to the US TV times. If you think ahead and we are ever playing here with a franchise, you’re going to want to build a schedule that really is the best schedule for your local fan. That is unlikely to be late in the evening on a Sunday.

“Not to be under-estimated is that the early starts allow teams to fly back that night and get back to the United States. That is a great advantage and is absolutely key.

“If you think forward to a franchise being based here and eight teams having to come over, every one of those teams is going to want to know how they get over, where do they train, where do they play and then how do they get home. If we have solved that equation, it is a great benefit.”

NFL UK Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood said:

“Our fan research has shown overwhelming support for early kick-offs. It has been a complex process to get that agreed for all three games but we are delighted to have done so. It means that the London games all have their own timeslot and also allows the teams to get home a day earlier to begin their bye weeks. I’m sure the fans will be excited about having four live game windows on those three Sundays.”

Tickets are still on sale for the 2015 International Series and can be bought via www.ticketmaster.co.uk/nfl

2015 International Series Games

Week 4                                Sunday October 4            Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets           2.30pm

Week 7                                Sunday October 25          Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Buffalo Bills       1.30pm

Week 8                                Sunday November 1       Kansas City Chiefs vs. Detroit Lions         2.30pm

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