ESPN to Carry Multiple Tournaments from the New NFL Flag Championships; Three-Day, 30-Game Summer Showcase to Crown a Girls 17U and Boys 14U Champion in Canton, Ohio

ESPN has become the media rights partner for the NFL Flag Championships, a new, annual summer showcase featuring boys and girls in one of the world’s fastest growing sports, flag football. In the inaugural year of the NFL-sanctioned event, ESPN will cover the girls 17U and the boys 14U tournaments (30 games – 15 girls and 15 boys) beginning Friday, July 19, through Sunday, July 21, at the Hall of Fame Village in Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Flag football is played by more than 20 million people in more than 100 different countries and is the most inclusive and accessible format of football, played by people of all ages and genders, with female athletes driving some of the fastest growth. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on October 16, 2023, that Flag Football will be included in the 2028 Summer Olympic Games program in Los Angeles, CA.

“The NFL Flag Championships is ESPN and Disney’s newest opportunity to support the NFL’s tremendous work around flag football,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN Senior Vice President of League Programming and Acquisitions. “We will equally showcase the girls 17U and boys 14U tournaments across our television and streaming platforms and our branded social networks, introducing the sport to new fans. The summer tournament adds a signature event on our year-around NFL calendar and further deepens our youth-focused initiatives.”

The girls 17U and the boys 14U will each begin with 32 teams, consisting of NFL Flag regional winners representing all NFL teams. After play narrows the field to 16 girls and 16 boys teams, ESPN will carry every game from the two single elimination brackets.

Each of the 30 games (15 girls, 15 boys) in bracket play will be available on at least three platforms simultaneously, including all games on ESPN+ and NFL+ and either a television network (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2) or ESPN’s YouTube channel. The three days will be one of the sport’s most celebrated and high-profile spotlights to date.

The platforms for the Championship Finals will expand to include additional Disney platforms, with both the boys’ and girls’ games airing on ABC, Disney Channel, Disney XD and streaming on Disney+, ESPN+ and NFL+. ESPN Deportes will carry the Spanish-language telecast of both games.

Added Troy Vincent, Sr., Executive Vice President of NFL Football Operations, “The worldwide broadcast of – and global participation in – the NFL Flag Championships, held at the center of football excellence in Canton, underscores Flag’s ability to reach around the world. This emphasizes the importance of Flag Football as the highly competitive cornerstone of affordability, accessibility, and inclusivity of football for all.”

In total, ESPN will carry 30 hours of action, beginning at 11 a.m. all three days, with ESPN televising four games (two boys and two girls) and ESPN2 featuring six games (three boys and three girls) over the course of the weekend. ESPN will also produce a Spanish-language presentation of six games on Sunday, including all four semifinals and both Championship Finals.

The NFL Flag Championships will be available in 125+ countries on ESPN branded networks including Mexico, Brazil, throughout Africa and Australia and in New Zealand, Netherlands, the Caribbean, and Pacific Islands.

All games will last approximately 60 minutes of real time, with Friday’s action having two games simultaneously throughout the day, while Saturday and Sunday action will feature one game per hour.

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Media Contacts:
Derek Volner: Derek.Volner@ESPN.com
Lily Blum: Lily.Blum@ESPN.com

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