The NFL announced Friday the league expanded the 2017 London series to four games.
“We continue to be incredibly excited by the passion and love for the NFL shown by our millions of UK fans,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “London is an amazing city. We have had tremendous support from our fans, from Mayor Khan and other government leaders and business partners, and we are looking forward to taking the next step in the UK by playing four games in London next season.”
The NFL has played three games in London in each season since 2014. All games have sold out. The escalation to four — half of one a team’s home slate — continues to test the saturation level of NFL fandom across the pond.
“London staging a fourth NFL game is fantastic news — not only for the millions of sports fans who get to enjoy our iconic stadiums — but also because it confirms our status as the go-to choice for hosting the world’s biggest sporting events,” Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said. “London is the international home of the NFL and staging the equivalent of what would be half an American football team’s home games in the city is a huge step towards my ambition of bringing a franchise to the capital.
“I am really excited to welcome more NFL teams to London next year, as well as thousands of American football fans from around the globe, showing that London is open to the very best sporting events and the world’s greatest athletes.”
While TV ratings in America might be down, the NFL has seen increased growth in the UK. Per the NFL, Sunday viewership of games has more than doubled since 2007 and the Super Bowl audience has increased more than 75 percent. This season, the NFL is on pace to reach a record number of unique TV viewers in the UK.
Adding a fourth game played in London will continue to expand the NFL’s fan base in a burgeoning market — as well as probe the potential for added revenue.
Teams and venues for 2017 will be announced at 1 p.m. UK time (8 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, December 13, via Facebook Live at facebook.com/nfl.