Stadium and The Indoor Football League have announced a multimedia rights partnership that will distribute The Indoor Football League’s Game of the Week nationally on Stadium, as well as worldwide via Stadium’s digital platforms. Also, for the first time in American professional team sports, the live game broadcasts will incorporate real-time gamification within the broadcast experience.
“It was an easy decision to partner with The Indoor Football League as the IFL and Stadium share a core philosophy of providing sports fans with exciting and entertaining content, without fear of pushing the boundaries of the common live viewing experience,” says Stadium CEO Jason Coyle.
This Saturday, May 15, Stadium will begin the weekly IFL Game of the Week broadcasts with the league’s Hall of Fame Game pitting the defending champion Sioux Falls Storm against the Iowa Barnstormers. During the season, viewers will be able to engage like never before within the gamified experience through prediction-based games, poll questions, sharing of insights, and more — all in real-time.
“It was evident early in our conversations that The IFL showed a tremendous amount of energy and passion in engaging with their fans in new, innovative ways,” says J.R. McCabe, Chief Business Officer, D2C/Gamification at Sinclair. “That vision matches our desire to continue pushing the boundaries of a true, interactive viewing experience.”
The deal was negotiated by The TEAM Management on behalf of the IFL. The TEAM, through its IFL Business Division, manages all of the league’s national and international broadcast rights, as well as the league’s national sponsorship, advertising, and licensing rights, among other assets.
“This really is a landmark deal, for the IFL, and for American sports,” says Dave Whinham, President and CEO of The TEAM Management. “This partnership with Stadium not only represents the first true partnership between professional indoor football and a national network, but also, and most significantly, it is `the first moon landing’ as it relates to real-time gamification of team sports on American television.”
Each broadcast will lead with a pregame show starting at 8:00 pm ET, followed by exciting indoor football action that will emanate from markets throughout the United States. All IFL broadcasts on Stadium will be produced exclusively by BEK Communications.
“We couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with Stadium,” says Todd Tryon, Commissioner of The IFL. “Stadium gives us a national television platform with a much larger vision than simply having our games on TV. We believe the dynamic engagement we will be able to have with viewers during each game will help our league grow immensely.”
As part of the announcement, Stadium and The IFL released the first 10 matchups of the broadcast schedule. Those include (all times at ET):
- Saturday, May 15: Iowa Barnstormers at Sioux Falls Storm, 8:00 pm ET
- Saturday, May 22: Arizona Rattlers at Sioux Falls Storm, 8:00 pm ET
- Saturday, May 29: Bismarck Bucks at Iowa Barnstormers, 8:00 pm ET
- Saturday, June 5: Sioux Falls Storm at Bismarck Bucks, 8:00 pm ET
- Saturday, June 12: Tucson Sugar Skulls at Arizona Rattlers, 8:00 pm ET
- Saturday, June 19: Louisville Xtreme at Frisco Fighters, 8:00 pm ET
- Saturday, June 26: Tucson Sugar Skulls at Northern Arizona Wranglers, 8:00 pm ET
- Saturday, July 3: Massachusetts Pirates at Frisco Fighters, 8:00 pm ET
- Saturday, July 10: Green Bay Blizzard at Louisville Xtreme, 8:00 pm ET
- Saturday, July 17, Tucson Sugar Skulls at Spokane Shock, 8:00 pm ET
During the remaining five weeks of the regular season, Stadium and The IFL will determine the most intriguing and meaningful matchups related to the postseason race and air those games, allowing viewers to engage with and experience some of the most important games of the 2021 IFL season.