NFL and Omaha Productions Team Up For NFL Flag Media Rights Package Going to ESPN

2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games
2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games / Jeff Bottari/GettyImages

The NFL has announced that the NFL Flag Championships will be broadcast on ESPN from July 19-21 from the Hall of Fame Village in Canton, Ohio. More than 280 boys and girls flag football teams from across the country will compete, while 30 games will be featured on multiple ESPN platforms. It sounds like football's answer to the Little League World Series. And there's a ton of potential here.

Omaha Productions has helped develop the plan for the tournament and it seems like a good one. Fifteen boys and 15 girls games will be televised, beginning with the round of 16 for 14U boys and 17U girls. It's a real opportunity to make flag football into a more popular pursuit, especially considering it will be included in the 2028 Summer Olympics program.

"For all of us at Omaha, it's been fun to team up with our friends at the NFL and RCX Sports to build out the NFL Flag Championships and create a new platform for high-level competition," Peyton Manning said of the news. "We're excited about this initiative and the impact it will have on growing youth football participation worldwide."

I watch the Little League World Series every year. It's fun to watch young kids have their games treated like professional broadcasts. If ESPN gives the flag football championships that kind of treatment this could be great. One idea would be to have the players on each team given intros like on Sunday Night Football with their name, what school they go to and maybe even a fun fact. They've done a version of this with the LLWS for years. We all remember Big Al.

Flag football doesn't have the national popularity of Little League, but with the right kind of work here, the NFL and ESPN can elevate it and expand the sport's reach. It will be fascinating to see how the league and the network handle the first year of the broadcast.