The Alliance of American Football signed a deal with Turner before the season that was largely built around distributing games digitally through the B/R Live app. TNT did get the linear TV rights to one regular season game and one playoff game as part of that deal, but the focus was largely on the league’s digital products.
TNT showed its one regular season game as a lead in to the NBA’s All-Star Saturday Night. The contest, which saw the Birmingham Iron defeat the Salt Lake Stallions, did so well for the network that Turner has decided to put two more AAF games on the TNT schedule.
AAF football has drawn consistently strong ratings throughout the season. The week 2 game on TNT drew over a million viewers, with games airing on the NFL Network and CBS Sports Network consistently drawing between 400 and 450 thousand viewers. That has been enough to beat some college basketball broadcasts and most NHL and MLS broadcasts so far this season.
The Orlando Apollos, coached by Steve Spurrier, are undefeated and atop the standings in the AAF right now, so Turner is making sure each of its two new games include that team. The broadcasts will also utilize Skycam technology in the presentation, which according to a press release “will allow audiences to see top-down and 360-degree panoramic views of both games.”