NFL Network Snares Houston Bowl

NFL Network has acquired the exclusive multi-year broadcast and naming rights to one of college football's annual bowl games played in Houston's Reliant Stadium, matching teams from the Big 12 and Big East in even years, and teams from the Big 12 and Conference USA in odd years.

Lone Star Sports and Entertainment and NFL Network finalized an agreement this week after LSSE secured the rights to produce the game following the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) awarding the bowl game to the city of Houston on June 27.

An official name, presenting sponsor and game announcers for this bowl game will be announced at a later date.

This marks the third bowl game NFL Network has acquired this year, including the Insight and Senior Bowls.

"The opportunity to work with the Big 12 Conference, Lone Star Sports & Entertainment and the city of Houston was more than enough to cement NFL Network's interest in carrying this game," said Katie Boes, NFL Network's senior director of programming, rights and acquisitions. "Houston was a great host to us during Super Bowl XXXVIII and we look forward to returning on an annual basis."

The bowl game in Houston will be played at 69,500-seat Reliant Stadium on Thursday, Dec. 28, featuring one team from the Big 12 Conference against a team from the Big East Conference.

"We are excited to team up with NFL Network to write a new chapter in Houston football history," said Lone Star Sports & Entertainment President Jamey Rootes. "NFL Network has quickly established itself as a leader in sports broadcasting, and they will help us to create a television event for the fans which reflects the passion, excitement and commitment to quality of the National Football League."

The Dec. 28 date is the first available Thursday night NFL Network had open after televising five consecutive Thursday night NFL games from Nov. 23 to Dec. 21 this season.

NFL Network's exclusive right to this game extends across all media platforms, including Internet, wireless, VOD, satellite radio, plus international television rights. Additionally, NFL Network will retain rights to sell the presenting sponsorship to the game.

With the addition of this new bowl game in Houston, NFL Network is now the national home of 169 football games each year, including eight regular-season and 52 preseason NFL games, 75 re-airs of NFL regular-season games, 31 NFL Europe League contests, the Insight Bowl and the Senior Bowl.

In April, NFL Network announced it will air the annual Senior Bowl all-star game from Mobile, Ala., featuring 100 of the country's best senior collegiate football players and top NFL draft prospects. An NFL team coaching staff oversees each squad.

In May, NFL Network announced the acquisition of the Insight Bowl, played in Tempe, Arizona on Dec. 29, featuring teams from the Big 12 and Big Ten.

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