With the demand for live sports only increasing, CBS agreed to a deal on Tuesday to broadcast Arena League football, on both CBS and the CBS Sports Network.
The deal will begin in March 2013 with 19 regular-season games played on CBS Sports Network, including a Saturday night package. In addition, two playoff games will be played on the CBS Sports Network, with the Arena League championship game played on CBS.
Previously, Arena League football had been aired on the NFL Network, with games broadcast on Friday night the last four years. And while CBS Sports has a smaller overall viewership than NFL Network (nearly 25 million less subscribers) the draw of playing their championship game on CBS seemed to be enough to cause the switch.
On Wednesday, the Arena League offices announced that the first game of the CBS package will come on Saturday March 23, 2013, when the Arizona Rattlers visit the Philadelphia Soul.
The two teams faced off in last year's ArenaBowl, with Arizona taking the title by a final score of 72-54.