The NFL has determined that it will switch the focus of its international business strategy to presenting the NFL to the widest possible global audience, including broader media visibility and the staging of international regular-season games, and will discontinue NFL Europa.
"The time is right to re-focus the NFL's strategy on initiatives with global impact, including worldwide media coverage of our sport and the staging of live regular-season NFL games," commented Mark Waller, senior vice president of NFL International.
"We will continue to build our international fan base by taking advantage of technology and customized digital media that make the NFL more accessible on a global scale than ever before and through the regular-season game experience. NFL Europa has created thousands of passionate fans who have supported that league and our sport for many years and we look forward to building on this foundation as we begin this new phase of our international development."
Last October, NFL owners passed a resolution to stage up to two international regular-season games per season. The new international series will launch on Sunday, October 28 when the Miami Dolphins host the New York Giants at London's Wembley Stadium.
In addition to the 2007 game in the United Kingdom, the NFL is preparing to stage regular-season games in future seasons in Germany, Mexico and Canada, with Germany being a strong candidate to host a regular-season NFL game in 2008.
NFL Europa began in 1991 as the World League of American Football, with 10 teams competing in the United States and Europe. After a two-year hiatus (1993-94) following the 1992 season, the league returned in 1995 as a six-team, all-European venture, with five teams in Germany since 2005, and has existed in that format through its final season in 2007.