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Arena Football League, ESPN enter multi-year television agreement

The Arena Football League officially announced Tuesday that it has entered a multi-year agreement with ESPN that will begin in 2014.

Although the deal was made official Tuesday, the corporate partnership guide of the Iowa Barnstormers leaked onto the Internet at the beginning of the month stating that ESPN would be a television partner.

Per a press release from ESPN, it has agreed to air 10 regular season and postseason games on television, including one conference title game and the ArenaBowl.

ESPN will also air 75 other games on its web streaming service, ESPN 3. ESPN's video player will also appear on the AFL's website. The league used CBS Sports' video player last season.

"ESPN has a long history of working with the Arena Football League and this new agreement is a great opportunity to showcase the AFL as part of out year-round commitment to football," ESPN director of programming and acquisitions Matthew Volk said in the release.

The multi-year agreement marks the first time since 2008 that the AFL will have televised games on ESPN. The league folded in 2009 and returned in 2010.

"The AFL's return to ESPN is the latest example of the strides our sports has made in recent years," AFL commissioner Jerry Kurz said. "Having the ArenaBowl on the ESPN family of networks for years to come puts our championship game alongside some of the most prominent events in television."

At the end of a press release sent by the AFL, it notes that CBS Sports Network is still a television partner with the league.

"Reuniting with a great partner like ESPN is a clear sign of the positive progress we have made over the past couple of seasons," said Soul owner and ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski. "They are the 'Worldwide Leader in Sports' for a reason and this renewed relationship validates our credibility, brings us more exposure and confirms what other partners like CBS have seen with the recent efforts we have made to grow our game in a positive direction. We are excited with these partnerships and happy to be teamed with organizations that share our vision for the bright future of our sport."