The NFL views Mexico, Canada and China as the next markets to focus on as it looks to add more international games to the schedule, according to Albert Breer of the NFL Network. The league could be considering NFL games in those markets, similar to the International Series that already takes place in London, in the near future.
Outside of those markets, Brazil and Germany are also targets for the league. There’s talk that Brazil could play host to the 2017 Pro Bowl, which would be significant given the general absence of the sport there. Brazil has one of the highest populations of any country in the world, and the Pro Bowl would be a good measuring stick for potential interest.
According to the report, Germany is already “developed as a football-watching public,” so it could be a fit for holding a regular season game. The year 2017 isn’t just significant for the Pro Bowl, but getting regular seasons games outside of the United States and the UK is a goal for that year as well.
Mexico is the other frontrunner, and the league reportedly dispatched a contingent two weeks ago to check out stadiums in Mexico City. Although the country does not appear ready to host a game in the immediate future, the NFL is also considering holding training camps or scrimmages there.
Television rights in Germany and digital rights in China are two big obstacles for those markets. The league is already well-positioned as far as those rights are concerned in Canada.
The league has talked in the past about getting a team in London full-time and it remains on track for hitting its goal of 2022. The NFL has done a lot to ensure that there are no shortage of teams traveling to London for games each year, with rules that teams that win a Super Bowl bid have to give up a home game within a five-year period. After hosting three games last season, London will host three most games next season, all of which have already sold out.
If not for the Rugby World Cup, the league would have had four games in London this year, according to the report, and there’s a good chance that happens in 2016. It’s the next step as the NFL looks to expand its reach to the rest of the world.