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Sports

Could Germany start hosting NFL regular season games?

In the NFL's annual meeting this week, plans were revealed on expansion around the world for increased viewership. Germany is being considered for a regular season game from 2017.

The US-based National Football League (NFL) revealed planned expansions around the world for increased viewership of the professional American Football league. As part of their discussions Germany has been earmarked as a target to host a regular season game in the next two years.

The league's website revealed that Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, as well as Munich and Berlin, are the main venues under consideration for the game which could take place as early as 2017.

Supporters from the Hamburg Blue Devils wave a flag

Strong fanbase: In its final season, five of the six NFL Europe teams were based in Germany

For the NFL the overriding issue in Germany - despite hosting five of six teams in the now defunct NFL Europe league - remains getting their sport shown on television. Playoff games and the sport's final,

the Super Bowl,

have been aired on German television, but finding broadcasters for regular season games has been difficult, according to the website.

In addition to Germany, Mexico, China and Canada are the main focus areas of the league's expansion. The annual Pro Bowl, in which fans vote for their best players through the season to play in an exhibition game, could be held in Brazil in the future.

"We have offices in Mexico, China and Canada," NFL vice president Mark Walter told the site. "After those, I think we've concluded that Brazil and Germany are the next two frontier markets, which is where the Pro Bowl idea comes from."

Having first brought a regular season game to Europe in 2007, with London hosting the International Series, the NFL has since expanded to three regular season games at Wembley Stadium in the English capital. Each of the three matches were sold out last year, and when asked if plans existed to have a team based in London by 2022, Walter said "absolutely."

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