ESPN Classic Tackles Rights For 'Friday Night Lights'

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NBC's football-themed drama series Friday Night Lights will touch down on ESPN Classic later this month just as the series ends its five-season run on the broadcast network.

The series, which follows the lives of the players and coach of a competitive Texas high school football team, will launch on ESPN Classic July 14 with a marathon of the first season of the series. Friday Night Lights epsiodes will then air every Thursday night at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Classic, said network officials.

ESPN will air the first two episodes of the show's inaugural season in primetime on July 12, according to the sports network.

ESPN's University of Texas-based Longhorn Network  will also air the entire five seasons of Friday Night Lights upon its August launch.

The Peabody and Emmy-winning series wraps up its fifth and final season on NBC July 15. Beginning with season three, NBC shared distribution of the series with DirecTV's Channel 101, now known as The Audience Network.

"At its core, Friday Night Lights captures the blend of drama, excitement and heartache that embodies what it means to be a sports fan, leading to its very loyal and passionate following among viewers," said Connor Schell, vice president and executive producer, ESPN Films and ESPN Classic in a statement. "We recently created a home on ESPN Classic for ESPN Films on the weekends and we believe Friday Night Lights further enhances our mix of long-form sports storytelling. We see this as an opportunity to deliver the series to a whole new audience."