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Sold-Out NFL Games in London Boost Hopes for British Franchise

Rising popularity of the game in the U.K. has the NFL seeing pound sterling signs.
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A sell-out National Football League (NFL) match hosted in Wembley stadium in London on Sunday, in which the Dallas Cowboys beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, has boosted hopes of an NFL franchise coming to the U.K.

Mark Waller, NFL's vice president of international, told CNBC a move to London was a "definite possibility", after the huge success of the three NFL matches played in the city this year, but "logistic difficulties" still need to be resolved. "We have around 3 million, what we call avid fans in the U.K., who are watching week in, week out. Then we have around 8 million casual fans. Both of those numbers are growing, and on Sky Sports – which is kind of the home of the NFL in the U.K.— we are now the fifth most watched sport," Waller told CNBC on Monday. The NFL has already announced plans to stage three regular season games at Wembley in 2015, including its first-ever division game in the U.K. The schedule will include games played on consecutive Sundays in London for the first time.The move comes as part of NFL's push to popularize American football around the world. Soccer remains the most popular sport outside the U.S., with around 265 million people across the globe actively involved in the sport, according to FIFA, soccer's governing body. Waller told CNBC the NFL is also looking to Germany, where there is a "great fan base", as well as Brazil.

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-- Jenny Cosgrave, CNBC