He’s the voice of the NFL to UK fans thanks to the increasingly popular NFL Show on the BBC. However, for fans desperate to see a UK-based NFL franchise, Mark Chapman has a reality check.

“There are a number of questions marks over whether you want or need a franchise at the moment,” he told UCFB during a recent talk with students.

“I think we’re at a really interesting point now. There’s the new Tottenham stadium, which is sensational, and you have two games there and two at Wembley and every one of those games feels like an event. If you had a franchise then you’re only talking another four games, but if you go to eight is everyone going to feel like that [excited] anymore?”

When The NFL Show launched on late night BBC TV in 2016, ‘Chappers’, already a firm favourite with Match of the Day Two viewers and Five Live listeners, was given the task of educating the British public on America’s game alongside former alongside former New York Giants Osi Umenyiora and Jason Bell. The trio have since gone on to help create one of the most popular and entertaining sports shows on British television, and are one of the leaders in the ongoing UK franchise debate.

Chapman, right, was a recent guest speaker at Guillem Balague's Masterclass series at UCFB.

Chapman says: “In my experience, one of the key selling points of the NFL in regards to our audience is the American side of it. People like the sport partly because of the American angle on it.”

He added: “Also, we all have our teams, whether it’s an 11-year-old who just started because of what we’re doing or people who watched it in 70s and 80s because Channel 4 were showing it. There’s quite an interesting question to be asked with the market over here, which is why would you necessarily switch from supporting Chicago to supporting a team in London?”

Finally, Chapman questioned the potential level of media coverage in the UK when the NFL is in off-season, especially when battling for headlines alongside traditional football.

“There’s more of an off-season than there is an on-season with the NFL,” he explains. “So for seven months of the off-season how do you keep the interest in the London franchise? The structure is already there in the US because there are daily shows on TV and radio, and the players are more than likely to live in the area, therefore readily available to do stuff with local media.”

London franchise or not, Chappers, Umenyiora and Bell will continue to lighten up our late night screens late once more come September.