Now RTL starts with the NFL. On Friday from 12:30 a.m., the station will broadcast the talent exchange of the NFL Draft on Nitro and RTL. Markus Kuhn (36/from 2012 to 2015 with the New York Giants) is an expert and was the first German to score an NFL touchdown in 2014.
Question: Many football fans are still skeptical about the change of channel from ProSieben to RTL. How do you intend to win them for RTL?
Markus Kuhn: Sports fans have strong opinions and that’s good because it shows passion. What I don’t know from the USA is an infatuation with channels. The fans don’t care if the NFL is on CBS, NBC or FOX as long as the broadcast is good. It is important to provide the viewers with the most and best insights – with an on-site presence that has never existed before. There will be NFL feed on all channels: for children on Super RTL and also new forms of radio reporting. If we do a good job, everyone who loves football will tune in to RTL.
Question: What is your role?
Kuhn: We will be in the stadium more often than before. It helps that I have my main residence in New York. I have close ties to teams like the Giants, Patriots and other clubs that have marketing rights in Germany, i.e. the Panthers, Chiefs and Buccaneers.
Question: What about the draft?
Kuhn: I’m in Kansas City with Sebastian Vollmer and Jan Stecker. For the first time, a German broadcaster will be there. In addition to my analyses, I go hunting for votes. Through my work in Giants management, I can explain firsthand how a club seeks talent and decides who to take.
Question: You were drafted 239th overall in 2012 by the then-champion New York Giants. Who would be your number one pick right now?
Kuhn: That would be Bryce Young, the quarterback from Alabama.
Question: How can the NFL grab the casual fan?
Kuhn: We have to give the Germans even more points of contact to fall in love with football. For some, it’s the tactical analysis, others are more interested in the trappings: What does the fan culture look like, how does a tailgating party in the parking lot in front of the stadium work? We also want to show more of the stars and what makes them tick.
Question: How does the NFL see the German market?
Kuhn: The Munich game showed the NFL once again how attractive Germany really is. People are excited there. The new head of NFL International is Gerrit Meier, a German – that can only benefit Germany. There will be two games in Germany this year and according to Commissioner Roger Goodell there will be more rather than fewer in the future.
Question: There are currently four Germans in Jakob Johnson, David Bada, Amon-Ra and Equanimeous St. Brown. How many are coming?
Kuhn: Kilian Zierer, who played on the offensive line at Auburn University, has a good chance of being drafted. For me, Amon-Ra has superstar potential and can offer us completely new insights. Jakob Johnson has just renewed in Las Vegas, and Bada’s development from the International Pathway Program (talent development, the editor) to the active squad at Washington is a great sign that the path is working.
The interview was conducted for the sports competence center (WELT, SPORT BILD, BILD) and first published in SPORT BILD.