Ed Sabol, founder of NFL Films, dies at 98

( - Ed Sabol, whose revolutionary NFL Films was key to the league's growth over the decades since he founded the production company in the 1960s, has died at the age of 98.

The NFL said Sabol died Monday at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Sabol founded NFL Films in his 40s and led it until 1985, when his son Steve took over.

Steve Sabol, who started out as a cameraman for his father's company, died of brain cancer in September 2012 just weeks from his 70th birthday.

After starting the production company that eventually became NFL Films, Ed Sabol acquired the rights to film the 1962 NFL Championship Game, famously offering NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle double the $1,500 bid.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame almost 50 years later in 2011, having overseen many of the innovations fans might now take for granted.

Among them are the use of microphones on players, coaches and officials and the addition of music to footage of games.

NFL Films, an iconic brand which has impacted the way the sport is consumed for generations, won 52 Emmy Awards during Sabol's tenure and has claimed many more since.

NFL teams and players were quick to offer their condolences and NFL Network scheduled a broadcast of "Ed Sabol: A Football Life" for Monday evening.

"His impact on the game is everlasting," the Tampa Bay Buccaneers said in a statement.