On October 28 2012 NBC Universal outbid other US based networks to win the broadcast rights for the world’s most popular football league: The Barclays Premier League.
In doing so, it because the exclusive owner of the right to broadcast all 380 English Premier League games across all platforms and devices in English and Spanish languages in the US.
It will begin it’s multi-year deal with the Premier League in May of 2013 for “Championship Weekend” and then subsequently for the 2013/14 Premier League season.
For those wondering about how Premier League’s stature and popularity has grown in recent year, it’s huge.
NBC Universal’s winning bid for the Premier League’s television rights was $250 million for just a three-year agreement. For perspectives sake, it is more than triple the Premier League’s previous deal with Fox, a mere $23 million per year.
Fox’s “Fox Soccer Channel” comparatively is nowhere near as accessible as NBC plan on making the Premier League games, with some cable and satellite providers classing it as a “premium” channel that you have to pay for in addition to your monthly subscription fees.
More recently NBC Universal released a press statement not only outlining its projected schedule for Premier League matches for the forthcoming season but also supplemental programming to go along with it.
NBC is planning on airing versions of Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2, albeit without Gary Lineker as a host. They will adhere to the same format as the BBC shows of the same name and will air in the same time slots.
In addition to Match of the Day NBC have decided to show the US just how serious they are about the Premier League by showing every game on the final day of the season spread across 10 different NBC affiliated channels.
Now that’s dedication.
Football has been growing and growing in popularity over the last few years in America, so much so that it is the number one participation sport currently beating national pass-times such as American Football and Baseball.
Arlo White, an English born commentator who worked with NBC last year commentating on Major League Soccer games, will take over the lead play-by-play commentating duties with former England internationals Graeme LeSaux and Lee Dixon will fill in as match analysts/colour commentators.
In addition to this, Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe will join Rebecca Lowe as studio analysts at NBC’s headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.
And, of course, Gary Lineker will be making a special guest appearance here on occasion – most likely on NBC’s versions of “Match of the Day.”
All 380 matches presented live on television with studio pre and post-game coverage;
All 380 matches streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra;
Games not aired on a designated NBC Universal channel will be made available to distributors via Premier League Extra Time, a package of overflow television channels available at no extra cost for each of their customers who receives NBC Sports Network;
Championship Sunday – May 11, 2014, when all 10 Premier League matches will be available live on a different NBC Universal channel;
76 Spanish-language telecasts, 10 on Telemundo, 66 on Mun2;
Over 600 hours of original “Premier League” programming.
The American public have been calling for better, more extensive coverage as of late and NBC looks set to spearhead the final push for soccer to break into the American mainstream.
With huge television deals in two of the biggest economies in the world, the English Premier League looks set to continue as the world’s most popular football league.
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