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A Brave New Dawn Beckons For the English Premier League On US TV Thanks to NBC Universal

Every summer, we all get extremely excited about the start of a new Premier League season. But next summer, viewers in the United States will see a brave new dawn beckon as NBC Sports becomes the new rights holder to the world’s most popular and entertaining sports league.

For soccer fans in the United States, it gives us an opportunity to see the league through a new set of eyes. If NBC’s production values for MLS are anything to go by, I expect the production value for the Premier League to be even better than before.

Having the next Premier League season start off on a whole new clean slate for US TV and Internet viewers is incredibly exciting. I’m looking forward not only to the way that the Premier League is produced, but also all of the other benefits of having NBC Sports involved such as 18-20 live matches on the free-to-air NBC network, the Internet streaming options, as well as the opportunities for the Premier League audience to grow via the Telemundo network.

This is what NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus had to say about their upcoming coverage of the EPL:

“NBCU will provide the broadest programming and promotional commitment that the league has ever experienced here in the United States. The Premier League provides NBCU with best-in-class content for 10 months of the year across our far-reaching broadcast, cable and digital platforms. This is a perfect match.”

Certainly the most attractive aspect of NBC Universal acquiring the US media rights to the Premier League is that it’ll significantly make the best soccer league in the world more accessible and more popular in the States. FOX made the right moves by showing select Premier League games on its free-to-air network. Now, NBC is ready to take the Premier League to the next level in the United States.

I’m massively excited about this brave new dawn for the EPL in this country.

This entry was posted in FOX Soccer, Leagues: EPL, NBC. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

19 Responses to A Brave New Dawn Beckons For the English Premier League On US TV Thanks to NBC Universal

  1. Marc says:

    Gaffer, any news on what will happen to Fox Soccer Plus? I am a fan of the SPL, but will not pay $15 a month for the channel. I am hoping Plus goes away and the SPL will be show on FSC.

    • Oliver Tse says:

      FOX Soccer Plus might become FOX Sports 4, with the Dutch Eredivisie joining the SPL and rugby as live programming on weekends. FOX holds worldwide video rights to the Eredivisie for the next 12 seasons, taking over from IMG Sports Media (which licensed the Eredivisie to ESPN, Inc. in the U.S. in recent ears.)

  2. Reid says:

    I’m very excited about NBC getting the rights and I look forward to learning more about the details in the future. Especially streaming availability and subscriptions.

  3. CTBlues says:

    I’m wondering how the local NBC stations are going to react to having to show soccer matches in the morning or early afternoon. If it is anything like the local FOX stations I am going to be really pissed. I am pretty sure the CT NBC has news around the time of the EPL matches. NBCU better be able to tell them they HAVE to air the match live and not on tape delay.

    • The Gaffer says:

      The two biggest differences between NBC free-to-air games and FOX free-to-air games are (1) FOX’s games were on a Sunday, which often clashed with Sunday morning programming such as religious programs and political shows, and (2) the matches shown on FOX were often on short notice. Hopefully NBC will be able to give their affiliates plenty of notice ahead of time.

      NBC will be showing all games live, and not on tape delay.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • CTBlues says:

        NBC owned stations may not be showing them on tape delay but if a local wants to show infomercials or local news and have the match on tape delay what is to stop them?

        • The Gaffer says:

          That’s for NBC to sort out. They have 10 months to make sure their affiliates are on board if they’re not already.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • Joel Bick says:

            The other thing that you guys are missing is the relationship between NBC and its affiliates and Fox and its affiliates. The difference is that, because of the way NBC (as a legacy network) was created, they have much greater ability to force their affiliates to show their programming. Because of how fox was created, that is not the case with Fox.

    • leviramsey says:

      IINM, NBC’s Connecticut affiliate is network owned & operated: unless a hurricane or something strikes, NBC Connecticut will show the game.

  4. CTBlues says:

    I also don’t understand why they would need to use PPV to show midweek matches when NBCSN doesn’t have anything to show between 2:45pm and 5pm.

    • leviramsey says:

      1 midweek match on NBCSN, but there’s often multiple games on during the midweek slots, so those would be PPV, I suspect.

  5. weyayeNUFC says:

    I would really like to see NBC use an internet streaming format similar to what Major League Baseball uses. MLB.tv games are streamed in HD and the quality is fantastic. If this is an option to go along with the 3 Satruday morning games on NBC Sports network it should all work out fine.

    The picture quality of fox soccer 2 go isnt that great and could be and should be much better.

    • MmMMmmMm says:

      Mlb.tv is the gold standard. I need an online match archive for any matches i may have missed live (and to give me viewing options for midweek)

  6. jdmunited says:

    This deal is disappointing for those of us that PVRd all the games and watched many of them throughout the weekend or following week. NBCU, as I understand it, will not tape delay the other 3pm games. I wonder if we will be able to watch tape delayed games streamed on the internet? And what will be the cost if so?

  7. Bob H. says:

    I too share the Gaffer’s enthusiasm about the NBC deal with the EPL. NBC has done a nice job with its MLS coverage. I expect NBC to do even better with the EPL. I was very concerned that beIN would get the EPL rights. NBC also does a great job with the NFL, the Tour de France and the NHL. Contracting with a legacy network will surely enhance the EPL’s brand in the US.

  8. Mike in the USA says:

    Will directv customers get NBCU? I can’t locate it on my guide??

    • leviramsey says:

      Channel 603 is NBC Sports Network. IIRC, though, you need to have one of the higher DTV packages to get it (and it’s not in sports pack with Fox Soccer et al).

  9. Kobashi says:

    I’m excited because I think it will be good that we’ll see the league through a fresh new set of eyes. I think that the move to New York or London will do the presentation much better than the studio being in LA. Given how much money NBC spent on the rights I think they will really try to go out out of their way to make this a success.

    I’m worried about missing out on the 10am games as after the College Football Season as those taped games provided pretty good entertainment. What is fun about the Premier League is the competition as every game matters. Relegation 6 pointers can be as awesome as a top of the table clash. Fox Soccer Plus came with the sports package for 8 dollars a month so for the past few years I’ve had access to at least 8 and sometimes 10 games a week.

    I don’t like not having a channel where I can flip it on anytime and have a better than 50% something Premier League related airing on TV.

    A big winner will be beIN if they can get into more homes as soccer fans will likely go there and watch whatever La Liga, Serie A, or French League game is on after the soccer coverage wraps up on and NBC moves onto an NHL or Notre Dame game.

  10. Joe Brindley says:

    Sorry, but I don’t share the excitement. I don’t have Dish or a big cable package, just basic cable and I was online with fox soccer 2go. This was great for me but now, next year I don’t think I’ll be able to get replays of games or even know if online will be availabe.

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