At Tuesday’s press conference in New York City, to announce NBC’s plans for its Premier League coverage, I sat down with Jon Miller, who is the President of Programming at NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network, and is responsible for all of the key programming decisions involved with the plans to broadcast 380 matches a season plus 600 plus hours of original Premier League programming.
Miller discussed several hot topics. The first question I posed to him was to explain why the biggest Premier League matches of any typical weekend (11am ET on Sunday) won’t be shown live on the free-to-air NBC but will be shown on NBC Sports Network instead.
“There’s a couple of reasons. Number one, a lot of our public affairs programming like Meet The Press and those kind of programs on NBC occur at that time on Sunday. Number two, twelve thirty in the afternoon begins the sports window on the broadcast network, which is why we use Saturdays on the network for that opportunity. So we’ll have two games early on NBC Sports Network, which we will then throw to the game on NBC. And then on Sunday, we’ll have a double-header on NBC Sports Network. And then obviously we’ll have studio and bridge programming, pre-bridge and post-bridge programming, etc.”
Miller was excited about the opportunities for cross-promotion, to promote the Premier League on all of the other NBC sports programming.
“We’ll use all of NBC [Sports] assets [to promote the Premier League on NBC]. And that’s in addition to being on The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon and programs like that.”
Following up on Miller’s comment about cross-promotion, I asked him whether it’ll be possible for a Wayne Rooney, as a hypothetical example, to appear on The Today Show to discuss the Premier League.
“Absolutely. That’s one of the things we’ll try to do. The tough thing is that they’re playing so much, but when they’re over here, we’ll certainly take advantage of that.”
Lastly, Miller discussed the Spanish-language programming that Telemundo and Mun2 will provide.
“Telemundo will have a minimum of 10 games, and Mun2 will have about 66 games and they’ll take the Saturday 10am and Sunday 11am windows. Telemundo will use their commentators [for the games instead of using a Spanish-language feed].”
Photo credit: @thegoalkeeper.