The vast majority of soccer fans in the United States are excited about NBC Sports taking over the US media rights to the Premier League beginning this summer, but there are several misconceptions that are being bandied around on the Internet that I want to address, so that everyone has the information they need to ensure they’ll have the optimal coverage before the season begins.
Here are the top 7 misconceptions about NBC’s Premier League coverage:
1. I already get NBC Sports Network, so I’ll be able to watch 100% of the live Premier League matches on television. Just because you subscribe to NBC Sports Network via your TV provider doesn’t mean you’ll be able to (1) get Premier League Extra Time, which are the overflow TV channels showing live games and (2) get EPL matches streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra. Check with your TV provider to make sure that they’ll be offering these two options to you.
2. My TV provider will automatically provide me with access to NBC Sports Live Extra, so I can stream all of the EPL games. Are you sure? As of press time, the four TV providers who have agreed to give their subscribers access to NBC Sports Live Extra (where you can stream all of the games for no additional cost) are Comcast xFinity TV, Suddenlink, Cablevision and Verizon FIOS.
3. I’ll just subscribe to the online option only. There is no Internet offering available as a stand-alone product. You have to be a subscriber to NBC Sports Network via your TV provider. And even then, you need to make sure that your TV provider will provide you with access to the streaming games via NBC Sports Live Extra.
4. I subscribe to Comcast xFinity for my Internet access only. I’ll still be able to watch EPL games streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra, right? Wrong. You have to be a TV subscriber, getting NBC Sports Network. And then you have to make sure that your TV provider has an agreement in place with NBC Sports to stream live EPL games via the NBC Sports Live Extra app. As of press time, the four TV providers who have agreed to give their subscribers access to NBC Sports Live Extra (where you can stream all of the games for no additional cost) are Comcast xFinity TV, Suddenlink, Cablevision and Verizon FIOS.
5. All of the Premier League matches will feature NBC commentators. False. Approximately 2-3 of the matches each weekend will feature NBC commentators. The remaining matches will include British announcers via the world feed.
6. All of the Saturday 12:30pm ET Premier League matches will be televised on NBC. Across the entire season, 20 Premier League matches are scheduled to be televised on NBC’s free-to-air network at 12:30pm ET on Saturdays. The remainder will be shown live on NBC Sports Network in that time window.
7. NBC Sports will feature a ticker running across the bottom of the screen. Not true. In an exclusive interview with a NBC executive, EPL Talk learned that there will be no ticker distracting viewers during a match, that runs across the screen.