Other than ESPN’s wonderful opening segments on Saturday mornings that had Ian Darke and Steve McManaman at the grounds of English football stadiums around England plus the always informative half-time chats between Paul Dempsey and Pat Dolan on Setanta, this weekend will be the first time ever in Premier League US soccer history where we have pre-match, half time, post-match and shoulder programming that are actually worth watching.
Instead of just tuning in when the match is getting ready to kick off and running away as soon as the final whistle blows, the quality and quantity of original Premier League coverage this opening week that has the potential to completely blow us away with 47 hours of EPL coverage coming to us in the first week.
Here’s the complete schedule of Premier League programming from NBC Sports for tonight through next Friday (all times Eastern):
Friday, August 16
7pm Premier League Preview Show, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) — This is the same show we’ve grown accustomed to from TWI/IMG.
Saturday, August 17
7am Premier League Live, NBCSN — The coverage to open up the Premier League season kicks off early in the morning with Rebecca Lowe hosting. Expectations are that the live footage from the grounds will begin as soon as the Premier League/TWI/IMG cameras are live, which means we’ll be able to see the teams lining up in the tunnel as well as experiencing the pre-match atmosphere.
7:45am Kick-off between Liverpool and Stoke City, NBCSN
9:45am Premier League Live, NBCSN — After the first match of the season, the discussion will go back to the studio with Lowe, Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe and Kyle Martino.
9:55am Kick-off between Arsenal and Aston Villa, NBCSN
9:55am Premier League Extra Time kicks off on participating TV providers. Games featured are Norwich-Everton, Sunderland-Fulham, West Bromwich Albion-Southampton and West Ham United-Cardiff.
Noon Premier League Live, NBSCN — The post-match reaction and analysis goes back to the studio for the team of Lowe-Mustoe-Earle and Martino.
12:30pm Kick-off between Swansea City and Manchester United, NBC — Note that the action switches from NBC Sports Network to the over-the-air NBC network where Arlo White will be commentating the match for NBC alongside Lee Dixon.
11pm Match Of The Day, NBCSN — The two-hour program shares the same name as the 50-year-old BBC classic, but it’ll be a different show that’s inspired by MOTD format of showcasing the highlights from the day. Rebecca Lowe is hosting alongside analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe.