Premier League TV Coverage On NBC Sports Gets Off to a Bright Start

“Get your breakfast. Get your lunch, and get comfy,” Rebecca Lowe told viewers at the beginning of NBC’s opening day of coverage of the Barclays Premier League 2013/14 season.

For the next 7.5 hours, presenter Lowe alongside analysts Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle led us through a flawless presentation of Premier League Live, the new NBC pre-match show followed by Liverpool-Stoke, Arsenal-Aston Villa and Swansea-Manchester United, with plenty of pre-match, half-time and post-match analysis and interviews to keep soccer fans glued to their TV sets.

Never before has the Premier League been presented so professionally, intelligently and with such heart and soul as it was today. The coverage was the next best thing to actually being there in England and Wales.

It wasn’t perfect. There were flubs, technical difficulties and syncing issues, as well as embarrassing On Demand screw-ups by Xfinity, who are part of the same corporate family as NBC. But overall, on their first day of broadcast, it was a positive performance by NBC Sports.

As soon as the live broadcast of Premier League Live began at seven o’clock on this Saturday morning, the difference was immediately felt. “Welcome to the new home of the Premier League,” read the voiceover as NBC Sports Network pulled us immediately into the broadcast, giving us a very newsy and real-time feel as they showed live camera shots of the English football grounds at Anfield, Emirates Stadium and Liberty Stadium.

After their opening discussion, the team of Lowe, Mustoe and Earle switched to reporter Ian Irving live from Anfield where he gave us the latest team news. This was soon followed by pre-match interviews with managers Brendan Rodgers and Mark Hughes, answering a few questions each. The anticipation and suspense for the opening game grew, and everyone involved did a superb job of making us feel like we were part of the experience — all the way to the teams lining up in the Anfield tunnel.

The next few minutes were the most poignant of the day. With the players in the tunnel, Lowe completely respected the sanctity of the time and place, and remained practically silent to let us listen in to the players preparing before they walked onto the rain-soaked Merseyside pitch. As the cameras followed the teams out of the tunnel, there was an absolutely remarkable camera shot as we saw an aerial view from high above Anfield with the rain pelting down. For me, this was a goosebumps moment as it made me feel like I was right there.

The cameras then brought us back to the Anfield pitch as the players did their customary handshakes, which was followed by the Liverpool anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” being sung by the Liverpool faithful. The way NBC Sports respected the singing of the anthem spoke volumes of how they understand club traditions.

Instead of going to commercial, like FOX Soccer used to do when they had the Premier League rights, NBC Sports aired the entire “You’ll Never Walk Alone” anthem without talking over it for one second (unlike BT Sports who interrupted the anthem halfway through by talking about team lineups).

Whether you love or hate Liverpool, NBC’s decision to air the anthem was commendable.

As soon as the Liverpool-Stoke City match kicked off, the presentation of the remainder of the Premier League coverage was decent. While Premier League Live was flawless, the first half of the Liverpool-Stoke match was excellent except that the audio wasn’t perfectly synced up with the video. Even though the audio was only off by a split-second, the result was that you would hear the commentator’s immediate reaction to a shot, goal or near miss a split second before you’d actually see it. As a result, it reduced the excitement of being able to react to a key moment at the same time as the commentator.

The exact same thing happened in the first half of the Swansea-Manchester United match. More about that later.

With the match between Liverpool and Stoke under away, it took a little while to get accustomed to the on-screen graphics by NBC. The ‘LIVE’ and hashtags in the top left corner were distracting and unnecessary, in my opinion. But I did like that the select number of ads that were displayed during the match only took up the real estate near the top left of the screen instead of running across the bottom. That allowed the viewer at home to concentrate on what was happening on the pitch.

The experience of watching Liverpool-Stoke followed by Arsenal-Aston Villa, in addition to NBC’s pre-match, half-time and post-match analysis, was enjoyable. The way that Mustoe and Earle dissected the key incidents in the games was solid. The chemistry between them both was strong, and it was refreshing to be able to listen to their viewpoints and analysis without them putting their foot in their mouth — unlike the uneven analysis and chuckle-fest that we’ve been accustomed to from FOX Soccer in previous years. On top of that, the integration of the Premier League’s new goal-line technology into the live feeds from the Premier League TWI/IMG crews was wonderful.

The Arsenal-Aston Villa match sprung a surprise as a rotating latest scores graphic appeared in the top right corner after the 9th minute, which remained there for the majority of the remainder of the game. I can understand if some soccer fans are upset by this, but I actually liked it. It was an informative yet unobtrusive way to keep track of the scores of the other games, and gave me an incentive to change the channel (if I wished) to a more intriguing game. The benefit to NBC Sports is that they have rights to every single match, so it’s not as if someone is going to tune to a different network like they would have done in the past. As it was, the Arsenal-Aston Villa game held my attention throughout the entire 90 minutes, even with my laptops running Sunderland-Fulham and Norwich-Everton within eyesight.

In the future, when 12:30pm ET matches are aired on NBC, NBC Sports will need to work on a smoother transition from the NBC Sports Network 12-12:30pm broadcast to the 12:30pm game on NBC. It almost felt like the Swansea-Man United game was coming on the same channel right after the close of the NBC Sports Network broadcast, which of course it wasn’t. But it just felt strange and not seamless.

While the transition was awkward, the first minute or two of the NBC broadcast of Swansea-Manchester United was the low point of the day with Lowe explaining that there were technical difficulties in getting the audio feed from commentator Arlo White and co-commentator Lee Dixon, who were on-site at Swansea’s ground in South Wales. While NBC tried to sort out the issues behind the scenes, we were then able to listen to the international feed until the feed from White-Dixon was ready. Then there was an awkward silence in the switchover from the international feed to NBC’s commentators, and we heard White saying to someone in the background that “I’m going to practice anyway” before moments later he began his audio commentary.

For a broadcast on over-the-air network television, the technical difficulties were an unfortunate start to such a high profile match.

The audio issues with the syncing of the audio with the video reared their ugly head again in the first half, which again reduced the excitement levels just a tad. These were compounded a couple of times in the broadcast with an echo effect when White spoke, but that only happened twice and the issue was quickly rectified.

Audio issues aside, today’s commentary by Arlo White was excellent. He was confident in his commentary, filling in the broadcast with valuable details when there were brief opportunities in the action. Plus, his questions and interaction with Lee Dixon were beneficial. Dixon was informative and I particularly enjoyed his anecdote about playing against Ryan Giggs and describing him as a “quiet assassin,” which added tangible insight to the commentary.

Other than a flub of calling Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm “Michael,” Dixon was a worthy combination alongside White.

During the match, the benefit of having NBC’s commentators at the ground instead of calling the game off the monitor was crucial. For example, when Swansea scored a goal in the first half, White was able to tell us before the ball went into the back of the net that “it won’t count” because the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside. Watching the match on TV, the assistant referee was off camera.

Overall, the way that the presentation, graphics, music and coverage of the Premier League was presented to viewers certainly raised the bar today in the United States. The good news for NBC Sports is that the difficulties that they faced were all technical issues that can be easily rectified.

The Premier League season is a marathon, not a sprint. Just as professional soccer teams need to pace themselves for the entire season, the same applies to NBC Sports as they begin their 10-month coverage of the first season. Mustoe and Earle will need to keep their analysis informative, thought provoking and refreshing so that viewers don’t subconsciously tune them out as background noise. Hopefully they can continue to establish their punditry as a cliche-free zone.

Off camera, NBC Sports has a lot of work ahead of them to work with Xfinity to repair the damage from the On Demand broadcasts that were a comedy of errors.

NBC Sports still has a lot of work ahead of them. So far, their decision to hire authentic voices to commentate and analyze the English Premier League has been vindicated. The Premier League experience on NBC Sports has gotten off to a bright start. Hopefully the rest of America will follow.

96 thoughts on “Premier League TV Coverage On NBC Sports Gets Off to a Bright Start”

  1. Does anyone know what is up with Comcast? A week ago if you called no one knew a thing about extra time channels. After an hour or so you would get different answers but none of them(with me anyway) was it will be on-demand. Feels like they had no plans until the calls came in and they decided at the last minute to put it on-demand and claim this was a cool new way to deliver live sports.

    So anyone got insider info on just how long Comcast has been working on bringing extra time to their subscribers?

    1. I don’t understand why they can’t air them on the subchannels for all the sports packs (Extra Innings, Center Ice, etc).

      Having them on On Demand is stupid anyway, because you can’t flip from game to game.

      1. They need to distinguish it from replays. This is a live sporting event on at 10 in the morning. That’s not normal for American sports for the most part. I think everyone on here complains WAY too much.

  2. Main NBC took the prematch show over at about 12:20. When they came back from a break, Lowe reintroduced herself, Mustoe, and Earle. So while it may have seemed weird on NBCSN, to any who was on NBC at that point, it was a natural transition.

    1. Once Mustoe ans Earle settle down i think they will make a good pairing. Earle can talk a little fast at times which may throw the odd American by his accent.

  3. I thought the coverage was excellent. Good insight by the presenters. and no Barton!

    Looking good from what i am seeing!


  4. Agreed, much improved over FSC, Barton and Wynalda not close to what we saw today……now if only DISH would carry extra time tv games. The tablet/app android feed was awful though, buffering etc, they neex to fix that, a friend had no problems on his ipad feed though.

  5. I understand that’s its the English premier League, and its baased in England But NBC dropped the Ball, they should have a American in the studio, NBC needs to know how to reach a American audience, they need to know how to Balance that because the programs doesn’t have a American feel. at least Fox present better in their studios shows. I feel at most the presentation favored the eurosnob minded more than a mainstream audience.

    1. Kyle Martino will be in studio tomorrow for Premier League Goal Zone on NBC Sports Network. My personal opinion is that it shouldn’t be focused on what nationality the person it. It should be whoever is best at their job, no matter what country they come from.

      1. well Its being presented to a American Audience and having a sufficient American (for the EPL) case at the studio is key, an American who most sports fans can relate too, ESPN has done well with that with Bob Ley on their World Cup spells. I don’t see NBC making that same effort. Its Risky enough that NBC paid way too much money for broadcast rights, now their sex appeal on fits mainly the british influenced expat, maybe, depending on their ratings they should consider getting a American partner for Rebecca Lowe who is too British for the telecast

        1. DCUDIPLOMAT, who would you suggest as the presenter of NBC’s Premier League coverage that (1) is available and not under contract with someone else, (2) is American and (3) is better than Rebecca Lowe?

          That person doesn’t exist.

          1. then U must assume that NBC must think Americans are just dumb overall when it comes to Sports and entertainment?!… NBC is the Dumb one if you ask me.

          2. I sad some one should Pair with her. Most americans don’t even know who Loew and the other two guys are really, sure I get appealing to foreign viewers here in the US but if NBC really wants to succeed with this they need a Rob stone type guy. Lowe hasn’t grasped the American lingo for sports, but she needs help that’s what Im saying.

        2. They have American analysts covering the NFL , baseball, basketball etc in the studios in Europe and Europeans prefer that.

    2. Euro snob?

      LoL it’s this insular attitude towards any hing that doesn’t have an American to “dumb it down” or explain the game is part of the reason Americans are mocked…

      Why not just take it for what it is?
      American “analysis” of the game is weak in comparison, just as any English punditry of baseball or NFL would be in comparison to that of an American expert.

      American talent has been tried for years now by multiple networks, (fox and espn) and the audience has spoken… This is what people want…

      Whiney MLS fans like this that put someone’s nationality over the quality of the product have serious inferiority complex is IMO…just enjoy the perspective from quality analysts!

      NBC did a great job and have got Kyle Martino who will grow into a bigger contributor when he reaches the quality expected.

      NBC didn’t make the decisions they did b/c the pundits had English accents, it’s because of their experience, they got the gigs on merit…

      Maybe one day Americans with the same merit like a brad friedal, Tim Howard, or bob Bradley will work for NBC and contribute… But until then a token yank shouldn’t be on…I think that would be more disrespectful.

      1. Kyle martino is probably their for Looks , he doesn’t bring anything to the Table, Robbie earle… I ask why, maybe he is Good for a sideline or something, and that other Guy I really don’t know, I mean NBC should have did a better Job diversifying that team. Fox Got it Right sure Waldo is a douche, but he brings a true player perspective and is appealing to American audiences, Rob stone is the perfect Neutral out of the Fox Team because he brings a American familiarity with sport and bridges the gap between what is shown and translates it to where the American audience relates too, and doesn’t have to use British terms.

          1. No, I do not, I named them because Fox Sports at least understand that the audience is American unlike NBC.. I just its too much British for a AMERICAN Telecast.

        1. Wow…kinda funny how you insult who NBC hires to call the games yet, you need spell checks…glass houses and stones.

        2. Both Robbies bring a player perspective. They were both seasoned professionals. You would know that if you weren’t blinded by your all-consuming hatred of anything non-American.

        3. Dude you are simply a simpleton please do not let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.

          Thanks for playing now be gone.

    3. This is the same kind of dumb, parochial kind of response you accuse so-called “Eurosnobs” of making. It doesn’t matter what nationality people are, what matters is that they give good analysis.

    4. Being an Arsenal fan for the past 7 years, and understanding the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ that is English football, I would HATE to have the programming have an ‘American’ feel. This sport is an international sport, not American and few American ‘experts’ capture or understand what this sport means or how it is played like a non-American.

      I don’t have a problem with Americans participating in the programming if they actually played in European leagues at the top flight or were actively evolved in a top flight European league.

      Not everything has to be Americanized to be valid or of good quality. I am VERY impressed with the first day of coverage and it beats FSC by light years.

    5. You fail to understand who the REAL EPL audience is. It is NOT your typical American and comprises of fans from other countries and cultures. When I attend my local pub that shows EPL matches (here in the States), the audience is not just Americans. And most of the American fans DO NOT want it Americanized at all.

      As a matter of fact, last year when the games were transmitted via FSC, the volume was muted during the half-time report and the post match report. No-one wanted to hear it. NBC researched their fanbase well. And realize the mindset of the majority of the audience.

    6. DCUDIPLOMAT, the US (America is a continent) soccer commentators/game broadcasters are stuck in their mindset and vision of how to call a soccer game. That idea is to call the game like Baseball or NFL. They are lack originality. They try to copy Andres Cantor or other Spanish language broadcaster with the Gooooal call. It doesn’t work – in fact it sound silly. What I think should occur – US broadcaster go over to England and intern with British/English broadcasters to learn. A good example of a poor soccer broadcaster is Gus Johnson. He screeches and raises his voice to a fever pitch for every little play near the box. There have been some good US soccer announcers, believe it or not, John Miller who announcers SF Giants baseball games use to do soccer for the old NASL in the late 70’s and early 80’s, he was good. (you can find a video of a game he did on You tube).

      So I would like to see US annoucers in the future, but first they have to learn the game, that’s it’s not Baseball or NFL which has dead spots enabling them chat about non game items. Until US announcers learn that, majority of soccer tv soccer viewers and fans – will just turn off the sound. A good comparison is MLS refs, they too need to intern in England or Germany, well the same for US TV announcers – learn who to call the game without the mindless endless chatter about what a player had for lunch.


  6. Excellent piece. I was fearing the worst and lo and behold its a better production than FSC. Rebecca Lowe was a revelation, she was great. They could do better than Earle and Mustoe but they serve the purpose, and you are right, they are much better than the FSC crew, especially that snivelling twit Wynalda. The broadcast I received, on Comcast on NBCS HD was better than the FSC productions. A lot of footie junkies are breathing easier tonight.

    1. Still can’t see the Arsenal/AVFC replay On Demand via Extra Time. Errors out. the other matches are (largely) fine, if the Cardiff/WHU match is splonky quality in the first half.

    2. Agreed. The coverage is a fresh breath of air. I like the fact that they also are broadcasting the clubs television programs (I noticed Manchester City show is listed in the schedule). “Match of the Day” is of the same high quality as the British version. I do hope that they are able to recruit higher hanging fruit for commentators for the half-time and Match of the Day broadcasts.

      Otherwise, I am quite pleased.

  7. A much better experience than FSC. If only Comcast can get their act together and get the extra channels off on demand and on the regular tv platform for us flippers.

  8. Top Notch Coverage today…as a DIE HARD Man United fan for 40 years even I got a lump in my throat listening to YNWA…reason being THAT’S FOOTBALL…and it was so refreshing to finally be able to experience that level of passion again.
    My ONLY (small) peeve of the day Gaffer…I thought there was going to be a Mix Zone on Direct TV like they have on Europa and Champions League days so that we could watch all the games at once at 10am and flick between them a little easier??
    Small problem to have to be fair, I have been a huge fan of Rebecca Lowe since her time on Setanta and I am so looking forward to listening to (and watching;) her every weekend
    NOW…I cant wait for MOTD tonight with a cuppa tea and a slice of toast!!! #ChildhoodMemories

    1. My mister and I have been in the US about 5 yrs but our favourite home (London) Sat routine was pub then home for tea and toast with mates and MOTD. The joke is that now we’re too old and tired to stay up so will dvr MOTD and watch over morning tea and toast.

      Been a great day. We have twc and no overflow channel/app but we enjoyed NBCSN coverage immensely–muted for a bit to listen to Sky Sports Saturday and follow what we couldn’t watch via twc.

    2. Dave… A United fan for a mere 40 years? I am a fan since 1959. (Funny, but I think I just bragged about being old.)
      I concur on all your points. In addition, Directv…do I really need to dvr a match for SIX STINKING HOURS??? How’s about we fix that small gaffe?

  9. As a Saints fan I just LOVE ‘extra time’ – was brilliant seeing us do the Slaggies (live, in HD) but one overall complaint to NBC…

    Sort out the sound. Give us the proper surround sound. So we can hear the crowd from our middle & back speakers. Also we could then turn down the commentators if we so desire. Small gribe. Great coverage.

    (but seriously – often (I’m talking Fox previous seasons and today on NBC) in the build-up the room is full of the crowd and then they go to commentators and ‘bang’ – the crowd has gone…). From a great atmosphere to a game in a phonebox…

    Top of the league. ‘ave it.

  10. Well done, NBC!
    Get the little things right, and Bob’s your uncle. I take DCUDIPLOMAT’s point and say that insightful analysis like Gary Neville’s would go miles to helping those who feel lost and/or creating educated viewers. With quality like that, it would not matter what accent a commentator possessed.

    1. I don’t know if they can afford Gary Neville. With him being actively involved in the coaching of the National team, and his broadcasting duites at Sky, I doubt he would have the bandwidth to add NBC coverage on top of it.

  11. Are the Extra Time matches On Demand only going to be available in HD. Not smart thinking in my mind, I can’t watch them. Should be available in both.

    Also, the person who said nobody at Comcast knew anything. Again, I went to Comcast and was presented with a summary of how FOX Soccer was changing packages. Then told “That’s soccer stuff” I’m very confident that we were given B.S. all summer and no plan was ever really put together.

    However, I very much enjoyed what I saw. I thought the thing with previous penalties was really cool.

    Anybody catch Efan Ekokou talk about always hitting down the middle yet the graphic showed the complete opposite? LOL

  12. Night and day presentations from what we had in the past. NBC gave us the EPL like never before.

    Yes an American in the US studio would have been nice but the two Robbie’s are a smooth team. Rebecca Lowe handled her job well after a nervous start I thought. I am sure she had a few butterflies but then settled in and was in control.

    Thought updates and highlights and scoreboards where all handled well and did not break the flow of any match. Really nice touch showing the signing of the Liverpool fans. Something American fans also wanted to see.

    iPad and online coverage made up for issue with the extra channels and Chris is on target on the transition to NBC. I may have missed this but reviewed by DVR of the match but NBC is not able to go to their team on site with live video? ESPN had that and I thought we could see Arlo & Lee on camera but did not

    In any event it was Christmas, a big dinner still to come tonight with MOTD, after watching the Chicago Fire win again (thank you for the MLS promos) and more tomorrow.

  13. Some of us Time Warner subscribers are still waiting to see over half the games, since we did not get the extra channels or access to the internet app.


  14. Really great job from NBC so far but the scorecard graphics with the constant ads needs to GO! Like I posted in the open thread, remove the hashtag thing, remove the ad box, remove the LIVE logo, out the NBC logo at the bottom right and make it transparent and make the scorecard with the team names smaller. It doesn’t really need to be that big. Good job so far though.

    1. This all costs money. If you want to see all the games shown live and treated with the respect they deserve, you have to be willing to put up with advertising. The bottom line is that the cost of this kind of coverage in the UK is subscription fees because they know that football doesn’t lend itself to commercials the way American sports do. Here, the model for funding sports licencing is to pay for it with TV timeouts. But either way, it has to be paid for somehow. If you want to go back to one live game at a time and cutaways to commercials between the lineups and the kickoff, then go back to crappy Fox (which used to have more obnoxious ads as well by the way!). There are a lot of people on here who seem to have lost touch with reality and think they should get stuff for free. Maybe NBC would make you happier by charging $20/month for NBC Sports Live Extra or making you subscribe for $15/month to get the Premier League Extra Time packages? It’s really astonishing to me how much people can bitch about the fact that the coverage of the sport we all love has grown by leaps and bounds and yet some people still aren’t happy. I mean, let’s all remember that Fox used to get a few hundred thousand people watching some of these games on FSC. You’re demanding NFL level coverage while the country is delivering World’s Strongest Man level audiences for the sport. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and never put the cart before the horse. We all have a lot of work to do in growing the game before we can expect to receive the champagne treatment we all seem to be demanding. NBC has done a great job of putting a lot of money behind this product, and lots of people just want to bitch here.

  15. Gaffer I don’t want to go off topic on this thread but what’s the deal with goal line technology being used.

    For such big change that’s been debated for years I’ve heard nothing about how its being used in games and under what circumstances etc.

    Apologies if you already have posted details on it before but I loved to see a article on the how its going to work in games.

    As for NBC it was top class in my opinion. A few kinks to work out but judging by the product NBC put out today I’m sure they will be fixed ASAP.

      1. I understand how it works from watching the tennis but I’m still not sure how its going to be implemented in football.

        Does the ref just stop the game and ask for clarification on a goal line incident or does he wait for the ball to go out of play?

        Can the either team ask for something to be reviewed or is it only at the refs discretion?

        Will the ref actually see the resulting video evidence or is he just going to get a signal that its a goal or not from the 4th official?

        Can it only be used for decisions when goals are given but are in question and what happens if the attacking team claims the ball was over the line but the ref doesn’t signal a goal?

        1. My understanding is that the ref has a wristwatch tv that shows the goal or no goal. He decides nearly in real time. Hence, little delay in his decision.

  16. TWC in NYC was brilliant…my only issue all day was the audio being BARELY ahead of the action in the first half of LFC/Stoke. I’d imagine it’s tough to sync the audio in the pregame as you don’t have live action on screen to definitively sync it(assuming it’s coming from two diff sources.)

    Also of note is that NBCSN and the main NBC are the only two channels to have the score ticker. Will be helpful for me for later when they only have 10am kickoffs so I would watch the Extra Time game first if I were DVR’ing.

  17. ” Rob stone is the perfect Neutral out of the Fox Team because he brings a American familiarity …”

    I.E. He did not know anything re British football. Embarrassment!

      1. Are you on crack? Rob Stone is the epitome of what Fox has done wrong; a guy who knows F-All about the sport and is more interested in his hair and saying a very dumb catch phrase than raising the understanding of the American population.

        I can now see for sure that you are from Fox. Please troll elsewhere as we the viewing public are happy with NBC’s work to this point.

  18. as Much of the Minuses I have put out, I will input the Plauses, for NBC sake.. Broadcasting a opening Game on National Network airwaves(Man U Game) is a Must and that was a No brainer, and the Tv schedule looks to show more of the common sense matchups to be put on the the “mother ship”. Plus,.. NBC sytle and visual presentation is well put together, the Theme is soft, should have more edge, but still overall well put together. Plus.. NBC has been a historical innovator in sports television, balancing live broadcast with great timing between studio and the field of play(although the british game announcing was boring IMO) the lead in was very smooth.

    1. Quit your damn moaning.. Same crap you post at big soccer .. Harping on American broadcasts and commentary for the BPL…

      Guess what!… It’s an English league… So it would be obvious that the best people for it would be…. Wait for it… ENGLISH !!!

      Don’t watch Football if you don’t like it.. MLS is on at 9:pm. Wait watch that then start your bitching….


    2. First, if you are any sort of a football fan, you know that calling them Man U is an insult. Please stop it. Secondly, I hope you enjoy your career at Fox. You clearly are defending your company position.

  19. Coverage was amazing. Would have liked to have seen a pre-show to the Man United – Swansea game on NBC. It was strange watching the team walk out on NBCSN and then have to switch to watch the rest.

    Also hope they get the Premier League Extra time sorted out. It only came on here 35 minutes after kick off and then you could not get it live. It was like watching a delayed game so we stuck with the Villa game on air.

    Overall though NBC hit it out of the baseball park – a definite home run.

    1. There was a simulcast going from 12:20-12:30. NBC piped in the NBCSN feed from the studio for the pregame. They just didn’t have it blocked off on the guide because there was a live track competition that was being covered (Usain Bolt was running right before the Swansea City-Manchester United game). I think it worked out pretty well, but it might be better going forward.

  20. Excellent coverage by NBC! We’ve come a long way since the 1980’s when the only way you could follow soccer was the Sunday newspaper. Well done NBC- the coverage was brillant. I have no complaints :)

    1. In 1959 I got my coverage from the Manchester Evening News. It came from England via the mail. I received it two weeks after publication.
      It truly is a new and different world.
      On the positive side, no one ever said, “Did you see the match yesterday? Rooney set up two and Welbeck and Van Persie both had a brace.” (The aforementioned when I had NOT seen the match. And trust me that rarely happens.)

  21. Wow, I’ve never seen anyone get battered quite so bad on here as DCUwhatever.

    Unfortunately, this is what we are up against with this whining for an American presence when nobody would measure up to what we saw today. If you want an American style commentary tune into Fox. They have all the Gus Johnson, Wynalda and Rob Stone you can want.

    Well done NBC. And thank you for not dumbing it down. You presented the premier league exactly as it should be.

  22. From what I saw, you were accurate in your review of NBC’s first day. I thought Alan Perry was the best of the three play-by-play guys with Weaver second and Arlo third. There was one error that White made–when Rooney was offside, he said Swansea did not claim offside. Actually, Ashley Williams raised his arm.
    I hope Jon Champion can be in the mix of announcers–and alas, I miss Ian Darke.

  23. Man i absolutely LOVED the presentation NBC put on today and look forward to it all season long. On that note, reading comments by people who dont feel good about themselves because an american is not represented, is the reason why we have the reputation we have as people around the world. The EPL as we saw it today is as AUTHENTIC as we will get and its also what the real fans WANT. GO and watch MLS and leave the real soccer to us americans who do not have inferiority complexes what is it about some of you guys who wants everybody to change THEIR OWN PRODUCT?!?! Next thing you know you will complain because there is no musical guest at halftime. The coverage NBC delivered was LIGHT YEARS better than Fox ever did… I like other hope they do away with the score box but so far.. LOVING IT!!

    1. I thoroughly agree. I don’t understand the need to Americanize a non-American sport. What makes the EPL so appealing to me is the ‘Englishness’ of it. The very culture that surrounds it needs to be framed by broadcasters who have lived it themselves.

      If you must have Americans then get American players who played for years in that league who actually understand how it is played over there.

      The approach of play there is totally different from the MLS. It is a historical tradition. Those clubs are not franchises like MLS the fans have been fans for generations. The players have working class roots and are recruited and trained into the clubs by middle school age. Unlike MLS that littered with college frat boys who probably played in expensive competitive leagues funded by their upper middle class parents.

      The EPL is gritty and raw like the working class players and managers to participate in it. It is what it was always meant to be a working man’s game.

  24. Any word on if/when they are going to have the matches archived so they can be watched later?

    I appreciate that they are broadcasting every single match but if a bunch of them are at the same time it doesn’t do that much good if you can only see them live.

    At least why don’t they show matches on replay throughout the day on NBC Sports(and on other days throughout the week) like they used to on Fox Soccer? It’s not like they have anything better to show. Have you seen some of the crud they are running? All that outdoor and hunting nonsense, and shark garbage is a complete waste.

    1. LOL, my thoughts exactly. I’m hankering for some EPL action (replay or studio show) and i’ve got a solid 4 hour chunk of HUNTING here on NBC Sports. Give me a break!

  25. Coverage was outstanding by NBC. The studio discussion was a joy to my ears. Rebecca and the two Robbies were exactly what I expected and wanted. One thing I would caution as the season moves on is the studio discussion becoming to pat and clinical. Bring in the odd guest like Stewart Robson or even Rodney Marsh, both of whom will speak their mind and mix it up.

    Also why is the studio so huge? There’s only three of them. However, a very impressive debut. NBC has really done their homework.

  26. I thought too NBC did a great job. For me, the issue was with Comcast/Xfinity as most everyone knows. NBC’s part did a wonderful job. I thoroughly enjoyed the coverage, when it worked. I hope some people at Comcast get their skulls cracked for this and they get it worked out by next weekend.

  27. Great job by NBC… Heard Arlo for the first time today.. I don’t think he is the same quality s the TWI guys… But he is good… His color guy really did well.. It didn’t feel like this was an international broadcast.. So I give that to Arlo..

    This was no Gus Johnson debacle….

    Kudos NBC


  28. very professional fsc was like a cable access refreshing to have studio talent that know the tradition and the game.dcuwhatever go pound sand your playing the part of the ugly American tourist the problem is your not playing.

  29. It’s been a great day for EPL fans.

    In addition to being grateful to NBC, I’m also grateful to DirecTV for their excellent handling of the extra channels. A job well done.

  30. Really appreciated NBC’s coverage…this was like a dream being able to watch so much football for the first time…I live on the west coast so never get to see the early game but watched my Villans and the Swansea/ManU game…really well done NBC. My only complaint was the bait and switch of Usain Bolt on NBC…felt really weird…I’ll be honest I just don’t really care to watch a 200 meter race that I have ZERO context for when I tuned in to watch football coverage…but as a whole loved what NBC has done with their coverage!

    1. There was no pregame show scheduled on NBC. They were on NBCSN and tossed to NBC about 10 minutes before the game. So I don’t know what bait and switch you’re talking about. What’s your cable company?

  31. Great job by NBC. BUT, I still don’t like the live score ticker as I was DVRing the Sunderland match so I could catch Jozy. I ended up taping a piece of paper on the tv. Though Onion had a good suggestion to watch the extra time match first since they do not have the live score ticker.

  32. First of all, DCU-bloke, don’t go anywhere! Every football forum needs a knob…and I don’t mean the button-pushing type!
    Secondly, Martino is doing alright. He’s not jive-talking like those clowns on FSC and not overselling the ‘American’ angle like Rob Stone did. Don’t hate him for his good looks :)

    1. I think Martino has been a pleasant surprise. His commentary has been to the point with no hyperbole…….and hes’ AMERICAN!! 😉

  33. At the risk of sounding like some shill for NBC, I think they have done us and the game proud.

    We can all find some little thing that we think could be improved, but my goodness, for a “first time out”? Fantastic!

    I did not watch every minute of every studio show, but I watched plenty and for me that was up from “zero”, because I just could not tolerate the rubbish FSC serves up.

    As an American I’d just like to say I’m “chuffed”!! :-)

    1. Don’t be ridiculous. The article above weighs both the positives and negatives from the NBC coverage, and they’re my opinions that are not influenced by anyone other than myself.

      How did YOU think they did this past Saturday?

      1. This is what the Premier League was meant to look like. Still skeptical because of the Android app’s constant and repeatable freezing, and worries about eventual conflicts with F1 but so far so good

    2. Jeremy, this is the first time that the EPL’s carrier has changed hands since this site’s conception, so of course there will be a big deal made out of it. There were multiple pieces written about ESPN’s coverage when suddenly it started carrying matches in August of 2009 (and they were the first to show them in HD), and even more when TV providers slowly started rolling out FSCHD in 2010.

      If you stick around for a few days, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a piece about Fox Sports 1’s Champions League coverage…

      1. Who?
        Oh, you mean the guys who kicked footy to the curb in favor of racin’, rasslin’, throwball, and women’s soccer.

        Seriously, I forgot to get rid of the icon for fox sucker plus, and noticed that yesterday for your $15 per month you could have watched replays of the let’s make up a cup cup, all day. What value! Way to go fox.

  34. On the broader topic of NBC’s BPL coverage, one thing I really liked on FOX was the airing every Sunday night at 7p CST of the BPL review show, produced in the UK. It was a great way to catch-up on all the action from the wknd.

    Although NBC is airing the show, I was a bit disappointed that they held it until Tuesday at 1am. Is this their plan every week?

    Also, the review show seemed to have double the ad load as when it was on Fox. On Fox, they’d cut away only twice for ads, but NBC seemed to cut away after nearly every match review. Is this an NBC thing, or something coming from the original producers? It really was disappointing and cut down on the actual match coverage considerably.

    1. The Premier League Review Show will air on Tuesdays at 2am ET and will feature all 10 matches each weekend including the Monday game. Meanwhile, Match Of The Day and Match of the Day II air on Saturday night and Sunday night respectively at 11pm ET.

      The ad breaks are controlled by NBC.

  35. When I heard that NBC had bought EPL rights I almost cried. NBC? No Bloody Clue? Messed up Olympics coverage and capped it off by excusing the time lags with “We have an American audience.”. My question wasn’t “What could go wrong?” it was “What could go right?”.
    It’s now 1/3 of the way through the season. Time Warner has figured out how to deliver Extra Time as a set of live, recordable, channels. My friends is England are so jealous. Rebecca Lowe is terrific (I had never watched her in the UK) – she knows the game and is believable and a good moderator. The two Robbies are good and credible and impartial. It would be nice to have a studio ‘guest of the day’ to mix it up a bit – Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane (with translator), Klinsmann, Alex Morgan, maybe a good Ref or MLS coach, Beckham, Sir Alex Ferguson, Pele, Jason Sudeiki (for a Spurs match)… a different one each week. NBC can afford it and it would make each day a bit different.

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