Rating NBC Sports’ coverage of the Premier League on US TV and internet

2. Every time I see the trio of pundits standing in front of the jumbo TV monitor to share some tactical insight, I cringe. It’s not what they’re saying that makes me feel uncomfortable, but the whole contraption of the large monitor with antiquated touch-screen knobs and controls that doesn’t work for me. It’s awkward, clunky and the angle of a TV camera showing a TV monitor doesn’t work. Plus, I don’t want to see a shot of the two analysts standing either side of the monitor showing me the screen. I just want to see the screen itself, so I can see what they’re showing me (and hear their voices).

NBC probably spent a ton of money on the software, but there are far better pieces of technology out there that bring the viewer “into the action.” This way, it’d be easier for the viewers at home to watch and listen instead of being distracted by the method of how the analysis is being presented.

3. I’m concerned that the talent are starting to get burned out. It’s a marathon of a season, and Saturdays are a grueling 12 hour day for the NBC personalities. But mistakes are beginning to creep in, particularly small ones on Sunday morning broadcasts (presumably with the cast feeling a little tired after a long Saturday). The team are holding it together, but I wonder if there’s an opportunity to bring in some new faces now and again just to give the talent a break, so they can recharge their batteries. The key will be finding personalities who fit NBC’s ethos and who don’t downgrade the quality of the Premier League Live show.

Rating: B-

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Programming

The quantity and quality of Premier League shows that NBC provides its viewers is enormous, more than anything a soccer fan in the United States has ever experienced.

Pros:

1. NBC’s decision to broadcast a Match of the Day and Match Of the Day 2 show was spectacular. The late night show is a brilliant way for people to catch up on the games they missed. It’s like clockwork, and it works.

2. The Premier League Club Selection Show that NBC launched in August was informative and a joy to watch. While it was aimed at new fans to soccer and the Premier League, the show was entertaining for veteran fans too.

3. NBC’s Manchester Mondays show that’s aired late on Monday night features highlights of the two Manchester club’s matches from the weekend with the added bonus of footage from the club’s official football channel. This is a must-see for City and United fans.

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