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

3. Even though the decision by NBC was risky to put Gareth Bale on a giant billboard in New York’s Time Square, it was bold, caught people’s attention and made a statement that English soccer has hit mainstream.

4. NBC’s advertising on taxi cabs and on street posters in NYC was another smart move.

5. NBC’s I Was There video series has been brilliant, often capturing what it means to be a football supporter, showing the passion and fandom that we often don’t see on television.

Cons: 

1. None.

Rating: A

.

Advertising

This is one of those aspects of NBC’s coverage of the Premier League that will often be overlooked, but it has an impact on the overall coverage in terms of how the league is presented. When Premier League games were featured on FOX Soccer, the advertising on the network and during the programming often were smaller brands or the same ads over and over again from energy supplements, cheap phone services or hair replacement companies. As the ratings grew, so too did the calibre of advertisers who paid to have their products or services aired on FOX Soccer.

Pros:

1. With NBC Sports, the majority of brands who are advertising during Premier League broadcasts on the US network are major brands.

Cons: 

1. On NBCSN, there are legacy advertisers who are targeting their products at the outdoors audience who watch the hunting and fishing programs on the network. However, there is overlap where these ads are often shown around Premier League programming. One of the ads, in particular, turns my stomach every time I watch it — especially when I see it during early morning broadcasts of Premier League matches. It’s for a knife product where slabs of guts and raw meat are shown on screen as the knife cuts through them. More than 10% of the audience who watch Premier League games on NBCSN are between the ages of 6-17. I don’t think they, or anyone else (unless they’re outdoors people), should be subjected to that type of advertising. It cheapens the Premier League brand.

Rating: C+

.

Web content

Six months ago, NBC’s Pro Soccer Talk website was just one of many websites out there that produced (for the most part) average content. In the past few months however, the site has become more well-read and appreciated for its coverage of world soccer.

Pros:

1. The weekly Football Focus column by Liviu Bird is one of the best features on the entire site. The amount of detail and analysis that goes into the column are outstanding.

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