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7 Ways NBC Sports Can Improve Its Premier League Coverage Next Season

nbc epl commitment 7 Ways NBC Sports Can Improve Its Premier League Coverage Next Season

In the United States, more than 30 million Americans watched the debut season of the Premier League on NBC during 2013/14.

There’s no doubt that NBC far surpassed the expectations of most Americans. In fact, throughout the entire season, NBC raised the bar of soccer coverage on US television and achieved a near perfect broadcast from August to May to provide the best coverage of a soccer league ever witnessed on TV screens.

But where does NBC go from here? The network, which has two seasons remaining in its three-year deal with the Premier League, will debut its sophomore season in August, ready to take advantage of a post-World Cup bounce that the network will undoubtedly see due to the prominent number of Premier League players on all national teams competing in Brazil this summer.

NBC has an huge opportunity to ride the wave of post-World Cup euphoria. But what does NBC need to do to improve on an already wonderful first season.

Here’s our seven point plan;

1) More games on NBC. NBC has developed a formula of a clear vision of what it wants to provide to viewers, and has continually worked on improving its “product” throughout the entire season. When the 20 matches have been show on NBC, the over-the-air network, the viewing figures have been impressive. But for next season, I’d like to see several more games shown on NBC to bring the league to more mainstream sports fans in the United States. The Premier League offers a lot of appeal to viewers than traditional American sports. The challenge is to make them aware of it.

During the 2014/15 Premier League season, NBC should increase the number of games from 20 to 25 or more. But the network should be more selective in determining which games to show that will produce the greatest ratings.

2) More double headers. More than 1.2million people watched Swansea-Cardiff on NBC when it was sandwiched between Winter Olympics programming.

Just as MLS games benefitted from being featured as a double header to Premier League games, the Premier League games on weekend mornings or afternoons would see a ratings spike if they’re adjacent to other programming on the NBC free-to-air network.

3) Consider showing tape delays of big games. The record for the most watched Premier League game in US history was a Chelsea-Liverpool game that was shown on tape delay on a Sunday afternoon in November, 2011. My recommendation would be for the free-to-air NBC network to try a similar tactic with one exception. When FOX televised the game in 2011, they didn’t make a live version of it available so viewers were “forced” into watching it on tape-delay or finding alternate means. But with NBC Sports Live Extra and Premier League Extra Time, the network could show the game live, but then encourage mainstream sports fans to watch it later that day.

4) Hire John Strong. After today’s announcement that FOX and ESPN have acquired the 2015-2022 rights to USMNT and MLS, it’s quite possible that FOX and/or ESPN have already put a call in to John Strong’s agent to try to sign him. But if NBC Sports has an opportunity, they need to do whatever it can to hire John Strong, who is a rising star in US soccer with his quality presenter and commentating skills, in a full-time position instead of moonlighting for NBC and FOX. It may be too late, but let’s hope not.

5) Hire one more expert to mix things up. NBC’s team of Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Mustoe, Robbie Earle and Kyle Martino is first class. But there needs to be an opportunity for another pundit as part of NBC’s rotation policy to break into the circle to mix things up for the new season, to keep the programming fresh. It’s important to find the right person so as not to disturb the chemistry, but the Premier League is a long season and a fresh face could make NBC’s “must-see” television even better.

6) More reruns. If NBCSN has the opportunity, it should air more reruns of Premier League games (even if they’re during off-hours) instead of some of the outdoors programming it shows.

7) Consider a call-in show. The one aspect that NBC Sports is missing with its soccer coverage (other than a news show, more about that later) is to make its programming more interactive where viewers can feel they can be more involved in the shows. The ideal vehicle for that is an entertaining call-in show where viewers can voice their opinions and ask questions. If done well, in a better version of FOX Football Fone-In, it could make a profound connection with soccer fans in the States. Plus, the person who could step in as the host could be the same person as mentioned in number five above.

 

NBC’s forte is on focusing on the sport and letting the game do the talking instead of making the broadcast about being one of their talent (as with FOX’s emphasis on Gus Johnson). As a result, the calls by some soccer fans that NBC should create a daily soccer news and highlights show doesn’t fit with NBC’s gameplan. Therefore, NBC should resist the urge to appease fans and to stick to what they do best.

Next season’s Premier League coverage on NBC should build off what they’ve done in 2013-14 but focus on ways to bring the games into more living rooms. The formula that NBC has employed works. It just needs to fine tune what it does, and the TV ratings and viewing audience numbers will continue to rise.

What’s your opinion regarding the changes NBC should employ next season to improve its coverage? Share your opinion below.

This entry was posted in Leagues: EPL, NBC. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

82 Responses to 7 Ways NBC Sports Can Improve Its Premier League Coverage Next Season

  1. Aaron says:

    The tape delay only did so well because it was after an NFL game. It was probably a lot of TVs just left on.

    Tape delay is bad and goes against NBC’s principle of bringing everything live, making it news worthy as it happens.

  2. michael says:

    This list doesn’t mention one of the biggest flaws of NBC this season. They make it very hard to find video content. Match highlights and segment highlights are not easily located or even uploaded at all. Why is MOTD not readily available online? Why are their cool promos not uploaded in the “videos” section on the NBC Sports website. As a web developer, their whole “pro soccer talk” website needs a complete overhaul.

  3. Cantona says:

    1. Mix up your lead commentator more, less Arlo moser Steve Bower

    2. No more Tim Howard in the commentary booth

    3. Get rid off Martino, there is no connection with him to English football

    4. Establish a connection with BT Sport to show related programming and share commentating feeds, I would say Sky but Fox has that connection.

    5.Rotate your talent, the two Robbie’s are good, but they need a break.

    6.more interviews from stadiums pre/post match, it gives the broadcast authenticity .. To be fair at the end of the season they did this more often.

    7. Do not hire John Strong, sorry Chris.. I want a presenter that knows who Norwich are, again it’s about authenticity, give me a presenter who has a connection to the league.

    Cantona—

    • jtm371 says:

      all in with the articulate Cantona. spot on i know it will not happen but ship arlo back to the mls that would be heaven.

      • Burnsey says:

        I agree 100% with both the above..Arlo is so smug and overbearing. Send Arlo, Howard, Martino, and Ray Hudson over to join Gus at Fox, and have all the garbage at one network.

    • Gerry says:

      Well said. I agree with all your points.

      While Martino hasn’t been bad, I give him a 6/10, he is clearly the weak link in the studio. The problem with American ‘announcers’ is that they cover more than one sport and at different levels. That means they don’t live and breathe soccer whilst the two Robbies, for example, are only involved with soccer and therefore they are in tune with what’s going on presently and have a history with the sport. They know each of the clubs in the league quite well. It makes a difference.

    • Remy says:

      Your hating of American commentators is just as dumb as your nickname.

    • Mark Williamson says:

      Agree on the more of Steve Bower, but I do like Tim Howard. Although he does come through a little broken up at times I still find him very insightful.

    • Richard says:

      Like suggestion no. 4, Ian Darke commentates for BT Sport

  4. Matt says:

    Like a lot of people, I was initially wary of NBC, but they have done a phenomenal job. A couple hiccups aside, I have been blown away by their coverage.

  5. MrD7000 says:

    Kyle Martino is to soccer what King Herod was to baby sitting.

    He makes talking drivel into an art form.

  6. David says:

    It’s been better than I could have hoped for.

    Just get rid of those real time scores in the top right hand corner. The only day it made sense was last Sunday. If on the West Coast, we have no alternative but to record matches unless we want to get up at 4.25am. Knowing the scores in advance destroys our enjoyment.

  7. Flyvanescence says:

    No complaints about Martino from here. Im not saying hes great. but I understand there is going to be at least 1 token American. And as far as they go, hes not that bad. For example on the season review show yesterday he was excellent. Yes hes had his “american” moments, but as a whole i cant complain about the admittedly not many times ive seen him on this season. Lalas or twellman or the clowns at Fox are far worse.

  8. Smokey Bacon says:

    The only way more games on the network makes sense is if they are part of double headers. The odd game here and there is less attractive to so e of the affiliates who would prefer to be airing truck racing, fishing or some other BS. Plus the games on the network literally start at the kick off. All the pre-game is over on the cable channel. If you want to attract more viewers on the network then show the pre-game. Newcomers will be hooked by the amazing atmosphere at places like Anfield as the teams come onto the pitch.

    Would love to see a call in show. 606 and Call Colleymore are massive back in the UK. How about a 30 minute call in show immediately after Goalzone to get the fans instant reaction.

    Most importantly, I just want NBC to maintain the high standards they set this season. I just hope they don’t get lazy and forget what made them the destination for soccer in the United States. They’ve been superb so far. Long may it last!

  9. Frill Artist says:

    8) Get rid of Arlo White. He’s annoying.

  10. Jim K says:

    I can’t imagine NBC having any other programs which could draw better on Saturday and Sunday mornings, so more games on NBC over the air would be nice. With more people “cutting the cord” and not willing to spend $100 on cable anymore, it would be nice to see some more games in HD on TV.

  11. Kobashi says:

    Offer the Premier League 24/7 Network on one of their overflow channels and/or online. By offering the 24/7 Premier League Network it will build up the interest in the live games that NBCSN and NBC airs and only make the Premier League more popular. The infrastructure is there since they already have the overflow channel in place. They just need to flip a switch. If there is issues with bandwidth with the TV companies I’d be okay with the ability to stream PLTV through NBC’s website.

    If that is a bridge to far grab the Premier League’s News Show and air it on a daily basis. I believe that NBC only airs the show on Friday. One of the biggest losses in the transition from FOX to NBC was daily highlight/news programs we had in Sky Sports News and FOX Soccer Report. I’d like to see that niche filled since ESPN’s show is a delightful gabfest and beIN, GOL, and FOX don’t produce anything like what we have lost.

    I’d like to see NBC use the Premier League Productions Vault to produce a couple of docs like we have seen ESPN do w/their 30 for 30 Series. Any historic programming would be welcome.

    I’d like to see different analysts drop in during the pre/half/post game shows. I enjoy the NBC production but I think they can use a different voice from time to time. It doesn’t have to be every week but on occasion it would be nice if a different voice came in just to shake it up.

    NBC should guarantee that every game will air on tape delay once during a matchweek. NBCSN airs a block of paid programs from 3a to 7a. Why not air a game in that time period every day. Not everyone can DVR all 3 to 5 games that air at 10am on a Saturday Morning. In the overnight hours would be a good place to put them.

    I’m looking forward to August when the new season kicks off and to see what improvements NBC makes to great debut season showing the Prem.

  12. Anna says:

    Give us Sky Sport feed from Pre to Post Match show. That is what we want.

  13. Donaldinho says:

    Suggestion #3 is ridiculous– why would you advocate tape-delay in 2014? I’d be fine if they re-ran the match on NBC later in the day, but fans definitely want all matches live on TV. Live Extra and Extra Time aren’t as user friendly (Comcast buries Extra Time in the On Demand menu, which isn’t DVR-able) and they aren’t an adequate substitute for live TV.

    • Christopher Harris says:

      They could do both. Show it on live TV on nbcsn. And then rerun it on NBC later that day.

  14. USA EPL fan says:

    Brilliant coverage. Absolutely superb. Who needs recorded games when you can watch every game live? Keep it as it is NBC!

    Minor gripes:

    Turn off that annoying background music when showing HT highlights/the teams/the table/fixtures etc. You are talking at the same time. The music is not needed.

    If possible never have Peter Drury commentating. Replace him with a couple of guys from a local bar – they’d do a better job.

    Broadcast every game with good surround sound. This season some had it – a lot didn’t. It makes a game so much better when you can clearly hear the crowd.

    As I said these are minor gripes. Keep up the good work. Really enjoyed this season.

    • Mark Williamson says:

      The music should stay. As a fan I like it, makes it more dramatic and they do the commentating in conjunction with the music very well, quite frankly.

  15. goatslookshifty says:

    A call-in show is a bad idea. Most of the time the questions and comments are completely bias and redundant. Even Fox Football Fone-in trimmed down their phone calls because they were pointless. Pre-shows by Sky (like Anna said)is a great idea.

    • Taylor says:

      Agree. I don’t like call-in show questions/comments.

    • Clampdown says:

      And you know if there is a call-in show it will be accompanied by an obnoxious running Twitter stream at the bottom of the screen.

      • Hot Potato says:

        A call-in show would rock. BUT…… I would have to give RICHARD AND SAL the phone number.

        Anyone who gets the above reference is an amigo in my book.

        :)

  16. Bo says:

    Maybe they could also add a little segment where people can send in questions like on MNF and they answer them? Doesn’t have to be long, maybe 15 mins. Just to add some more interaction with viewers. They already post pictures of people wearing their teams jersey’s and out at pubs or at home with 5 screens ready for the games so already connected with social media.

  17. CTBlues says:

    What happened to the Monday through Wednesday programming like replays or hight shows that were supposed to cover specific “top” teams?

  18. Aaron says:

    8) Make available on other platforms like XBox and Playstation, Roku, Chromecast, and so on….

    9) Like MLB (or…shudder…FoxSoccer), untether cable requirement and offer subscription-based model with support across multiple devices (I would happily fork over $120-150 per season if it meant I could drop cable entirely).

  19. Taylor says:

    Invite Roy Wegerle, Brian McBride and Marcus Hahnemann. These guys used to play in the Premiership during different times and it’ll be nice to hear them share their experiences.

    Wegerle played in the early days and for different clubs. Hahnemann played for a team fighting relegation and survived. McBride is idolized by Fulham supporters.

    • jtm371 says:

      Listening to McBride is like watching paint dry. Very slow delivery not a prime time analyst. I know he is on Fox but Fox is not prime time.

      • Taylor says:

        I don’t want him to be an analyst. I want these guys to add more insight of the non-technical aspect.
        How did the team playing against relegation? How was playing at certain stadiums, etc.
        You go to certain stadiums, you might expect certain treatment in the visitor’s dressing room (lack of heater or air conditioner), etc.

  20. Emmett says:

    Wouldn’t you rather see FOX pick up John Strong? NBC’s lineup is pretty good already. And one of the main complaints about FOX is their lineup. I think it would be more beneficial overall if he went to FOX.

    • Jeff says:

      Some great points Christopher, going to address my responses in order:

      1) Could be wrong but wasn’t 20 games chosen because that is the number of live games they could air without interfering with their other commitments (eg; NHL or PGA Tour)? It would be nice if more games could air live on NBC but they are stuck in that the Saturday 12:30pm games are really the only ones they can air without much trouble. As seen on Championship Sunday, any games before 12pm ET is hard to ensure full national coverage, because the local NBC stations use that time to air local programming, fulfill kids programming requirements or air Paid Programming. You would have the same problem wanting to air a big game being held mid-week
      2) EPL double headers are hard because of the reasons just mentioned. The ‘Olympics sandwich’ works because you can air blocks of events/highlights as long as you need.
      3) I would support airing taped delay games IF the game was aired live on NBCSN/Extra Time earlier. A good idea for weekends where NBC has no sports to show would be to show a ‘major’ game that aired on Extra Time as the tape delayed game. Not only would you be able to give another game the treatment (re post-match analysis) a Extra Time game wouldn’t normally get but it would be a chance to promote the service to viewers. I say this because there were many on Twitter during Championship Sunday saying NBC should air all games live each week, when in fact they do through ET but they weren’t aware of it.
      4) Strong is a solid commentator/host but unless he moves to England to become another on-site commentator or he becomes the ‘mid-week’ host to lighten Rebecca’s workload – can’t a ideal role for him. As someone else already said, it might be beneficial for him to work for FOX full time as their main MLS/EL commentator.
      5) Another expert or two, who could contribute a different perspective to conversations would be good. Even if they got ‘guest analysts’ every now and then, that would be good.
      6) More reruns of games (particularly ET games) would benefits viewers I agree. Although the Paid Programming and to a lesser degree, the outdoor programs are quite good to generate revenue for NBC Universal/Comcast. They wouldn’t ditch that without there being a solid replacement.
      7) Personally, I think ‘call-in’ shows work better on radio (eg; 606 on 5Live) than on TV where they look cheesy

      • goatslookshifty says:

        Good points, Jeff. By the way your gravatar reminds me of Prince every time I see it.

        • Jeff says:

          haha goatslookshifty. If you heard me sing, you would realize I don’t have either the singing or clothing selection abilities Prince has!

  21. Ariel says:

    Stop showing hunting shows before games on monday, nothing more frustrating than being excited about a game, tunning NBCSN channel and seeing the horrifying image of trailer park trash smiling on top of a dears dead body.

  22. Rick says:

    NBC did a brillant job- keep up the good work!

  23. Mufc77 says:

    The only change id personally like to see is more tactical analysis of the featured game at half time instead of going round the league with other scores. Save the goals and chat about the other matches until the featured game is over.

  24. EPLNFL says:

    A number of good ideas. More games on NBC is the first place to start. Good call. Yes getting another expert voice involved is another smart move.

    While I think some sort of interactive fan review/ chat show is necessary a phone in just does not work on a major network. Twitter, texting, etc. is a good idea.

    More live coverage from the UK pre/post would be nice. It appears that NBC will be retaining the rights beyond the present contract term. Therefore NBC sports building a permanent studio of their own in say London would be a big bonus. Starting coverage earlier in the day would be helpful. While most Saturdays coverage starts at 6:00am, local time for me, I am ready to go by 5 most mornings. So a London studio show may fit in nice then.

    All in all we’ll done NBC.

  25. Usman says:

    Provide an online season pass type scheme, where customers would not need a television providers subscription to sign-up. Pay=per-view, weekend, monthly and season passes would be great!

    • Paul says:

      The cable requirement won’t change – the Premier League love it because it means that us in the UK can’t bypass the geoblock and subscribe. beIN Sports in the Middle East were forced to stop broadcasting all the 3pm Saturday matches (bar one) because the service is too easy to subscribe to from abroad. The US cable sub requirement is perfect for blocking us out while making sure you still get access to all 380 live matches.

  26. RJ says:

    Nice to see John Strong getting some love. Great play-by-play and knows when to shut up.

  27. Alex Riley says:

    Overall, outstanding coverage by NBC. They have clearly listened to the demands of their viewers and have responded magnificently.

    The only thing I would recommend is that they hire more quality commentators/analysts to share some of the load. I agree with some people that Arlo can be overwhelming sometimes. He is certainly a knowledgeable commentator and does his homework, however when he’s commentating three games in a weekend it’s simply too much Arlo for anyone to handle. Steve Bower is absolutely excellent and should be given more time on the air.

    As far as Martino is concerned, I think he has improved a lot and has made a lot of valid and interesting comments this season. It’s obvious that he prepares himself sufficiently for the broadcast unlike a lot of other American commentators (cough cough Fox)

    • Bergkamp_10 says:

      Agreed, Alex. I can’t understand the gripe for Martino. He prepares well and delivers efficiently. He knows what he is talking about and seems to do his homework well. This is fine with me as oppose to fox folks who think they know everything and can talk jive for hours without really doing any of their homework. Kyle does an excellent job and I enjoy his analysis. Brings good thoughts to the table.

  28. KillaBeez says:

    Some of the gripes addressed here can be explained by the fact that most of the time, NBC is just broadcasting the international networks’ telecasts (their cameras, their sound, their announcers, etc) with the exception of using their own network-branded on-screen scoreboard graphic. NBC doesn’t interact with those in-game crews at all – they literally just take what’s airing in the UK and put their logo on it for most games. The only commentators that are part of NBC’s broadcast team are Arlo, Graeme, and Lee (and Tim Howard). All the games that air on NBC, along with whatever games on NBCSN feature these announcers, are actual NBC broadcasts. Any qualms about actual in-game content in other matches are pretty much entirely out of NBC’s control.

  29. john marzan says:

    add men in blazers.

  30. Chris says:

    I highly doubt they add more nbc games. I thought 20 games was alot this season. The only way they have more nbc games, is if they show a few also at the 11 am start times for big games otherwise they wouldn’t due to other commitments.

  31. Martin J. says:

    Tape delays in the age of the internet isn’t going to draw many viewers.

    If NBC wants an American voice either as a commentator or studio analyst then it should consider sending them to England to be in the thick of it all so that they can learn their trade. Just understanding the sport isn’t good enough because you need to have knowledge of the clubs involved and their history. It makes a difference.

    • zero point one says:

      Bingo.

      No need for tape-delay of any match when every match is available on demand via NBC Sports Live Extra.

  32. Cody (#2) says:

    I thought they’ve done a great job this year. More than I could have ever asked for in their first year.

    A few things that are more wishful thinking than anything…
    1.) Introduce an NBC sports live stream app for AppleTV, Roku, etc…
    2.) A nightly soccer show in primetime.
    3.) Buy the rights to another league that doesn’t directly conflict with EPL timeslots. For example, Spain & Italy play a lot of games late on Sat & Sun.

    • zero point one says:

      Not gonna happen IMO.

      2. NBCSN has too many products on prime time that will draw viewers, notably NHL games. Taped EPL content shouldn’t air on NBCSN until 11pm ET at the earliest.

      3. NBC won’t touch La Liga or Serie A, both of which are too expensive (because beIN is willing to overpay) and neither of which can draw enough English-speaking viewers.

      (In particular, Serie A can’t draw viewers in the U.S. as it continues to fade into oblivion. Serie A hasn’t been relevant in years, and won’t be relevant for the forseeable future.)

  33. tonyspeed says:

    MAke if more available. NBCSN is only available on the higher tiers in non-Comcast providers. Or make it a supscription service on other providers like HBO, Showtime, etc. No one wants to pay for garbage just to get NBCSN.

  34. scrumper says:

    A sterling first season for NBC. Get rid of Arlo White and his “over commentating” sometimes he just won’t shut up and keeps trying to emphasis a stupid stat or story in the press. Tim Howard is hopeless and l’ve noticed Arlo and the Gang are frightened to critisise him during a game.
    Current players in commentary booths don’t work.

    Bring over Lee Dixon and the like when giving the Robbie’s a couple of weeks break. A fresh analyst who really knows the game is invaluable. A bit more acid in the studio leads to a lively debate.

    Rebecca is perfect. Don’t change anything there unless NBC are looking for a riot.

    • Burnsey says:

      Brilliant summary. I’d also like the in-game commentators to refrain from giving other scores. Just commentate on the game.

  35. zero point one says:

    IMO there is no need for NBCSN to reinvent the wheel. NBCSN can control production costs by taking as much content from PLTV as possible (as long as IMG/Premier League Productions don’t overcharge for the content.)

    That means:

    A. Run the Premier League Productions highlight shows instead of “Manchester Mondays” and especially “Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/Tottenham Tuesdays”. Those shows are beyond stale, especially by Tuesday night, when the viewers’ attention has already moved onto the UEFA Champions League or the English League Cup.

    (I consider “Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/Tottenham Tuesdays” to be a complete waste of production resources. I can understand “Manchester Mondays” because the Manchester clubs “sell”.)

    B. Air Premier League News from PLTV every weekday morning (i.e. 7am ET or 8:30am ET, before the Dan Patrick Show at 9am ET) to fill time, not just on Friday mornings. Again, taking PLTV content should be cheaper than producing your own news show.

    C. Take the PLTV interview shows, which has Q&A segments from viewers around the world (via Twitter and/or Facebook), and air them either in the morning before 9am ET or evenings after midnight ET. There is no need for NBCSN to produce its own “EPL talk radio on TV” show, which will be as bad as it sounds and will be a complete waste of production resources.

    Other than the live EPL matches, everything EPL-related on NBCSN averages no higher than an 0.1 rating (i.e. 100000 viewers or less). When the size of the audience is that small, IMO the smart move is to license PLTV content instead of producing your own.

  36. Fix the NBC Sports Live Extra Android App says:

    The NBC Sports Live Extra Android app still doesn’t work on many Android phones despite repeated complaints from thousands of users.

    Fixing the app should be high priority.

  37. Too many crap EPL matches on NBC says:

    I disagree with the Gaffer.

    Too many matches on NBC at the Saturday 12:30pm ET slot are crap matches. Who cares about the likes of Stoke vs Hull?

    IMO only “big” clashes involving two of the following 5 belong on NBC:

    Manchester United
    Manchester City
    Chelsea
    Arsenal
    Liverpool

    (I no longer consider Tottenham to be a “big” TV audience grabber.)

    The “best” matches are generally played on Saturdays at 7:45am ET and Sunday mornings. If none of the big matches are played on Saturdays at 12:30pm ET, then IMO don’t bother putting anything on NBC in that time slot unless NBC is needed as an overflow channel (because NBCSN has another event). Consider using CNBC instead of NBC as the overflow channel if the EPL match isn’t a “big” clash.

    • Jeff says:

      You have to remember the Saturday 12:30pm ET games are among the ‘lower-ranked’ games in terms of UK TV selections. The Sun 11am (Sky) & Sat 7:45am (BT) games are the ‘first pick’ spots, depending on when Sky uses their ‘first pick rights’.

      In saying that, I would rather NBC showcase a wide range of teams in their live games (like they did this year) than having less games only focusing on the ‘popular’ teams.

  38. Pakapala says:

    Some great suggestions put out. Great article. I just would like to add a few more:

    - Put the Premier League Highlight show at a better time. 7, 8 or 9 PM would be better.
    - Also make it available on demand for customers who have on-demand features (Comcast).

    - NBC might consider converting 1 of their many many channels into NBCSN2 like we have ESPN2 and FS2. This way they can have the games shown on regular TV more often and add weekly shows related to the game.

    • zero point one says:

      “NBCSN2″ already exists, sort of.

      CNBC is used by NBC sports on nights and weekends when something “big enough” (read: makes more money than what CNBC can sell in advertising or infomercial time) needs to be aired:

      A. CNBC airs Day 1 of the Westminster Dog Show because USA Network has a conflict with WWE Raw. Day 1 of the Westminster Dog Show is usually the highest-rated program on CNBC during non-Olympic years.

      B. Overflow NHL playoff games during Rounds 1 and 2.

      None of the Saturday 10am ET EPL matches are big enough for CNBC to be used side by side with NBCSN. The Live Extra overflow channels will suffice.

      • Pakapala says:

        The Live Extra overflow channels AFAIK are only available to Direct TV customers. On Comcast they have the live games available On-Demand but it’s poorly put together. Another dedicated channel would be welcomed.

      • Kobashi says:

        CNBC airs paid programming from 6am to 7pm on Saturdays. CNBC isn’t drawing any audience w/paid programming.

        Do you know where I can find a link to the schedule for PLTV?

        Hope all is well Oliver!

  39. Seminole Gunner says:

    Lots of good suggestions here, but my overall feeling is immense satisfaction with NBC.

    They came out of the gate with a Premier League offering that was not only light years beyond what FOX was giving us several years into their deal, but was better than I anticipate FOX’s future World Cup productions will be as well.

    It’s night and day going from a weekend Prem game on NBC, to a midweek CL game on FOX which still often appears to be a couple guys in a basement pirating the international feed.

  40. Gareth Beale says:

    I was very pleased overall with the coverage. Rebecca Lowe is light-years ahead of the succession of bimbos that Fox Soccer trotted out in their time.

    slightly marred by Comcast’s implementation of Extra Time, but that is not the fault of NBC.

    It would be nice if the Preview show aired on Friday instead of right before the start of coverage early on Saturday.

    Match of the Day On Demand would be excellent.

  41. Roy Russinger says:

    Thank you NBC, light years ahead of Fox. Rebecca and crew do a great job. As much as I admire Tim his voice is a little monotone but with good insight. My only bitch about the majority of American commentators is that at times they talk to much and just state what we can see with our own eyes, and yes I’m American

  42. Abdirahman says:

    The pltv coverage is watched from here africa and asia and some parts of north america like jamaica and others. Their coverage is a+ “the best” their pundit are the likes of andy towsend alan curbishley micheal owen ian wright tony adams and so many others. They have reports in every ground they go live with commentators before matches and chat them the likes of peter drury jon champion steve banyard, and as well martin tyler during monday night games. They show the classic matches that were played past a period of 25 minutes, they also show a fanzone after every sat &sunday when pl matches are over as the other five days its long one hour show where the fans call the show around the globe, they also show “football today” that runs two straight hours five days exclude weekend days which they show the highlits of the matches that were played and previews the games coming up. There are previews are aired friday 7pm uk time and it runs 25minutes while reviews are 1 hour showed it live every monday 5pm uk time they also show daily news exclude weekend days 25 minute also. The pltv is located from london but not available uk viewers only the rest of the world. Pltv is also 24/7

  43. scrumper says:

    Hire Stewart Robson he has a common sense approach and doesn’t pull any punches. He’s been so refreshing at the WC.

  44. scrumper says:

    Oh and put a muzzle on Arlo White.

  45. Mike says:

    No Ray Hudson like commentors, please! Focus on the match only. All rumors and gossip should be left for the half-time and after match. Do not show or anounce results of matches being played in parallel.

    Outside of that NBC has done a terrific job! Keep up the good work!

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