For soccer fans in the United States, the Premier League has already rekindled many memories of getting up early to watch Saturday morning cartoons. The ritual among many adult soccer fans is now to watch Premier League games on NBCSN in those timeslots. But NBCSN has taken it once step further by bringing select Premier League matches into movie theaters every Saturday at 10am ET throughout the upcoming season. Saturday Matinees, anyone?
NBC Sports Group has struck a deal with Fathom Events to bring Premier League matches to 33 movie theaters across the United States. The new initiative, named Barclays Premier League LIVE, launches August 16. In order to ensure that the best, most impactful match-ups are featured in the Fathom Events theaters, each week’s game will be announced the Tuesday before. Fans are encouraged to check FathomEvents.com each week to see which game is being featured. Adding to the experience for theater attendees will be specially produced half-time breaks showcasing the BPL’s greatest players, interviews, analysis and “theater-only” insights live from England.
The Premier League matches will be shown with state-of-the-art projection and sound.
Tickets for Barclays Premier League LIVE are available at participating theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. The live events will be presented in select markets through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).
“It’s clear from the recent nationwide outpouring of support for team USA in the World Cup that more and more Americans are embracing and following this remarkable sport,” said Fathom Events CEO John Rubey. “In this ‘first-ever’ cinema sports series partnership with NBC Sports Group, fans in theaters can expect to get the full Barclays Premier League experience as though they were at one of the famed stadiums in the United Kingdom.”
In my opinion, it’s a unique idea. For matches involving my team or a big must-see match, it certainly would be inviting for me to go watch a game on a giant screen with other soccer fans. Plus, it provides cord cutters an opportunity to legally watch a match without needing a TV subscription.
For NBC, it gives the network an opportunity to attract new viewers to the league. I can picture fathers taking their kids or teens to go see movies on Saturday mornings, while the dad goes next door to watch a game with sports fans. Meanwhile, for the movie theaters, it provides a great new source of revenue for a traditionally slow time of the day.
NBC hasn’t announced which game will be featured as the first match on August 16 at 10am ET, but it’s very likely to be West Ham United against Tottenham Hotspur. View the TV schedule for Premier League matches on US TV.
What’s your opinion regarding the concept? And would you consider going to see matches on the giant screen? Share your opinion in the comments section below.