NBC Sports is in discussions with cable companies to find a solution for Premier League Pass that can be used in bars across the United States, according to a NBC Sports executive in an interview with Sports TV Ratings.
Currently, Premier League Pass is only available via online streaming to consumers for a fee of $50 per season. That’s left bars across the United States stranded for the first three weeks of the Premier League season without a way to show all of the games that they’ve been accustomed to broadcasting.
As a result, supporters groups across the United States have been frustrated because they’ve been unable to watch their team’s games in bars when the matches are exclusively available via NBC Sports Gold’s Premier League Pass.
“We’ve been in discussions with cable companies to offer [Premier League Pass] via commercial establishments,” said Rick Cordella, NBC Sports’ EVP and GM of Digital Media at the network. “Those conversations are ongoing. We totally understand the fact that some bars open up at 10am ET or 7am PT to welcome in the fans of a particular team, so we’re not tone deaf to that and we understand that it’s a big part of being a fan of a Premier League team, and we want that to continue. So we have made offers and are in discussions with distributors.”
In the meantime, Cordella gave some reassuring news to bar owners who have been unsure whether they’re legally allowed to broadcast Premier League Pass to their customers.
“The bar rooms could subscribe to NBC Sports Gold and offer the package through a TV or two to help those fans when they enter their establishment on Saturdays,” said Cordella. “Until such time as when a bar-distributor agreement is put forth, we wouldn’t object to that happening.”
Just days after Cordella was interviewed, soccer fans experienced technical issues when they tried to watch the Spurs-Burnley game on Premier League Pass on Sunday. Many complaints came from official Tottenham Hotspur supporters clubs across the United States who tried to watch the match at their local pubs.