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FOX Soccer and ESPN Drop Out Of US Bidding War For EPL TV Rights; NBC Universal is Frontrunner

UPDATED: FOX Soccer and ESPN have dropped out of the bidding for the US media rights to the English Premier League for seasons 2013-16, according to a report by Sports Business Daily.

According to the report, NBC Universal is the clear front runner with beIN SPORT a question mark

“We were disappointed to learn today that EPL has elected to move forward with a different media partner despite FOX’s aggressive bid,” said a FOX spokesperson.

“We are disappointed that our joint bid with FOX did not retain the English Premier League rights in the United States for the next three seasons. We thank the League, which has been a great business partner, and we wish them well.

“We’re proud of our role in growing the sport in this country and remain committed to soccer and to its fans,” said ESPN spokesman Mac Nwulu. “We will continue to work with our colleagues at FOX to provide unrivaled coverage of the Premier League for the remainder of this season.”

The bidding for the 2013-16 seasons concluded today, after a second round of bidding commenced after the initial October 18 deadline.

FOX Soccer has had the rights to the Premier League for 15 consecutive years, since August 1998. FOX Soccer-ESPN will continue to show Premier League matches on US television until the end of the 2012-13 season. Then, in August 2013, the new rights holder will begin televising the Premier League.

NBC Universal is believed to be the frontrunner in the bidding war. However, NBC Universal hasn’t returned calls to SBJ and an official announcement from the Premier League hasn’t been given.

“Sources say NBC’s bid would pay the EPL around $83M per year, an amount that would more than triple the $23M per year that Fox currently pays. Sources say Fox and ESPN have been told that their joint bid was not accepted. It is not clear if the Al Jazeera network, BeIN Sport, still is in the running. The emergence of NBC Universal as the clear front-runner in this bidding process comes as a surprise. In the weeks leading up to the bidding process, NBC sources downplayed the company’s interest.”

NBC Universal is a giant media corporation that is majority owned by Comcast. Among the networks under the NBC Universal umbrella, they include NBC, Telemundo, Hulu, USA Network and many others.

As soon as we have more information, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime, what’s your reaction to the news? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

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  1. Donny Malibu

    November 7, 2012 at 1:46 am

    NBC?? Sure, bring on Bob Costas. Screw this.

    FSC should pick up the Bundesliga and find someone that could do the job of Toby Charles and remake Soccer Made in Germany.

  2. Fritz

    October 29, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Hate Comcast and NBC.Fox will pick up another league and that will become my new favorite league.Hope all the Fox guys stay around.

  3. Ken

    October 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

    I, too, will miss Fox’s coverage overall. I’ll say this, though: it should be easier to get HD coverage now. We in the Chicago area have been pleading with Comcast for years to get Fox Soccer in HD. Depending on the channel coverage, we may actually now be able to see some more games in HD. On the other hand, let’s hope FSC gets a FEW more leagues. I still hope they go for the Bundesliga, though they have not expressed interest in the past. Comcast just announced that they are DROPPING Gol-TV (no big surprise there) in mid-December, and the German league is one of the few reasons I’ll still tune into Gol-TV on occasion, so I will miss it for that reason.

  4. Tod

    October 28, 2012 at 6:23 am

    If NBC would have gotten a good whiff of what was happening with the NHL, they might have found a way to grab rights to some of this season’s matches. No one is watching NBC Sports Network now.

  5. Tod

    October 28, 2012 at 6:19 am

    If the coverage is the same and we don’t somehow get forced into hearing some American morons commentating on the matches, it will be alright. Anyway, FOX is Rupert Murdoch and I’m happy to not watch anything FOX. thanks.

  6. Oliver Tse

    October 27, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    Canada remains the more interesting part of this story because the CRTC has gotten involved with the proposed acquisition of 19.9% of TeleLatino Network by beIN SPORT LLC.

    The CRTC, no doubt with prodding by Rogers Media and Bell Media, are trying to get to the bottom of all the “private banking” arrangements that may have been conducted by Youssef and Nasser.

    Until the CRTC gets straight answers, I would not hold by breath waiting for EuroWorld Sport to become beIN SPORT Canada. The likes of Rogers and Bell would love to see beIN SPORT LLC “eat” the Canadian rights without having a channel to air the matches.

  7. Oliver Tse

    October 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    Again, once Phil Mushnick of the New York Post started referring to beIN SPORT LLC as an “oily” business in August, you were supposed to have been able to read between the lines and understoon that beIN SPORT LLC executives (Youssef and Nasser) are “private bankers” who pretend to be media executives.

    The Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL), which runs the Bundesliga, does not do “private banking”. Youssef and Nasser avoided the Bundesliga like the plague and took their business elsewhere.

    EPL, i.e. Richard Scudamore, is being watched by government regulators and watchdogs.

    Scudamore appears to me to have kept the U.S. rights bidding process clean.

    The $250 million ($83.3 million/season) from NBC Universal Media (NBC Sports and Telemundo), if the reported amount were indeed true, meant that beIN SPORT LLC did NOT bid for the U.S. rights.

    That should not come as a surprise to anyone who got Mushnick’s message in August.

    • Tod

      October 28, 2012 at 6:21 am

      I have nothing to complain about regarding Bein Sport. I wish there were more such channels available in the U.S.

      It would also be nice to have dual language tracks or just the German commentating for the Bundesliga ITF.

  8. manny gut

    October 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Whatever happens NBC needs to get rid of Kyle Martino and give Men in Blazers their own weekly show. Make it happen. Football Phone In was great in the earlier days of FOX Soccer.

  9. mrditty

    October 27, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Everyone calm down!!!! Does anyone really think NBC is going to spend 83 million dollars on the EPL and not show the games? All this crying and you may actually have the ability to watch more games at a cheaper price.

    • Paul

      October 27, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      From an outsiders perspective who just keeps a keen eye on this type of thing, I think it’s a brilliant move and like you say, they’re not going to spend 83m per season to then not do anything with it. If nothing else, it’ll do their MLS coverage the world of good so it seems like great business all round for them.

      The quote from Fox says a lot (“We were disappointed to learn today that EPL has elected to move forward with a different media partner despite FOX’s aggressive bid”) because like Sky in the domestic tender process they were under the illusion of a possible major beIN Sport bid. As soon as they learned it was going to a second round, the alarm bells should have been ringing to up their bid considerably in order to blow the competition away.

      With this deal you’ve even got the continued possibility of national free to air games and you wouldn’t have had a hope of that with beIN.

      Out of curiosity, what are the differences in household reach between Fox Soccer and the NBC sports channel? Will it be a step down or stay the same?

      • Oliver Tse

        October 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm

        FOX Soccer – 41 million households

        NBC Sports Network – 80 million households

        CNBC U.S. – 90 million households

        • Guy

          October 28, 2012 at 8:35 am

          Which makes one wonder why losing Fox would be a bad thing for the EPL, as some have stated (if, indeed, NBC is the winner).

          • Oliver Tse

            October 28, 2012 at 9:02 am

            The new NBC Sports Group regime, with Mark Lazarus (former head of Turner Sports) at the helm, Jonathan Miller in charge of programming, and 10-time Emmy-award-winner Pierre Moossa in charge of soccer production, know how to do soccer right.

            They have given MLS first class treatment despite low ratings.

            They used multiple channels (NBCSN, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Soccer Channel) to air Olympic soccer matches live.

            I expect NBC Sports Group to hire British match commentators, a British studio host, and a mix of British and American studio pundits.

            There is no shortage of British studio host candidates who will be available.

            Rebecca Lowe’s contract with ESPN UK is set to expire in May 2013. One would expect NBC Sports Group to at least reach out to her to see whether she will be willing to relocate to Stamford, Connecticut.

            3 former CNN/Sports Illustrated World Sport anchors are now freelancers and are available to work immediately:Terry Baddoo, Phil Jones, and Candy Reid. I would not be surprised if NBC Sports Group have already interviewed all 3. Among these 3, I believe Reid would be the one that would turn the most heads and get NBC the most attention.

  10. Earl Reed

    October 27, 2012 at 6:29 am

    NY Times Goal Blog – NBC Sports Group Outbids FOX for EPL Rights

    Between that link and Ian Darke’s tweet last night (assuming his contacts within the British media are well-placed), it sounds like NBC Universal has won. Nothing against Bein Sport, but NBC at least has the infrastructure to do it right. The question is whether they have the vision to implement it across their platform.

  11. ryan knuckle

    October 26, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    this is gonna be a big mistake in the path of the EPL they are handing over the beautiful game to a network who couldnt manage 2 weeks of the olympics.happened 2 watch the nbc sports network coverage of the MLS and i wasnt pleased this is gonna be the start of the americanizing of english football.

  12. Earl Reed

    October 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    It makes you wonder if there will be a recasting of NBC/Comcast if this comes to fruition. They have a whole platform, including the entire Comcast network of local channels that carry little to nothing on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

  13. Dust

    October 26, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    If it is nbc just a Reminder, NBC Sunday night football gets the highest ratings in the USA of any tv programming, NBC are not going to buy a premium global sports league for its network and not give it exposure on their franchise show.

    The epl won’t just look at money, they will consider everything, NBC sports in general will be heavily increasing its marketing as it adds sports and builds its profile.

    Everyone needs to stop freaking out… It is not the end of good coverage or the epl’s or footballs growth. It’s quite the contrary!

    If it is NBC, then great, if its BeIN then great too!

    • Guy

      October 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      I’m with you.

  14. sucka99

    October 26, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    So is this the end for us being able to see Sky Sports News and Fox Soccer News on a daily basis? Fox Soccer without the EPL is just Fox Sports 3 and I can’t see Fox Sports 3 wanting to put Sky Sports News on for an hour. Maybe Fox Soccer News … but every night? Fundamental changes for US Footy fans. And just when Fox Soccer seemed to be on the up.

  15. dominjon

    October 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I wanted the status quo, for me it is all about number of games available, not quality of coverage.
    So on that level I am hoping for NBC. Think they might go ahead and rebrand one of their stations to ‘NBC soccer’ and also offer a streaming site. I mean why buy streaming rights and not make money off them.
    Again I care not how crappy their coverage is, I just want to be able to watch every game I want to every week (with the help of DVR/streaming web site) the same as I do now.

  16. Fog

    October 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Arlo White or Ray Hudson, no Ian Darke…LOSE, LOSE, LOSE!!!

  17. Nick Petrilli

    October 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t see why everyone is doom and gloom over this, I’m very positive. After what NBC was able to do for the NHL and the effort it’s making after the Comcast merger, you better believe the EPL will become NBC’s baby and will be marketed heavily. I also don’t get the worry about Americanizing the game. Their MLS production and broadcasts are very good, people really don’t have anything to worry about.

    • Nick Petrilli

      October 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Also happy to see my prediction from a year ago come true.

  18. David

    October 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Don’t forget there are other networks they can use besides NBC Sports Network- I could see quite a few games going to CNBC (which has nothing but paid programming from 7AM-7PM on weekends), so that would mitigate some of the F1 conflicts.

    • DCUDiplomat96

      October 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Repped! I almost forgot about that.

    • Nick G

      October 26, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      Or more likely move F1.

  19. DCUDiplomat96

    October 26, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    S for the internet and Mobile rights, Im sure if NBC wins those they will have something available. NBC is new to the Soccer Game.. IMO i dont think they have really do alot of promoting of the MLS Coverage.

  20. DCUDiplomat96

    October 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Well Im not shocked at all ESPN and or Fox is not going to spend alot of money on soccer(especially for one League, not matter if its thr best in the world or not.) heck it barely gets a million viewers consistently. If the English FA offered a Longer term Deal then I bet ESPns or Foxs would be more motivated to get rights. Sorry just keeping it real…… Ass for Bein Sport, they need people that know American TV. Appareantly they dont, dont get me wrong they can buy all the leagues, does you no good if only a fraction of the country(US) can only see them.

  21. DMC

    October 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Does anyone know who won the rights for Latin America?

  22. CTBlues

    October 26, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    NBC Sport has a mobile app that they show live games on.

  23. dano328

    October 26, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    This is a mistake by the EPL. FS existed solely to cover their game. Say what you will about their studio shows but the show matches live and then 24/7 afterwards. They did allot for the growth of the sport here. Will FS stick around for CL or just farm those games out to regional Fox Sports? These regionals won’t show CL matches unless its a big name club. Hope I am wrong.

    • CTBlues

      October 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      I think this will probably make FOX hit the go button on turning Fox Soccer, Speed, FUEL, and FS+ into the FOX Sports 1-4. They only have UEFA Champions League, Europa League, CONCACAF Champions League, Scottish Premier League, 2018/2022 World Cups, and some USL and NCAA Soccer for soccer and Rugby leagues from Europe and Australia.

      • DCUDiplomat96

        October 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm

        Fox will at least rebrand the channel(FSC and FSP)at the least IMO they have a bunch of other ventures, Well I guess U wont see the EPL games interfere with NFL Games after next yr.

      • Nick G

        October 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm


        You have it exactly. Fox have been preparing for this, its not a big shock to them. They have been wanting to restructure to Fox Sports 1-4 for a while and this loss of the EPL doesn’t slow that down.

    • Guy

      October 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm

      dano—There can be no “mistake”. The process is strictly controlled to leave no room for any shenanigans. There is no “choice” by the PL. Everyone knows going in that high bid wins. Period.

      I think few of us would want to see the decision process be like that for choosing the site of the World Cup.

      • dano328

        October 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm

        If Fox put in a lowball bid compared to others then its their mistake. I said mistake by EPL as I felt Fox was doing a good job and have not been impressed with NBC’s MLS coverage. Now we have an unknown element. If the bids were even, I can’t see why EPL would want to switch who covers their product over here. If they only care about the money, then beIN would win.

  24. DMC

    October 26, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    NBC should sublicense One game a week to ESPN, ESPN will be a great partner to help to increase the viewership in both networks.

    • Dust

      October 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Fox have put themselves in a poor situation here, a soccer station with only 1 competition until the works cups? Poor leadership decisions at fox, short sightedness & arrogance.

      Espn will probably work something out with whoever get the main deal, NBC would love their NBC sports network logo on espn everytime they mention games.

      So… No more Ian Darke or Steve M? the good news is no more stone, Barton, wynalda when it moves.

      • paul

        October 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm

        Makes me wonder if our own BT Sport channel will make a move on Darke in time for their first live match next year

    • Nick Petrilli

      October 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Will never happen. NBC Sports and ESPN are direct competitors.

  25. AmadeoC

    October 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Well thank you fsc and ESPN for the exposure of the sport to mainstream America. I wonder what’s next, Bein or NBC?

  26. Sacto Blues

    October 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I think NBC sports will do well if indeed they’ve won the rights and hopefully no more RG III gatorade, Volkswagen, or Fiat commercials.

  27. Chet Carter

    October 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    If NBC does get the rights they will completely screw it up just like they do with every other sporting event they cover. And sadily BEin sport won’t be much better. Bad move from the EPL. I for one am extremely concerned!

  28. thyname

    October 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Not happy that Fox/ESPN lost the rights.

    However, I would prefer NBC to win the rights, rather than beIN. beIN sucks big time! Not only they are not available in almost every cable network, but even in those that carry beIN, there is only one channel available (out of the two) AND in Standard Definition only.

  29. PaulF

    October 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Fox pays the PL 23 million per year to show games?? that is really cheap.

    • Guy

      October 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Except that the opportunity to recoup those costs through advertising is severely limited.

      Frankly, I have never seen how Fox got their money out of some in-game banner ads/pop ups and ProActiv ads at halftime.

  30. Marc L

    October 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Hulu and all those channels? Could be a lot worse news (i.e. BeIN.)

    I’m fine with NBC if there ends up being an internet component similar to FS2Go. And I have to think that there will be. Hell, maybe even Hulu works this way. I know nothing about it but it seems as if NBC makes their crappy TV shows pretty accessible to the wired world.

    Kind of funny to read all the comments here about Ian and Macca. I myself must be the only person who neither likes nor hates them!

  31. Tony Butterworth

    October 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I’m not clear on the status of the Champs League but what is most frustrating here is the possible need to subscribe to two different channels to get the Champs and Premier Leagues

    • The Gaffer

      October 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm

      The UEFA Champions League will remain on FOX through the 2014-15 season.

      Beginning next season, we may have to subscribe to FOX Soccer, beIN SPORT and NBC Universal/NBC/NBC Sports Network/Comcast to be able to see games from the EPL, Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup.

      The Gaffer

      • Eman

        October 26, 2012 at 6:47 pm

        And this, really, is my only concern.

        I’m a TWC subscriber with the Sports Pass. NBCSN is on the Variety tier. Unless it’s moved to the Sports Pass, I have to pay more for the Variety tier now?

        Of course, I could always switch to the Variety Tier, but if BeINSport comes to TWC and, I’m guessing, lands on the Sports Pass, then it’s the same problem all over again.

        Here’s hoping that NBCU acquiring the EPL is leverage for them to move up to Basic Cable. And I can keep the Sports Pass. And watch as much soccer as possible.

        Because this is what it’s all about for me. The ability to watch every game.

  32. Dust

    October 26, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    If you are a Comcast subscriber you will be just fine, as for the price fox baulking @ under 100 million is a joke. The 000’s of millions they pay for NFL is the joke.

    Let’s face it 100 million isn’t much for 3 years rights to the world most popular sports most popular league.

    NBC showing foresight, lets how there talent selection is better than Fox’s.

    The editorial aspect of NBC’s olympic coverage aside, they certainly have the trchicsl ability and infrastructure to make a great package.

    IF it is beIN and they use their alj +3 channel quality then it will be great coverage.

    It’s a win win i think for ALL football fans. NBC will have mls & epl, great branding for both to associate the 2 on one network.

    Didn’t someone that used to write for epl talk wrote for NBC Sports now?

  33. FakeTseTseFly

    October 26, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    People who assume that NBC has won this need to give their heads a shake…or should I say ‘Sheik’?

    beIN is still in this. No one knows what their bid is – but they can easily outbid NBCU.

    Distribution/# of channels means NOTHING to the EPL. Want to know why? Because all you EPL loving saps will just switch to the channel the games ARE on regardless. WHo has the most channels doesn’t mean squat.

    $$ talks, BS walks.

    And wait a sec…is the the death bell I hear ringing at FSC? Well yes sir, I think it is! Buh-bye…

    • TohnJerry

      October 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm

      I disagree.

      NBC will no doubt bring in new fans. Bein Sport has no reach beyond Bein Sport, NBC will have their entire cable network to promote the EPL.

      If the amount BEIN is offering absolutley dwarfs NBC’s bid you would be right but since we’re hearing NBC is the frontrunner we have to assume it’s as big or at least in the general neighborhood of BEIN’s bid.

      So if you’re the Premier League would you just take the extra 5-10 mil more than BEIN is offering or would you be more tempted by NBC’s promise to market the Premier League to mainstream America? (More shirts sold, more merchandise sold in the biggest consumer market in the world)

      NBC just has more upside, even if Bein offers more short-term money. And since the Premier League isn’t exactly in dire need of cash at the moment I think they’ll take the long term growth.

      Also you underestimate the personal relationships that make these deals possible. Business isn’t always about who has the biggest bid. It’s about having lunches and dinners and building a relationship and trust. I’m sure the Premier League is more comfortable with a established company like Comcast/NBC Universal than Bein Sport.

      • Paul

        October 26, 2012 at 6:08 pm

        That’s got NOTHING to do with it! There’s no clause in the contract… no stipulations… nothing! If NBC and beIN put in bids that are within a certain margin of each other then it will be forced into another round and will keep in that pattern until a clear cut winner has been decided. The Premier League don’t work as they once did when they effectively hand picked the winner… it’s regulated now meaning the highest bidder MUST win so if beIN bid 5-10 million more than NBC then beIN WOULD win.

        The PL really can’t afford to run the tender process underhand. It’s simply too high profile for that these days.

        • TohnJerry

          October 26, 2012 at 6:23 pm

          Not doubting you but do you have a link to a webpage that explains this bidding process?

          It just seems to bizarre I want to see some official explanation.

          • The Gaffer

            October 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

            The tender document that the Premier League sends out is a confidential document that is only sent to the parties involved in the bidding process. One of my sources confirmed that the document states that the highest bidder is the one that would win. There are no other requirements.

            The Gaffer

        • Guy

          October 26, 2012 at 9:58 pm

          Thanks, once again, for the straight info from across the pond. The process, as noted below by The Gaffer, eliminates the possibility of backslapping backroom deals or consideration of “other” factors. As you note, the PL really can’t afford to do that anymore.

          I hope NBC gets it, but if they don’t it won”t be the end of the world. Whoever wins isn’t spending all that money to go hide the sport. We’ll at least get a new set of commentators to despise and grumble about! 🙂

          • Guy

            October 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm


    • Oliver Tse

      October 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      Based on what I have known since early August, I do NOT believe that beIN SPORT LLC made a bid for the U.S. rights to EPL.

      Phil Mushnick of the New York Post essentially exposed Youssef and Nasser as “private bankers” instead of media executives or tennis executives as they pretend to be wheh Mushnick started using to term “oily” to describe beIN SPORT LLC’s business.

      NBC Universal Media’ bid of $250 million ($83.3 million/season) is only half of what I had expected beIN SPORT LLC to be capable of bidding (in the $500 million neighborhood) if beIN SPORT LLC had actually put in a bid.

      I am more interested to find out what is happening in Canada instead of the U.S.

      • Tim

        October 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm

        In English, for those who know you and the history of your nonsense “insider” scoops:

        Oliver Tse was 100% wrong. Again.

        Any updated Canada prediction for us? So far, you’ve been dead wrong on the UK and USA bid results. Will the third time be the charm?

        Carry on.

      • Paul

        October 27, 2012 at 5:24 pm

        You’ve quickly changed your tune. If you had this knowledge then you wouldn’t have stopped going on about from August onwards! And seriously, I think you should stop referring to them as dodgy business men and private bankers who only want to do business by other means… Think whatever you want but you should keep your slanderous comments to yourself before you get into trouble.

        I’ve come to my own conclusions on beIN Sport. Personally, I don’t think they’ve put in a bid – not a serious one anyway. I think they’re playing a clever game. Buy up cheaper rights, most leagues and competitions to build up the portfolio and slowly but surely gain carriage deals. Closer it gets to World Cup 2022 they’ll start to step it up and become more aggressive to show that they really do ‘get’ football/soccer. I still expect them to make a move in the UK market… I can see them making aggressive moves for the Premier League in 2016/2019. 2019 in particular because that leads in nicely to a new deal to be struck in time for 2022.

        I’m probably just getting carried away with my crazy thoughts but it sounds good to me lol 😉

  34. Stephen

    October 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Could very well spell the end of Fox Soccer Channel? I don’t care who shows the games as long as they are shown and I can see them!!

  35. Tim Krass

    October 26, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    NBC has won the rights and will do an excellent job with it. Very happy we can all see the matches!

    • The Gaffer

      October 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Tim, NBC hasn’t won the rights yet. And there’s no guarantee that we’ll be able to see all of the matches.

      The Gaffer

      • Terry

        October 26, 2012 at 6:11 pm

        I agree. Change means there is no guarantee that all matches will be available live or even in premier/replay. Who knows what NBC will do. They are not a soccer-focused channel. I would not expect NBC to have olympic-like coverage of the EPL. The Olympics are a short two week event that NBC pays billions for and sends hundreds of people to. Maybe it can air on USA Network given their Saturday morning schedule, but CNBC and MSNBC are not going to be airing games. And the idea (in the comments) of games being on Hulu isn’t going to work either, as that is a joint venture with FOX and ABC (aka ESPN) too. The FCC requires that Hulu act independent of NBC/Comcast too.

        What happens to FSC is more of my concern. Does FS+ survive? They still have UCL, FA Cup, CCL. But none of these are weekly games/events that would keep alive even one channel, so they need to pick something up. And what happens to the coverage of the 2018 & 2022 World Cup?!

  36. Mufc77

    October 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Wait does this mean no more Keith costigan and No more “second half kick” from Rob Stone?

  37. Gary

    October 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    This news saddens me. I enjoy the hell out of the Fox Soccer Channel…Warren Barton, Eric Wynalda and the rest of the team. I appreciate what they’ve done the past several years.

  38. Chief Brodie

    October 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    This is great news. Look at what NBC has done with the other “unpopular” sport here in the US. Televised every NHL playoff game last year on its multiple networks. EPL fans should be optimistic that we may get the same treatment every week, and every game will be televised. For that price, and the time slots required, that is not only possible but probable.

  39. paul

    October 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Strange that the source knows NBC is the front runner but at the same time doesn’t know if beIN Sport is still in it. If they are, it’ll go to another round if their bids are close enough.

    Maybe beIN Sport decided not to enter the market at all and NBC took the BT route and used them as cover while they plan a secret aggressive line of bidding.

    Another decent price increase for the league as well. 2013-16 is raining money all over the world for them!

  40. Purd

    October 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I am very afraid of what this might mean. Besides the rare occasion when Man City is on Fox Soccer Plus, I have been nothing but thrilled with Fox Soccer’s coverage of the EPL. I fear the unknown future of football coverage.

  41. TohnJerry

    October 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I’m shocked.

    I don’t know where to begin.

    First I HATE NBC going back to the Leno/Conan debacle. I hate Dick Ebersol and I hate their pathetic Olympics coverage with the tape delays.

    Now with that said I have to grudgingly admit they do a great job at marketing sports, esp to non-traditional fans. I’d think they’d do a much better job at pushing the Premier League to a general American audience than Fox Soccer or even ESPN ever did.

    My only concern is that NBC Sports Network doesn’t have a online streaming site right, like ESPN has with ESPN 3 or Fox did with FoxSoccer2go? That means some games are not going to be shown period? That would suck.

    If NBC Sports Network hired Ian Darke it’d be perfect.

    I really loved ESPN coverage but I’m intrigued by what NBC Sports Network could do with the Peemier League. And before the rumors start flying: they’re not going to tape delay. As much as I hate NBC they’re not that evil. That was a Olympics only thing.

    • andrew

      October 26, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      NBC has NBC Sports Live Extra. It’s a streaming app for Android and iOS. It’s trivial to expand that further.

    • David

      October 27, 2012 at 4:14 am

      During the Olympics, NBC did have a streaming service that showed live events which later showed on delay on TV. I assume they could do something similar for EPL games by having a streaming presence. I’d be surprised if NBC doesn’t have a streaming service IF they win the rights to the EPL.

  42. Matt

    October 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Wow I’m stunned. Now I’m all in for NBC. They do have NBC sports net and they could definitely handle the coverage in the morning. Using Hulu as a streaming service could take that brand to the next level.

    This almost certainly spells the end of Fox Soccer Plus. Now all they have is the UEFA CL, Concacaf CL, MLS and some qualifiers. I might be missing something else but I fear for their soccer coverage going forward.

  43. jtm371

    October 26, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    i think they are going to try and Americanize the EPL and that will not work.they have to much and will treat it just as another show will they have a specific channel no will they have year round coverage no.just think they will F this up big time hope i am wrong.will miss Ian on Saturdays.

  44. Kenny

    October 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Well the only real upside with this would be that the ratings for the NBC Sports Network are beyond pathetic (their highest rated show last week was a Sunday morning hunting show). So the EPL and the NHL (currently in a lockout) would be their only marquee properties so they would probably invest a lot of time & money on their coverage.

  45. wade

    October 26, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Oops, meant since I *don’t* have cable or satellite.

  46. wade

    October 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Please no more Macca – he’s as bad as Tim McCarver is at baseball announcing.

    Anyway, this really sucks. NBC is not a Soccer network, so this will be just another “thing” for them. With Fox Soccer, that was their only “thing”. I gladly pay $15 a month for FoxSoccer2Go (and would pay much more) since I have cable or satellite, but I doubt I will be able to purchase that kind of online-only package with NBC. This is a HUGE loss for EPL in the U.S. Just hideous.

  47. Chris

    October 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Disappointed. I seem to be one of the few who didn’t mind FSC’s coverage. So far not too impressed w/ what I’ve seen on NBC sports so they have their work cut out for them. Really hope there is some sort of online component to their coverage as FSC2go is a key piece of my ability to follow the EPL.

  48. Bob Jakuc

    October 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Fox Soccer and ESPN have done a very good job exposing American audiences to top level European soccer: Europa League, EPL and Champions League. We’ll know how serious NBC is when we see who they pick to announce their games so I’ll reserve judgement for now…

    As for Fox/ESPN, there are other top flight leagues that are under exposed in the States: La Liga and Bundesliga to name just two… not to mention top flight Brazilian soccer in the Campeonato Paulista… even, dare I say it, expanding their coverage of the MLS couldn’t hurt… And the Russian top flight teams are throwing some serious money around and attracting some big names their way…

    So we”ll see for now. Thanks to Fox Soccer and ESPN for helping to grow the sport here and stoke Americans’ interest in it. To NBC, soccer fans love their footy… don’t EFF it up…

    • Nick G

      October 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      La Liga has been bought by beIn and Fox declined the Bundesliga – it never garnered much interest in terms of ratings. Also, Fox have passed on MLS which is now owned by NBC with a package at ESPN.

      I can’t imagine Fox maintaining FSC just for CL, Europa games. likely send those to the regionals directly.

      Also, don’t count out beIn sport just yet. 83 M is a drop in the bucket for them. I wouldn’t be too surprised if they outbid NBCU.

      • TohnJerry

        October 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

        Exactly, FOX Soccer is completley boxed in. They don’t have rights for ANY LEAGUE. I bet that MLS package looks pretty sweet now.

        I don’t see how Fox Soccer survives this. They should’ve outbid NBC no matter what.

  49. jennifer

    October 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Gutted. NBC is known as the tape delayed network, always going for maximum ratings over live action (for example, the Olympics prime time mess when many of us switched to BBC feed). Sad that this could be the end of FSC and daily Sky Sports News cover-as expats that show is very important to us and we never understood why FSC didn’t show more of it. On the positive, I hope NBC will hire Ian and Macca-highlight of our week-and their many channels make it possible for them to get this right (if they actually care about footy).

    • Billy

      October 26, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      As an expat myself I totally agree. I haven’t liked the stranglehold Fox/Sky/Murdoch have had on football but I’d equally rather see more SSN than repeats of things that have already been shown several times. Macca & Ian would be good to see although I quite like Warren Barton and Eric Wynalda. Cat amongst the pigeons time – maybe they could bring in Richard Keys & Andy Gray (haha) and have some slightly more in-depth half-time punditry.

  50. Guy

    October 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Well, I didn’t think NBC was serious, so once again I don’t know jack. My wife will be shocked. 😉

    With USA Network and Hulu they have plenty of options. Could be a good thing. Will wait for confirmation, though.

  51. Kenny

    October 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I’m not thrilled with this news. I like Ian Darke a lot on Espn, and while Fox Soccer hasn’t been the best channel they have upped their production values in the last few years. I’m not big on NBC sports overall or their Olympic coverage, but as long as they don’t replace the announcers with their own it should by ok.

  52. dano328

    October 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I preferred the status quo, but beIN not winning more leagues which they can only show 8% of us, is a small victory. They may get the 1 game a week ESPN currently has.

    • Guy

      October 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      The only way beIN could still get a match is if NBC subleased it to them. Not impossible, but surely highly improbable.

  53. jtm371

    October 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    get ready for your unhealthy dose of kyle martino.

  54. CTRed

    October 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    wow looks like i wont need to renew Fox Soccer Plus or Foxsoccer2go next summer

  55. Ben

    October 26, 2012 at 4:11 pm


  56. Juan-John

    October 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Looks like Fox Soccer will have to rebrand itself as Fox Rugby….

  57. lamemodem

    October 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Is this true? I can’t believe it. I’m concerned about the conflict with F1 and live broadcasts. As long as they keep it commercial free and don’t force American match commentators on us this might not be bad news.

    • Nick Petrilli

      October 26, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      The main guy for NBC Sports right now is Arlo White, who is British and called the Olympic games. He’s going to be their EPL guy for sure for the moment.

      • Sad Face

        October 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm


  58. dano328

    October 26, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    NBC has allot of channels, so they should be able to air all games. What I liked most about Fox Soccer are the repeats. Hope NBC will do the same.

    • manny gut

      October 27, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Repeats would have to replace fishing and hunting shows. Not going to happen.

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