Everything You Need to Know About NBC’s Coverage of the Premier League

In the past several months, many of the readers to EPL Talk have posted many detailed questions about all of the ins- and -outs of NBC’s coverage plans for the Premier League, which will begin on August 17, 2013 when the new Premier League season begins.

I’ve answered all of your questions below (plus many more). If you still have questions remaining, please post them in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.

OVERVIEW

Q: How much did NBC Sports Group pay for the rights to show the Premier League on US television for 2013-16?

A: Approximately $250 million.

Q: Where does the TV deal rank among countries worldwide that broadcast the Premier League?

A: According to Richard Scudamore, it’s in the top five.

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COMMENTATORS

Q: Who will be commentating the games for NBC Sports?

A: When available, the lead commentator will be Arlo White with either Graeme Le Saux or Lee Dixon as co-commentators. Arlo White will commentate approximately three Premier League matches per weekend.

Q: Will the games will be called “off the tube” or “off the monitor,” or will the commentators be at the stadiums?

A: Whenever there’s a game featuring NBC commentators, the team will be commentating live from the stadium in England or Wales. As such, Arlo White is moving from the United States to the United Kingdom.

Q: What happens when Arlo White isn’t available to commentate?

A: When NBC’s commentators aren’t available or are doing another game at the same time, NBC Sports will provide the world feed with British announcers (from TWI/IMG).

Q: What experience does Arlo White have?

A: Arlo White is a career professional who has worked at the BBC before moving to the States where he commentated games for Seattle Sounders and Major League Soccer. During the summer of 2012, Arlo White was the lead commentator for the soccer matches at the Olympics, which were televised on NBC to the U.S. audience.

Q: Who will be the presenter in the studio?

A: Experienced professional Rebecca Lowe will be moving from her job with ESPN UK to join NBC Sports, where she’ll be the presenter of the Premier League to a US audience. Lowe has worked at the BBC, Setanta Sports and ESPN — both in the US and UK. She’ll be joined by studio analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe.

Q: What role will Gary Lineker take with NBC Sports?

A: Gary Lineker will be a special contributor and on-site host. Due to his hectic schedule as presenter on BBC’s Match Of The Day, we’ll typically see Lineker make appearances now and again on NBC Sports on Sundays.

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PROGRAMMING

Q: How many games will be televised?

A: All 380 games will be presented live on television. Roughly six of the matches will be shown live on NBC Sports Network and NBC each weekend, while the remaining four will be made available to participating TV providers via Premier League Extra Time. All games will be streamed live for web, mobile and tablet users on the NBC Sports Live Extra service, as long as your TV provider has an agreement in place to provide the service to you.

Q: What will a typical weekend schedule look like?

A: On Saturdays, NBC Sports Network will show the 7:45am ET game, followed by a 10am ET game on the same network. The 12:30pm ET game on Saturday will be shown on NBC (20 games per season; the others will be shown on NBC Sports Network). On Sundays, the early kick-off at 8:30am ET will be shown on NBC Sports Network. The 11am ET game will be shown on NBC Sports Network and Telemundo. The Monday game at 3pm ET will be shown live on NBC Sports Network. Schedules are subject to change.

Q: What about on Spanish-language television in the United States?

A: Over the course of a season, 76 games will be shown live on Telemundo and Mun2 combined.

Q: Will Premier League games be televised on English-speaking networks in the United States other than NBC and NBC Sports Network?

A: Some of the games may be shown on USA or CNBC, for example, on the final day of the season where NBC Universal will use 10 of its different channels to show live matches.

Q: Can we expect to see EPL and MLS double-headers sometimes on NBC or NBC Sports Network when the schedule allows?

A: No. Most MLS games are scheduled later in the day.

Q: Can we expect no issues with games being blocked by local NBC affiliates (like FOX had with their games not being shown on some local FOX affiliate networks due to other programming commitments)? 

A: Unlike FOX Sports, NBC doesn’t expect to have any blackout problems.

Q: After live games are shown on US television by NBC, what are the plans for reruns of those and other EPL games? 

A: NBC Sports will re-air the best match of the week on Sunday nights. There may be other re-air possibilities but, as of press time, we’re waiting on clarification.

Q: What programming will be shown other than live matches?

A: Before and after every Premier League match, there’ll be a pre-match and post-match show featuring news and analysis. But outside of the games themselves, NBC Sports will be providing 600+ hours of original programming each season.

The shows they’ll be broadcasting are:

Match of the Day — Modeled on the BBC show of the same name, this two-hour highlights show will be shown every Saturday. The show will re-air on Sunday mornings.

Match of the Day 2 — Modeled on the BBC show of the same name, this 90-minute show will feature highlights from Sunday’s matches.

Premier League Countdown — A preview of the 2013-14 Premier League season.

Premier League Download — The show will feature celebrity supporters, comedians and journalists who will discuss what they love and loathe about the league.

Premier League 36 — NBC Sports Network’s 36 Series will follow footballers for the 36 hours leading up to a match in a unique behind-the-scenes documentary.

Premier League Goal Zone — A 30-minute program airing after matches on Sunday with highlights of all the goals scored on Saturday and Sunday.

Game Cut-Downs — On Monday nights, NBC Sports Network will present a two-hour show featuring shorter versions of the Man United and Manchester City games. On Tuesdays, a two-hour show will feature highlights from Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham matches.

Premier League Review — The popular show that features highlights of games will be shown by NBC Sports.

Premier League Preview — The popular preview show returns to NBC Sports.

Premier League World — The weekly magazine show produced by Premier League returns to television.

Q: What is Premier League Extra Time?

A: All games not aired on a designated NBCUniversal channel will be made available to distributors on Premier League Extra Time, a package of overflow television channels available at no extra cost for each of their customers who receives NBC Sports Network.

Q: What do I need to do if my TV provider isn’t going to offer Premier League Extra Time and/or NBC Sports Live Extra?

A: Contact them via phone, social media or by e-mail and politely let them know that you want access to both Premier League Extra Time and NBC Sports Live Extra well before the new season starts on August 17, 2013. If they aren’t willing to give you what you want, or they’re non-responsive, it may be time to consider moving to a TV provider who will give you access to 100% of the live Premier League games.

As of August 10, the following TV providers will offer access to Premier League Extra Time, the overflow TV channels where viewers can watch the Premier League games not being shown on NBC Sports Network or the other NBC networks: AT&T U-verse, Bright House Networks, Cablevision’s Optimum, Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox, DIRECTV, DISH, Mediacom, Suddenlink, and Time Warner Cable.

As of the same date, the list of TV providers offering access to NBC Sports Live Extra are AT&T U-verse, Cablevision’s Optimum, Charter, Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox, DIRECTV, DISH, Suddenlink and Verizon FiOS.

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NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA APP

Q: What is NBC Sports Live Extra?

A: NBC Sports Live Extra is a live streaming product from NBC Sports for desktop, mobile, tablets and, in most cases, on the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, telco and other video subscription services.

Q: What does NBC Sports Live Extra offer Premier League viewers?

A: Every Premier League match will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra. The service is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers. The TV providers offering its customers this service are Comcast xFinity TV, DISH Network, Verizon FIOS, Suddenlink and Cablevision. If your TV provider isn’t one of those, you’ll need to contact them to say that you want NBC Sports Live Extra and Premier League Extra Time, so you don’t miss access to a single game.

NBC Sports Live Extra will also include video highlights.

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