After last season’s successful decision to send NBC’s entire broadcast team to England to cover a select number of Premier League matches, NBC Sports Group has decided to do the same again this April but with a twist.
Last season, the crew of Rebecca Lowe, Kyle Martino, Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle teamed up with their UK commentating teams for pitch-side studios as well as other exclusive opportunities. This year, from April 16-19, the NBC Sports broadcast team will have pitch-side studios at Stamford Bridge (for Chelsea vs. Manchester City), King Power Stadium (for Leicester vs. West Ham), and Britannia Stadium (for Stoke vs. Spurs). Plus, NBC Sports has decided to have Martino, Earle and Mustoe call their first Premier League matches for NBC Sports Group during the wall-to-wall weekend of on-site coverage.
On Saturday, April 16, the broadcast team will be at Stamford Bridge for eight hours of live coverage, featuring a match between the previous two Premier League champions when Chelsea host Manchester City at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, with Bower, Earle and Dixon in the on-site studio; White, Le Saux, and Martino pitch-side; and White calling the match alongside Mustoe.
On Sunday, April 17, NBC Sports Group presents six hours of live coverage from the King Power Stadium, where the atmosphere will be electric at the home of first-place Leicester City as they face West Ham United (8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN). Bower will be joined in the studio by Le Saux and Martino; while White, Dixon and Mustoe provide the pitch-side perspective; and White calls the match with Earle.
On Monday, April 18, NBC Sports Group’s announce team travels to the Britannia Stadium for Stoke City vs. second-place Tottenham, who will be looking to close in on Leicester in the Premier League’s final chapter, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Bower will be joined in the studio by Dixon and Mustoe; while White, Earle and Le Saux provide the pitch-side perspective joined by US Men’s National Team and Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard; and White calls the match with Martino.
On Tuesday, April 19, NBC Sports Group continues its six days of live match coverage from St. James’ Park, with White, Dixon, and Le Saux hosting studio coverage beginning at 2 p.m. ET, followed by Newcastle vs. Manchester City at 2:45 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
“One of our primary goals at NBC Sports has been to bridge the trans-Atlantic gap by bringing our audience closer to the Premier League than ever before,” said Pierre Moossa, coordinating producer of NBC Sports Group’s Premier League coverage. “Last year, we took an unprecedented step by hosting a full weekend of coverage entirely on-site in the United Kingdom. Building on last year’s success, we will once again bring the team to England for another special weekend of on-site coverage.”
The decision by NBC Sports to feature Earle, Martino and Mustoe as co-commentators is a wise one. After all, they’ll be at the stadiums, so they’ll be able to take advantage of the rare opportunity to add color to games in person. It’ll be interesting, for sure, to see which analyst (Earle, Mustoe or Martino) best adapts to the role as temporary co-commentator. Rebecca Lowe won’t be joining the team in England as she’s currently on maternity leave.
Overall, the decision by NBC Sports Group to conduct the Premier League Tour 2.0 is testament to the investment in time, money and perfection that the broadcaster continues to put into coverage of the world’s most popular sports league. It’s no wonder that NBCSN’s ratings continue to grow.
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