Olympics can help NBC expand Premier League to wider audience


NBC’s lead producer for its coverage of the Premier League on US television believes the Rio Olympics can have a big impact in attracting new viewers to the world’s most exciting soccer league.

“One thing that I’ve found, especially from the Sochi Olympics, is that the Olympic coverage really helps Premier League coverage because there are so many people that are sampling the Premier League for the first time,” said NBC’s Coordinating Producer Pierre Moossa in an exclusive interview with World Soccer Talk. “We expect a massive increase in audience because people tune into the Olympics and they start to see Liverpool against Arsenal, and they start watching it, and before you know it, there are more and more people watching.

“It’s great to expose the Premier League to a much wider audience. So, these next few weeks are crucial. It’s just making sure you have a plan in place for it.”

The Premier League season kicks off this weekend with Saturday’s games on CNBC. But it’s Sunday’s two matches on NBCSN that should generate impressive ratings. In the first match, Manchester United open their season away at Bournemouth where new signings Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could play a part under new manager Jose Mourinho. The match that follows it is Arsenal against Liverpool at 11am ET. The last game between these two clubs ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw in January.

While NBC Sports is hoping for a big boost in attracting new viewers to its coverage of the Premier League, rival broadcasters ESPN and FOX Sports suffered a ratings hangover last weekend presumably due to the record Olympics TV ratings. On Sunday, 184,000 people tuned in to ESPN to watch Portland Timbers against Sporting KC, which was followed by FS1’s coverage of LA Galaxy against New York Red Bulls, which was watched by 93,000. To add to the disappointment, viewership of Sunday’s FA Community Shield between Manchester United and Leicester declined 32% on FOX Sports 1 (292,000 tuned in to watch the game compared to 428,000 last year).

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  1. Tony August 10, 2016
  2. Rick August 10, 2016

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