Now that the Premier League television deals have been completed in the United Kingdom for five out of the seven main TV packages, the changes are going to have a big impact on how the Premier League is watched in the United States for the 2019/20 through 2021/22 seasons.
Under the new TV deal, the Premier League, Sky Sports and BT Sport in the United Kingdom will introduce new kickoff times for many of the matches scheduled to begin August 2019.
The changes that soccer fans in the United States will experience are:
• Early Sunday kickoff times moved from 8:30am ET to 9am ET,
• Late Sunday kickoff times moved from 11am ET to 11:30am ET,
• Select Saturday matches played beginning at 2:45pm ET, and
• More Friday games to be televised, with kickoff times of either 2:30pm ET or 3pm ET.
So on a typical Premier League weekend beginning in August 2019, you could see a Friday kickoff (either at 2:30pm or 3pm) followed by Saturday kickoffs at 7:30am ET, 10am ET, 12:30pm ET and 2:45pm ET. And those would be followed by Sunday at 9am ET and 11:30am ET, and wrapping up on Monday from 3-5pm ET.
It allows the Premier League to stretch the 10 games each weekend over a maximum of eight TV windows compared to the average of six TV windows we’re currently used to seeing. For soccer fans in the United Kingdom, it also means fewer games in the traditional 10am-Noon ET window.
The biggest impact for NBC Sports is the more favorable TV times. Sunday matches are typically the most-watched games, so having a 11:30am ET kickoff instead of an 11am kickoff will be beneficial. The kickoff time of 30 minutes later than usual is more favorable for west coast viewers, as well as other time zones across the United States.
The late kickoffs scheduled on select Saturdays at 2:45pm ET will also be an added bonus, competing head-to-head with LaLiga but serving up a start time that’ll be more favorable for many soccer fans in the United States as well as giving NBC Sports an opportunity to generate even greater TV ratings than they’re currently enjoying.
NBC has the rights to the Premier League through the end of the 2022 season after signing a six-year contract in 2015.
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