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NBC’s closer relationship with Sky Sports enhances EPL coverage

NBC Sports will be hoping that seven is their lucky number as the broadcaster enters its seventh consecutive season of Premier League coverage this weekend in the United States.

During those seven years, the American-based broadcaster has evolved its coverage every single season since the debut 2013/14 year. This upcoming season features several major changes to keep broadcasts fresh and to potentially increase viewing audience figures. A large part of the changes are a result of the Comcast acquisition of Sky TV, which has created a closer synergy between the two broadcasters who are now sister companies. This season, we can expect to see NBCSN integrating more elements from Sky Sports.

“The most visual thing will be a whole new rebrand of our soccer coverage with Sky’s graphic look,” explained NBC Sports Executive Producer Pierre Moossa, who oversees the network’s coverage of the Premier League. “That’s going to be one of the most visual representations of some of the changes, the synergies between the two companies.”

Aesthetics aside, this season marks the start of significant changes to the schedule including eight Premier League league games across the season kicking off at 2:45PM ET, which offers a big advantage to NBC Sports.

“It’s going to benefit the American audience with regards to the 2:45 PM Saturday quadruple headers,” said Moossa. “So people in the west coast get to see the late game.

“Then the Sunday kickoffs being moved back by half an hour (from 11AM ET to 11:30AM ET) helps our west coast audience, as well as helps people get to see the matches.”

SEE MORE: Schedule of Premier League games on US TV and streaming

Thirty minutes may not seem like much, but it makes a big difference to NBC Sports.

As a result, “We’re going to have now a two hour pre-match show,” Moossa said. “I think the biggest complaint our on-air team has is our shows are so tight; the time is limited. So to be able to have a two hour pregame show that we can dedicate to not only wrapping up Saturdays matches, but previewing Sundays and addressing all the headlines, there’ll be a little bit looser and give us an opportunity to really delve deeper into topics.

“The domestic rights holders in the UK have changed and Sky now being the host broadcaster for the 12:30PM ET NBC window is huge. They have all the first picks and all the big six matches have a better chance of being on in that NBC window. Ultimately we’re going to be able to show a broader audience on the United States the key matches.”

With so many opportunities for NBC Sports to now include programming from Sky Sports, the question remains how the American broadcaster tries to keep its identity without becoming too Sky Sports-centric.

Moossa explained, “I think it’s less about who says it, what’s… you know how it’s said as long as we cover the key topics the most effective way. That’s always what we do. We always laugh when we say, ‘we put this running order together and it gets thrown out the window within the first five minutes’ when you know, storylines change or there’s breaking news. A balancing act of making sure you’re incorporating certain things into the show isn’t really the priority, as long as you’re having the best effect and you’re communicating that you’re covering the key storylines. The most effective way is probably the best way to say it.”

Last but not least, the topic of Chelsea’s American star Christian Pulisic arose, and how NBC Sports plans on covering the former Borussia Dortmund player.

“It’s a balancing act, but I think how he’s covered is going to be dependent on him and how we perform success,” said Moossa. “You don’t want to over-hype him, but you also want to make sure you cover the topics that people are talking about.

With all of these enhancements and the potential of a bump in viewing figures involving Chelsea courtesy of Pulisic, the league will continue to grow in the United States. It’s already the most popular soccer league on domestic English-language television. And now with the integration between NBC Sports and their sister broadcaster in the United Kingdom, the sky is the limit.

Listen to the complete interview with Pierre Moossa on the latest episode of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, which is also available via Spotify, Pandora mobile app, Stitcher, Google Play, iTunes, TuneIn, Overcast, Soundcloud, Spreaker, YouTube and Audioboom.

 

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Robbie

    October 27, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    NBCSN coverage is just awful! Endless images of screaming fans, almost no commentary or analysis. When they do allow Kyle and the Robbies to speak, they have to shout because they’re surrounded by screaming fans. Terrible.

    • DT

      October 27, 2019 at 3:57 pm

      You didn’t like Sheamus the wrestler screaming/singing into the microphone for 10 minutes?

    • Azer

      October 27, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      I agree with you 100% Robbie. A 2 day Circus. It’s not just the screaming fans, the whole TV production is awful. Intrusive commercials running on the screen, scores from other games, A 3 men commentary team, etc. I feel sorry for Alan Shearer watching this embarrassment unfold. When is this going to end?

    • MAHLUF

      October 28, 2019 at 10:13 am

      You must be a blast a parties, bro. Lighten up a bit. That party looked like a blast.

  2. Jbaxter736

    August 26, 2019 at 5:11 am

    You don’t know how lucky you are with NBC coverage of the Premier League compare to our BT sport on Amazon offer for liking and what BBC offer for highlights it is Bearpaw especially the predictable girl punditry and Paul confirm you get on match of the day and they even worse than that all the pundits Then you have to punditry on match of the day with the with that everything was better in the 80s Lawrenson and then you get Alan Shera Martin Keogh Danny Murphy you can see why am BC is better now

  3. Azer

    August 25, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Rebecca Lowe told viewers this morning there is a technical glitch with our commentary team and we would be listening to the world feed with Peter Drury & Jim Beglin instead. At the 4 minute mark Arlo White came on and said ” You were in good hands with Peter and Jim who are sitting in the gantry behind us”. I said ok, now we’re in bad hands. At the 35 minute mark, the screen was lowered for 5 seconds to promote some Auto racing coming up and a big Acura logo was displayed on the screen. Did anyone else catch this? NBC and Sky Sports should not be used in the same sentence.

    • DT

      August 25, 2019 at 9:33 pm

      That’s the 2nd major glitch this weekend of the games I watched. Liverpool vs Arsenal they used the Sky video during the first half but appeared to still use NBCSN audio and they weren’t synched up exactly. Nothing too major but you could tell. Then today as you say they had issues for a few minutes with the audio commentator feed.. As I seen in one of your comments on another page, I to was wondering who exactly was that player that scored for Newcastle that the commentators kept talking about. I even googled Joel Linton. The guys in the UK & Ireland don’t realize how lucky they are but I at least understand not liking Sky cause it costs a lot, the guy above saying BBC Match of the Day is boring needs to get his head checked. It blows away any review show I have ever seen in the US.

  4. Jbaxter736

    August 25, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Be careful what you wish for because BT and Emersons coverage is horrendous

  5. Jbaxter736

    August 25, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    Sorry if I repeat myself I realise how many spelling mistakes . sky feed on super Sunday expect David Jones. Graham Souness and whoever the guest and Monday night football David Jones Jamie Carreker and whoever the guest And Saturday night football Kelly Kate and Jamie Redknapp and Friday night football, Kelly Kates and Gary Neville.. List of commentators Martin Tyler and Bill Leslie and rob Harthorn And occasionally Daniel mann and Alan Parry and Gary Neville and Jamie Carreker and Andy Hinchcliff and Alan Smith And that is the full sky sports lineup . As for match of the day it is awful golf on Sunday is better .

    • Sanvb

      August 26, 2019 at 5:43 am

      As someone else that lives in the UK I can verify that I’m It’s true And he doesn’t like bt coverage he won’t like Amazon coverage because BT are paid to produce Amazons coverage

  6. Jbaxter736

    August 25, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    sky feed expecting on super Sunday expect David Jones. Graham Souness and whoever the guest and Monday night football David Jones Jamie Carriger and whoever the guest And Saturday night football killer Kate and Jamie Redknapp and Friday night football, Kates and Gary Neville.. List of commentators Martin Tyler and Bill Leslie and rob Harthorn And occasionally Daniel mann and Alan Parry and Gary Neville and Jamie Carriger and Andy Hinchcliff and Alan Smith And that is the full sky sports lineup . As for match of the day it is awful golf on Sunday is better .

  7. José Cerrato

    August 13, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    What has been the average audience for each season? ⚽️ ?

  8. Ivan

    August 13, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Direct TV has a contract dispute with NBC, and the Tottenham Villa game wasn’t available this Saturday. No Bueno. I think I will join the chord cutters in the next month or so. DirectTV, without BeIN, and with prices constantly going up, is about to lose me as a long standing customer.

  9. Timm

    August 13, 2019 at 7:56 am

    How is the quality of the NBC Gold Stream? Has it improved from recent years when it was stuck in 30 fps?

  10. Nick

    August 11, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Xfinity now offering select games in 4k. Looks like it’s using Sky sports feed as opposed to NBC sports. Game looks crisp on 4ktv with x1 4k box

  11. Nelson Arblaster

    August 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

    So, does anyone know if the Gold pass allows you to access a lot of the pre/post Mach stuff shown in the UK? It might be worth the price tag if I get a lot more of that content not offered through the regular NBCSports app and channel.

    • Steven

      August 12, 2019 at 9:04 pm

      The Gold Pass only shows the matches without any pre or post-match analysis. There isn’t even a half-time show. You just get to see the matches in their entirety.

  12. DT

    August 10, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Or they could simply do what ESPN does and simply show the obvious Sky Sports coverage of Formula 1 and simply put their logo on the top right. I mean do people have any sort of attachment to any of these NBC hosts/commentators? Sky’s coverage makes them look like amateurs. We will still be stuck with their coverage for the games that BT Sports has the UK rights to and obviously the 3pm (UK) games that are not even broadcast over there.

  13. David the Yank

    August 9, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    The Gary Neville interview of klopp was excellent, on the other hand, and I would pay much more for my gold package if I had the choice to turn off Rebecca, the robbie dunces and SCREAMING ARLO, and instead get to hear Neville and Tyler et al any game I wanted!

    • kopite

      October 13, 2019 at 4:13 pm

      ARLO WHITE NOISE……t**t is annoying. Wants to do a podcast at the start of every match. Like we don’t have the internet and know what’s been going on all week.

  14. David the Yank

    August 9, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    The nbc graphics package was just a horrendous mess today of new Sky graphics with one font combined with new PL graphics in certain spots with a second font and then nbc couldn’t help themselves and retained a third completely different font set for their running ticker on the bottom of the screen. Probably the worst combo I have ever seen. And nbc, unlike Sky, continues to prefer nearly unreadable ALL CAPS TEXT for so many things. That has become so outdated and yet only NBC continues to use it. The ALL CAPS now look even more absurd against the modern Sky fonts and anesthetics used on the top portion of the screen.

    Hire a graphic designer and clean it up. If you think Sky graphics are superior (they are), then adopt them across the entire screen for the entire match, pregame and post-game package!

  15. Azer

    August 9, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    3 minutes into the game on Friday, there was an intrusive Infiniti QX50 commercial, followed by other commercials every few minutes. Does Sky Sports have commercials running on the screen? I don’t think so. NBC Sports slightly changed the graphics on the pre game show, nothing else. Seriously, What’s new about NBC’s EPL coverage. Did I miss something? Be honest. I’m specifically talking about the TV broadcast. I’m not buying what Pierre Moossa is selling. Don’t be fooled by him people, open your eyes. The Peacock network has shown it’s true colors. Shame on them.

  16. Lou Burns

    August 9, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    I think that is good news NBCSN is the gold standard of football reporting. IMHO, and think the commentators and analysts are the best.

  17. Nelson Arblaster

    August 9, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    Any chance of getting any of the other Sky candy programming like Match of the Day or those Gary Neville analysis?

    • Nathan

      August 9, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      Well, Match of the Day is on BBC, so no you will not get BBC MOTd. However, several Sky Sports Programmes, including critically acclaimed Gillette Soccer Saturday are featured on NBC Sports Gold Premier League Pass. Side note: NBC has their own version of MOTd which I think will air on Monday.

      • James

        August 9, 2019 at 10:49 pm

        If you’ve got a decent VPN, you can actually watch Match of the Day (and Sunday’s Match of the Day 2 plus their Saturday lunchtime magazine program Football Focus) for free for up to a week via the BBC iplayer. Not always straightforward because their techs are always trying to outsmart the VPNs but worth it if you can get it working.

        • Daniel

          August 12, 2019 at 3:37 pm

          Ha! So true.. the BBC iPlayer is seemingly blacklisting VPN IPs constantly. I’ve been using Hotshield for my iOS devices and it’s been solid for a good 3+ months now… the iPlayer has a TON of content (non-soccer related) too.. Well worth it to install the App if you can.

    • daniel

      August 10, 2019 at 2:22 pm

      torrents

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