With such a significant change as the move from NBC Sports Gold to Peacock Premium, there are going to be some bumps in the road when it comes to launching a new streaming solution. Hopefully these will be ironed out over time. But aside from the nagging distribution issues, there is some light at the end of the tunnel — and that is more studio analysis from the talent at NBC Sports.
During a recent conference call, World Soccer Talk asked Pierre Moossa, coordinating producer for NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Premier League, about the benefits of broadcasting games via Peacock compared to what we’re accustomed to seeing on television. The first thing that Moossa mentioned is that games on Peacock Premium will only include five minutes of commercials per hour compared to the standard fifteen minutes per hour that television provides.
That “opens doors” for Moossa and his team to offer more value to viewers.
“This will allow us a lot more time to build up to really get into deeper discussions,” said Mooosa. “[We’ll have] a lot more time to hear manager sound, and a lot more time to be on the pitch with player warmups.
“During halftime, we’ll have a lot more time to break things down, so you’ll find meatier and more in-depth analysis. Ultimately the viewer will benefit from us having more time to get into deeper topics.
“When the match is over, there are no time constraints of getting off the air. We’re obviously not going to stay on forever. But our Goal Zones can go on longer than the allotted time, if necessary, especially if there is something key or breaking news or something we want to get into.”
“Post-match, we’re not going to end our stream until we really put a button on every single thing to put a perspective on the match, so the options on Peacock are endless for us when it comes to studio coverage.”
Peacock Premium is available as a 7-day free trial. After that, it’s $4.99 per month (or free for Xfinity and COX customers). This season, 175 Premier League games will be exclusive to Peacock Premium, which includes the Premier League TV channel as well as more than 20,000 hours of shows, movies and more from NBC Universal.
Reasons to be optimistic about Peacock despite Roku’s stalling tactics
Launched in a year when the media giants are grappling for power and distribution, the best word to describe the Peacock TV situation is frustrating. As with many apps where version 1.0 is launched, it takes time for enhancements to be added before it becomes more responsive to customer’s needs. Needless to say, it’s been a big change for everyone.
Thus far, one of the biggest disappointments with Peacock has been the actions of Roku, who have been stalling adding the Peacock app to the Roku channel store. It wasn’t that long ago that Roku was the go-to streaming device for cord cutters when practically every app was available on Roku. These days, Roku has shifted its business model to “tax” media partners by requiring that Roku sells a portion of the advertising on many of the more popular apps. It’s one of the reasons why HBO Max isn’t available on Roku (despite HBO Max launching earlier this year), and it’s a main reason why Roku is blocking Peacock from being added to the streaming device.
Since 2013, NBC Sports have elevated soccer coverage on U.S. television and given us many memorable moments during their eight years of broadcasting soccer. Sure, it’d be great to have the shoulder programming from Premier League Productions available on-demand, but overall Peacock TV offers more value for money than NBC Sports Gold ever did (and at a much more affordable price). The news mentioned by Moossa above that Peacock will offer more in-depth coverage is also very encouraging to hear.
Hopefully, Roku will add the Peacock TV app to its marketplace soon (workarounds are available), but Amazon is in the same boat, stalling on their decision whether to add it to the Amazon Fire TV platform (Amazon wants a cut of the subscription fees for soccer fans who sign up for Peacock through Amazon).
With Peacock TV being the number one priority for both NBC Universal and Comcast, it’s very likely that we’ll see more enhancements made to the streaming service in the near future, which will only benefit consumers. A little bit of patience and optimism will go a long way in making this a more enjoyable experience for all fans of Premier League clubs.
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