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Danny Higginbotham begins next chapter of career in United States

Danny Higginbotham

Danny Higginbotham, one of the top Premier League commentators the last few years, recently relocated to the USA. His move mirrors a similar one made recently by Premier League broadcast veteran Jon Champion who relocated to the U.S. in 2019 to become ESPN’s lead voice on MLS and U.S. Men’s National Team matches.

Higginbotham, who has been familiar to American Premier League viewers for his work on Sky Sports, Premier League Productions and BT Sport, has also appeared on NBC’s Premier League coverage in the past as well as this season. A familiar face as a player, he was part of Manchester United’s famous class of ’92, but is probably best known for his playing days at Stoke City during a period of time when the Premier League was growing quickly in popularity stateside.

This week, the Philadelphia Union announced that Higginbotham would join the commentary team of the 2020 MLS Supporter’s Shield winners ahead of the 2021 season.

Speaking to World Soccer Talk this week, Higginbotham talked about his move stateside.

“The main reason for moving initially was due to Philadelphia Union and the opportunity they have given me. When I first met up with them, you saw straight away how they want to do things and they want to be the best and it’s great to be on board. It has been the perfect move because my wife is also from Philadelphia as well so in terms of a family move it made sense as well.”

Danny Higginbotham and Analysis

Since moving to the United States in October, Higginbotham has featured on both CBS Sports HQ coverage during UEFA Champions League match days and on NBC’s Premier League coverage across its various platforms.

Analyzing UEFA club competitions for CBS Sports HQ, Higginbotham has enhanced an already strong team of analysts and commentators who take a deep dive into both Champions League and Europa League. The CBS Sports HQ coverage compliments both the traditional studio coverage on CBS All Access and CBS Sports Network as well as The Golazo Show on CBS Sports Network.

On Premier League coverage this season for NBC Sports, Higginbotham has added a seriousness of analysis and a layer of knowledge that has enhanced their studio presentation. On his very first post-match show, he was able to enhance the conversation and analysis of the Brighton-Southampton match, the type of fixture that recently NBC has minimized discussion of before moving on to topics related to big six clubs.

This past weekend, that level of analysis was once again present. For example, he pinpointed the strengths in emerging Crystal Palace star Eberechi Eze’s game, having watched him at QPR the past few seasons in the Championship. Additionally, Danny Higginbotham gave the type of analysis of Fulham during halftime and post match of the Cottagers 1-1 draw with Liverpool that U.S. fans of the club have longed for. American Fulham fans have long complained both publicly on social media, and privately to me, about the “big six” slant of both NBC and ESPN studio shows when they discuss English football.

Diverse Work

Higginbotham is thus far enjoying his work with both CBS and NBC.

“It’s been great so far. The attention to detail from both and the professionalism and organization has been an absolute different class and both have amazing team work and have made me feel welcome from the get go.”

UK viewers accustomed to seeing Higginbotham on their television screens won’t lose out on him completely. He will still appear, when available, on Sky Sports News most Thursday morning’s to preview the upcoming weekend fixtures.

This coming weekend, Higginbotham will be in the NBC Premier League studio Saturday and Sunday alongside Robbie Mustoe to provide analysis. On Monday, Higginbotham will be flanked alongside Robbie Earle.

Editor’s note: View the Premier League schedule on NBC Sports for the next several weeks.

 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. PS

    December 22, 2020 at 2:56 am

    @Christopher Harris – an odd appearance on the low rating The Debate and a few minutes on Sky Sports News during the day? You were bigging him up as a major Premier League analyst on Sky Sports. Sorry, but being based in the UK and subscribing to Sky Sports, I can safely say that he has not ever been a Premier League analyst… he’s done a fair bit of EFL coverage but that’s not what you’re talking about.

  2. CTBlues

    December 21, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Seen him quite a few times on ESPN FC and he has always been a ManU homer.

  3. Nosferatu

    December 21, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I definitely know he’s done some of the Monday afternoon games with Martin Tyler.

  4. Nathan

    December 20, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Chris- the Premier League analysis he did was on a ESPN FC type show called The Debate. He never did analysis on live games as a pundit or co comm for Premier League games.

  5. Tom P

    December 20, 2020 at 11:34 am

    I have been impressed with Danny Higgenbottom’s role. He’s confident but not egotistical, neutral but not watered-down, not looking to be the headline or sensationalize things. Very professional.

    This is the one good change NBC has done this year for European football. Rebecca and the two Robbies are great as well. Miles ahead of the approach that CBS has taken to Champions League coverage. Who thought that rotating between 5 matches at 2 minutes a time is the way to watch soccer? Answer: someone who never played and does not know soccer!

  6. Edward

    December 19, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    I bet Danny wants nothing to do with the foolish caroling and other stuff producers make the full time staff do. The incredulous look he gave to Mustoe after the holiday song commercial….

  7. PS

    December 19, 2020 at 6:05 am

    @Christopher Harris – He mostly featured as a co-commentator and studio pundit for Sky’s EFL coverage; he was only ever featured on low-key Premier League games. He certainly didn’t do “a lot” of analysis in front of any tactics board… can’t think of any for the Premier League.

  8. Nosferatu

    December 18, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    He’s been very good. Hope NBC keeps him around on a semi-regular basis despite his other commitments.

  9. Azer

    December 18, 2020 at 11:32 am

    It would wise for ESPN to hire Danny Higginbotham for it’s EURO 2020 coverage which will be played in 2021 as it was postponed due to Covid.

  10. Edward

    December 18, 2020 at 10:21 am

    The Union want to be the best but have only won one playoff game in their 11 year history.

  11. PS

    December 18, 2020 at 8:59 am

    As a UK viewer, I can safely say he was only ever a bit-part pundit and commentator. I hadn’t even noticed he’d gone until I read this article.

    • Christopher Harris

      December 18, 2020 at 9:03 am

      A lot of the work he did for the Premier League was as a co-commentator for the world-feed, which wouldn’t have been shown on UK television. He also did a lot of work for Sky Sports in front of the analysis tactics boards whenever they needed an expert to break down a game or a team’s strategy.

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