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Leagues: EPL

Premier League blindsided by NBC’s decision to shut channel

English football’s Premier League weren’t officially notified ahead of Friday’s announcement that NBCSN would be shutting down this year, according to a source.

Nor were Premier League executives told that many of their games would be moved to the USA network this year until the Wall Street Journal broke the story.

Blindsided by Friday’s news announcement, the timing couldn’t be worse. The bidding process for the next round of Premier League TV and streaming rights in the United States will begin in the next few months with the anticipation that NBC Sports will try to renew their coverage of the Premier League for several more years. NBC’s current deal with the Premier League expires at the close of the 2021/22 season.

The expectation is that NBC Sports will face significant competition from other sports networks and streaming services interested in capturing the rights to the world’s most popular sports league. ESPN+ remains a formidable competitor, as are CBS’s soon-to-be-renamed Paramount+, Discovery+, Amazon Prime and DAZN.

NBCUniversal’s Peacock TV is a distinct possibility too. However, the source revealed that Premier League executives have recently become dissatisfied with the number of games featured exclusively on Peacock TV this season. The Premier League wants greater distribution and reach for its games, and broadcasting high-profile games via Peacock TV doesn’t help in the short-term.

World Soccer Talk reached out to the Premier League for a response. According to a Premier League spokesman, the league will not be commenting on this or any of the questions about NBC’s decision to shut down NBCSN as a channel in 2021.

Given the inconsistency of broadcasting games on television and being caught unaware of NBCSN’s future closing, the once stable relationship between the Premier League and NBC Sports has been fractured. Questions remain about how much of a priority the growth of the Premier League is to NBC Sports given the recent emphasis on Peacock broadcasting games, including the biggest game of the season between Liverpool and Manchester United. While the USA channel is in more households than NBCSN, USA isn’t synonymous anymore with sports, which was a similar issue that TNT struggled with when the entertainment channel televised games from the UEFA Champions League.

In its next TV rights deal, the Premier League has to consider which broadcast partner is going to offer the league the greatest reach across television and streaming. Its next three-year deal will take the Premier League past the 2026 FIFA World Cup, due to be hosted in North America in a year where the league will be focused on leveraging as much of the attention on soccer as it can. Between now and then, it’ll be more important than ever for the Premier League to forge a tighter relationship with a broadcast partner that has a strong distribution reach.

Will it be NBC Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports or another broadcaster for 2022/23 and beyond? We will have our answer later this year.


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  1. Jesus

    September 27, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Following on the last comment and disagreeing with the author. NO the PL should not deal with any of these insipid foolish American content mongers and fully believe in the quality of it’s own product. Just make it available at any reasonable price and watch the market emerge and shove aside the unwatchable stupidity of American sport — give it time. I will pay it, so will Frank. What’s intolerable is the constant bungling of schedules and guess work of figuring out what NBC is trying to do. Further…. they only view the PL as some sort of sweetener for their god-awful content as if there’s any overlap. I pay for stupid f’n peacock to be bombarded with their stupid self adulation, dismissal of my interests and certainty that I care about streaming anything but Footy.

  2. Frank

    May 12, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    You can either pay a fortune and then attempt to navigate which games are on which platform – or just watch all the games for free on the pirate sites. I’m almost being forced to do the latter with the inane way the games are being offered. Sad, too, because I would pay $500 if all the games were on a single platform.

  3. Roger

    April 15, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    EPL deserve all the pirate websites because it takes a PHD to figure out which game is on which platform.

  4. Edward

    February 15, 2021 at 10:22 am

    I watched on linear NBC without any interruptions. This is a decision of your local NBC affiliate, which NBC Sports has no control over.

  5. Michael F

    February 14, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    @Rye Brook. Time for to switch to a superior live tv stream service in YouTube TV. I watched the whole match on this stream service telecasted on NBC and it was not interrupted by impeachment proceedings. The match was aired in it’s entirety. So, Comcast was not to blame here.
    I had FuBo TV for about a year and really liked it. However, YouTube TV’s unlimited on-demand cloud DVR makes it a clear winner and I switched over. I am so happy with it. All you have to do is select any sports league and all matches or games are recorded.

  6. Rye Brook

    February 14, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Some scheister really outdid themselves in screwing over Premier league viewers this weekend. Was it Concast/NBC, Fubo or a local decision? I don’t know. Man City v. Spurs was jarringly interrupted 18 minutes into the match to show the impeachment proceedings already being shown on many other Fubo channels & scads of internet/u-tube/TV feeds. They never went back.
    It just so happens that Fubo also had the match in Spanish but nonetheless an outrage. I have Fubo primarily for the Prem, wouldn’t bother otherwise. With clunky Peacockup’s diabolical set-up & baiting, what a disaster! Con/NBC MUST MUST GO. “Nie wieder”. Would love to see ESPN &/or CBS get it. I won’t renew after this season if with Concast. I’ll keep ESPN+ & PBS subs, **** the rest!

  7. Just Fred

    February 14, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    All this streaming crap and moving programming around. I’m ready to dump it all, especially for what I pay each month and go back to watching paint dry.

  8. Edwin

    January 30, 2021 at 12:39 am

    @michael I’m not sure where you are getting your El Clasico La Liga numbers from on beIN Sports but they are no where close to 2.5m and thinking it would pull 5 million on ABC is fantasy land stuff lol.

  9. Edward

    January 29, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    @kieran: where are you hearing that from? NBCSN isn’t going away until later in 2021

  10. Michael

    January 29, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    @Rick. That is a non-starter. ESPN is what is because of college football and college basketball. They spend Billions in licensing on that and will never replace that for Soccer. Now if you read, Chris’s story about ESPN biding for La Liga that is a totally different. Because of the huge Spanish Soccer population in the US and the fact that La Liga has a 3:00 pm EST 9:00 pm in Spain time slot already in place they definitely show several games a week on ESPN Deportes, and the El Clasico’s would be be on ABC broadcast on Sundays. If ESPN went got EPL they would mostly be on ESPN+. The El Clasico games get 2.5 million even on beIN Sports. On ABC, you could easily see it get 5 million, especially the Spring matchup that is during Baseball season. That is a huge difference that the one in the Fall going up against Football. Chris can correct me if I am wrong, but think the largest EPL game (not counting UCL) of any match was 1.3 million, and I think that was NBC and Universo combined. As they talked about in the Podcast, EPL wants to be “Premiere” but they could end up being left behind if they don’t do this right. The EPL is not the most talented league, but they are the most popular because of our fascination with all these British…but I think if La Liga gets a football with ESPN and they put their marketing behind them…that could damage EPL.

  11. Kieran

    January 28, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    If you are looking for EPL games on NBC SN or Peacock after Feb 2 you’ll be disappointed. Hope that you get USA because that’s where the games will be.

  12. Edward

    January 27, 2021 at 8:29 am

    fyi, Peacock will be simulcasting Sky Sports on 2/1 starting at 8am ET as a transfer day deadline special

  13. Michael F

    January 26, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    @Bobby Moa and Karl. It’s why I personally want Comcast/NBC to continue its contract with the EPL beyond 2022, of which I primarily follow. The Sky Sports coverage of EPL is excellent via the 24/7 PL Channel on Peacock and the various on-demand shows that is aired on Peacock. I actually like the different perspectives of EPL coverage on ESPN+ via the ESPN FC, but would not want it all on that one network provider. Then you would lose the extra coverage from the UK that you get from Sky. I get (to a degree) some of the tireless complaints about Peacock’s interface, but my goodness… I do think these complaints have gone over the top. The longer range perspective is what is lost if EPL moved on to ESPN+ or CBS all access – which for me (as mentioned above) will not be an overall improvement at all on the coverage of the EPL. I don’t necessarily think it’s good for ESPN to grab every euro league for its live match coverage (they already have Bundesliga and Serie A). Folks will see that it won’t be as in depth as NBC sports and by extension Sky thru Peacock has provided for EPL. One of the complaints of ESPN over the years, is how they treat some sports leagues as a step child, as they give higher priority to big 4 sports of this country. You can be spread way too thin with one network provider trying to cover it all. That’s what appeals to having another network provider gain exclusive rights to a league. And as a last comment, I don’t personally feel CBS is a good match for EPL at this point in time either. NBC has been a gold standard for covering the EPL over the years, and despite the recent criticism and articles posted here of late regarding its EPL coverage – I don’t see it. I still see excellent coverage and analysis of all the 20 clubs. More thorough than anyone else when you combine NBC’s live match day coverage along with Peacock’s PL channel and on-demand content.

  14. Karl

    January 26, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    I don’t see how NBC doesn’t lean on Sky to remind the PL of the larger Comcast relationship here.

    CBS wouldn’t make any sense even though the PL is a logical complement to UEFA competitions, I don’t see the league being thrilled with what is likely a less popular service than Peacock. I don’t see CBS airing games as CBS hasn’t tweaked their Sunday morning news programming in decades and weekend afternoons are already filled with their most important sports properties: the NFL, March Madness/college basketball, and the Masters/PGA tour. Those noting they’re losing the SEC football games on Saturdays are neglecting the fact they don’t lose them until fall of 2024. The only place they could games on TV is Paramount Network (formerly Spike).

    It will be interesting to see what ESPN could truly offer. ESPN+ would be the biggest home but is probably more popular than Peacock. ESPN2 definitely has the capacity to air games during just about every match window. Fall Saturdays typically see ESPN2 have college football beginning at 12pm ET but anything before that could be open and potentially could bump 12pm ET ACC & SEC games to their conference-focused networks that ESPN owns. NFL Sunday mornings are tight at “main” ESPN, but ABC can take big matches and both are open on Sunday mornings/early afternoons following the Super Bowl.

  15. Bobby Moa

    January 26, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    The fact that Comcast also owns Sky Sports and the ability to use their platform to broadcast the games and use of additional shows will still give NBC an advantage over the rest.

  16. Hans

    January 26, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Yes George you and I are caught in the middle while the networks sort out which way they want to go and where to spend their money. In the meantime it is a massive turbulence in the sports market. Just look at the deal Peacock did with WWE for $1 billion. For some it makes no sense unless Peacock wants to up their subscribers. So yes we are on the sidelines and are effected by the push for subscribers plus content rights from the sports presenters.

  17. disco george

    January 26, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Yes, Hans, I’m well aware that the networks/providers need to make a profit. I’m not a four-year-old.
    Which is kind of the point, isn’t it? Still getting the traditional advertising money, cable/satellite fees, and streaming fees all at the same time without having to really upend their entire operational strategy? Looking like they’re moving toward streaming without taking on too much risk, so they keep the shareholders happy?
    When shareholder confidence and stock prices start to drop, maybe that’s when change happens.

  18. JP

    January 26, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Soccer is fast becoming the only sport I follow, so the streaming option and ditching cable or even a Fubo is on the horizon.

    Ditched NCAA basketball and football within the past 5 years. Ditching the NBA as we speak. Losing interest in the NFL as that becomes more like Arena Football each season (and most games OTA anyway). Ditched MLB long ago.

    Really just left with NHL. If I moved out of market could buy NHL.TV and see all the games I want without the need for the RSN that makes cable needed. I despise RSN’s, but understand it’s where teams make most of their money so a necessary evil.

  19. Barry

    January 26, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Some of these posts seem to be saying someone who has cable now is missing out on the future. There is no requirement that you have to be an early adopter to be eligible to add streaming services. If and when the vast majority of things my family wants to watch switch to streaming we’ll make that our priority. For now it’s an addition to our main home entertainment source, which is satellite TV.

    In the rest of the world apart from this site families have various interests well beyond soccer in what they watch. There are channels on Directv that my wife doesn’t want to lose and that aren’t available through streaming. In my case soccer is my third favorite sport behind the NFL and NBA. Without Directv I cannot get Sunday Ticket. So dropping satellite is a non starter. And as another poster mentioned the DVR capabilities of cable and satellite are much more user friendly than many streaming services..

    When streaming offers all the content we want and the DVR capabilities match cable and satellite we’ll consider a full switch to streaming. Until then we’ll pick and choose between both types of provider with the emphasis on satellite.

  20. Hans

    January 26, 2021 at 12:51 am

    Quoting “We all just want to watch our sport”. Yes, everyone here commenting wants that, However it will never happen unless the Networks or providers shell out the big bucks to those sports organizations. In order for the networks to invest mega bucks they have to make a PROFIT!!!
    This is the dilemma because the way to make a profit with bringing these sports events to consumers is rapidly changing and ESPN+, FOX, Comcast, CBS and whatever other network know this and they will change in an instance to make money for their shareholders and will screw the fans and supporters over in a blink of an eye.
    Here are a few headlines easily Googled of what to expect:
    1. The fast-growing OTT market (over-the-top, initially named in reference to devices that go “over” a cable box), is set to reach new heights in the coming years. According to a new study from Allied Market Research, the global OTT market reached $98 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $332 billion by 2025.
    2. Distributing a bundle of linear channels is “simply not sufficient anymore to guarantee TV revenues”, with younger viewers in particular increasingly deciding to access TV and video services through OTT players.
    3. 2020 has been dubbed ‘the year of direct-to-consumer (DTC) OTT video’, with it being predicted that subscription numbers will reach 900 million worldwide.
    4. According to a new study from ABI Research, the growth of DTC OTT will continue to create a challenging market for vMVPDS. The report says that the arrival of even more DTC services – such as HBO Max and NBCU’s Peacock – will further fragment the landscape and lead to the potential decline of vMVPD subscriber numbers. (vMVPD services include Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, fuboTV)
    5. Streaming is considered by some to be the future of broadcasting especially since 5G is here.
    You think you are confused and don’t know what to do and what the future holds, well the networks are right there next to you. No one took Netflix serious and now everyone is scrambling to get into that market to get a piece of the pie.
    As you can see many of us here are hanging our hats on the Subscription VOD or Advertisement supported VOD and hope that the experts predicting that streaming and cloud based content will surpass cable based content delivery.
    I believe the next few years will see a shakeout in this market. CBS All Access for $30 a year! I paid $60. Just got the renewal notification for yearly ESPN+ for $50 a year. Sports on my choice of device wherever I am. If one does not keep up with what the networks offer because of consumer demands one might just get stuck using a whale oil lamp.

  21. disco george

    January 25, 2021 at 11:58 pm

    All good, fam. Just pointing out that there are reasons for people still using traditional TV services – as Michael said, we’re still stuck in the in-between right now.
    I mean, a full service streaming package would have to be like $100 cheaper than cable and make dinner for me every night to make up for the amount of time I’d have to spend playing tech support trying to get my typical ‘ok-boomer’ dad to figure out how to stream.

  22. Bart Starr

    January 25, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    It’s interesting what NBC Sports is thinking right now. They may be getting out of the soccer business in the United States and if I’m the EPL, I take a long hard look at that. It’s just such a strange move to close NBCSN down but I think they may be throwing in the towel on the NHL too and majority of sports programming in general. They did a deal for WWE Network on Peacock because they have a rabid loyal fanbase to make the deal work money wise.

    Right now NBC Sports is still full-in on the PGA along with Golf Channel. I’m positive they’ll do everything in their power to keep Sunday Night Football and then they still have the Olympics, Notre Dame Football, Horse Racing, NASCAR (Probably won’t re-up but who knows), Indy Car (same), French Open (probably let it go), Tour de France… It seems they went the niche way and decided it’s not worth it.

    Turner Sports tried it out and now they are just down to NBA on TNT, MLB on TBS & co-producing March Madness with CBS Sports. I could see the EPL making a deal with FOX/FS1/FS2 giving that they control the next two World Cups in the United States and they could move their Spanish broadcasts in the United States to Univison/TUDN and let the remaining matches go to Amazon Prime Video. If you’re NBC then you can offer NBC/USA Network/Peacock for English and Telemundo/Universo for Spanish.

    If FOX comes with a solid 6-year offer along with Univision, I’m leaving. FOX has changed how they’re doing this (Tubi is terrible by the way) and focusing heavily on Sports & News programming for FOX News & FOX Business. I just think NBC Sports is just going to focus heavily on keeping Sunday Night Football, Notre Dame Football, PGA Tour, Horse Racing & possibly keep showing NASCAR/Indy Car.

  23. Tod

    January 25, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Wasn’t trying to cord-shame anyone, but moving to a streaming service, be it youtube-tv, fubo, hulu-tv, etc, doesn’t mean leaving OTA channels and a broad array of the usual sports-related content behind. That said, youtubet-tv dumped the fox regional sports networks so I don’t get any ‘Canes hockey, which blows. I just think that many of us already pay for Prime and/or Netflix and if either were to add EPL the value of that service increases and I don’t have to pay for another service with next to nothing to offer.

  24. Tim

    January 25, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    Also, sorry about my terrible grammar^ but I was typing fast whilst “working.”

  25. Tim

    January 25, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    @disco george Totally wasn’t intending to be aggressive or at anyone’s throats. Sorry if it came across that way. I whole-heartedly agree. and soccer pretty much is my only sport besides maybe motogp, so I appreciate the perspective of the fact that your house watches several different sports. for me I’ve cut cable and am trying to stream and missing the days where I could watch liberally every EPL match on FS2G0.

    @Hans For me it’s the way I’ve decided to go, and I want more people to support that kind of a platform bc I think it’s the future for media distribution, but everyone has their preferred way to watch.

    @JP @ Hans yeah I just threw a number out there. I’m honestly desperate to have good access to European football. Preferably all of it, lol. Because I don’t have a cable bill I’m probably apt to pay more I guess. I don’t WANT to pay more, heh.

    And @all No intention at starting an argument by any means. he fact you’re all here probably means you love the sport as much as I do and care about access to watching your preferred leagues or teams. As a distanced supporter who loves the sport as a whole, I carry no animosity, just a desire to watch as much football as I can and I wish we had a better system for getting access a la carte based on whatever team or league I/we want to watch. I would strongly support an app that supplements cable channel(s) (but where you can still get all matches on the app). I thought this was what we were gonna get with Peacock tbh. I’d start kickstarter to make something better, but I can’t imagine the millions and millions it would take to build the app/channels we want and to win the broadcasting rights. Also, the infrastructure has to be there already (like it is for Fox or ESPN or NBC or Sky or whatever). Anyway…

  26. Nosferatu

    January 25, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    @disco george and Michael F, you both make some salient points here. I’m also a hockey and baseball fan and the issue there is getting all the regional and sport-specific channels. FUBO is the only streaming service that could work for me, so I’ve been exploring, but it sounds like there are still lots of issues with their cloud DVR service, which is something really important to me; I DVR almost everything so my wife and I can watch on our own schedules and without commercials.

    So yeah, there are still some big advantages to cable/broadcast, including what I see as a greater opportunity to grab the casual viewer’s attention. And some of these platforms, like CBS All Access Paramount Plus, are pretty bleak except for the football. At least Peacock is improving its other offerings. But until these streaming services improve and offer the functionality of an actual DVR (which services like and have) where you can start a live game from the beginning and don’t have to wait hours for replays to be posted, I’m not going to be nearly as happy as I am having these games on TV.

  27. Michael F

    January 25, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    It is about choices. And it’s getting harder to have a way to get access to most or all content without paying a small fortune. As I had stated in earlier post, I doubt very much that all EPL matches (for example) would ever be available in one place if another provider took the contractual rights after 2022. You will still see matches exclusively on a cable network channel and it is sure to disappoint those stream only cord cutters that would like to believe in a ‘perfect world’ scenario. As long as traditional cable is still around (and I don’t have a crystal ball to think it disappears anytime soon), there is going to be a split in this slow transitional phase with the streaming world.

  28. disco george

    January 25, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    I just don’t get why we’re all at each other’s throats about whether we like TV or streaming more when it’s all just the same megacorporation decision-making that’s ultimately designed to get as much money out of as as possible, regardless of which path you take to get there. We all just want to watch our sport without it being stupid expensive and labyrinthine.

  29. Michael F

    January 25, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    @disco george. Exactly. Sometimes, the people that have made so many comments here that have a wish list of wanting only a stream only package for EPL etc…. they are only soccer based fans and fail to see the big picture in broad viewership. News flash: There are a lot of soccer fans here that are also sports fans of several other sports and leagues they follow (ie NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL, tennis, golf, etc etc etc). We do live in the United States after all!

  30. disco george

    January 25, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    A lot of us are ‘stuck ‘in the cable/TV mode because the other sports or events we watch are still offered on actual TV. For example, if you want access to the other sports that the ESPN empire has, you either get cable or pay almost as much to stream it on Fubo or whatever.
    If soccer were my only sport, going streaming would be a much easier decision. Plus, there are other people in my house that like other sports as well. It’s not like we’re all living in 1985 or something — it’s just that there are other factors that drive our ‘TV’ preferences.

  31. Hans

    January 25, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Bravo and fully agree with your assessment except the price 🙂 Streaming has so many advantages over cable and channel TV that it will be for serious supporters the future. I find that many here are stuck in the cable package and channel on TV mode, this is not the future business model for the networks who pay for the rights because they loose subscribers at an alarming rate and they know it.
    On a streaming service you are not tied to a single game if they are at the same time you choose the one you want to watch. On CBS All Access the CL games were all available for selection I chose the one I wanted to watch, if it is boring go back and select a different one. When the game came to an end, it automatically switched to the game that was still in progress because of longer additional time. When all games ended you ended up with the pundits and a discussion / analysis of all the games. Brilliant.
    You can even on ESPN+ using an Apple TV watch 4 different broadcasts on one screen with the one that has the focus also providing the audio and clicking play you will have it full-screen. Try that with your cable package. In addition playback on demand when you want it where you want it.
    Any device issues that I had, where easily resolved in support forums or by contacting directly the streaming service support teams. With Peacock it just happened so to be that they are having an incompetent group of coders, user experience experts for look and feel. Once that is sorted with Peacock it can be a useful app.

  32. Gerry

    January 25, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    I enjoy EPL Wherever offered. Living on the West Coast, my main hope is that I can “record” the games for later viewing, but not only at the end of the day as with Peacock or ESPN+. AND, bearing in mind I have Comcast, please make the controls as easy as on NBCSN, instead of the ridiculous ESPN+ controls. KISS.

  33. Tod

    January 25, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Amazon Prime has an estimated 142M US subscribers –nearly double that of USA or NBCSN– including, I suspect a good number of y’all. And while I’m no fan of Bezos, I’m tired of being jerked around by the knobs at Comcast/ESPN/CBS, etc, and their BS “content”. If either Amazon or Netflix, which has ~73M US subscribers, were to land EPL it would be a reason to keep either service even after the predictable price increase. Given the number of subscribers these platforms have, which will only continue to grow, future games are no more “behind a paywall” than those who are sticking/stuck with cable.

  34. Rich

    January 25, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    “However, the source revealed that Premier League executives have recently become dissatisfied with the number of games featured exclusively on Peacock TV this season.”

    This is confusing when also considering that ALL of the other candidates for EPL rights in the US will primarily use streaming platforms too.

    Given its relationship with Sky, I’ll believe that NBC will lose the EPL when it happens and not before.

  35. disco george

    January 25, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Sometimes I can even talk and all… clearly, I am having a Monday.

  36. disco george

    January 25, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    A la carte streaming is going to be just as annoying as cable, just with different problems, like inconsistent app development that depends on often depends on what device you have, constant price increases (what’s good, Netflix?), etc. I like and use a lot of apps, but in the end, it’s just going to be SS,DD.

  37. rej4sl

    January 25, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    I don’t want PL solely streaming. We have Cable as do a lot of people. We do use ESPN+ and CBS ALL access for a few games. But with Peacock and Cable we get every Premier League game included. I am not paying premium prices for streaming, sorry. Just leave as is.

  38. Bobby Moa

    January 25, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    I doubt we will get sky sports news now that we are losing MSNBC. Will be lucky to get it on peacock. USA Network will not have it on I am sure.

  39. Tim

    January 25, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    And the idea of it blocking other content on a channel is easily resolved by putting it in an app. Apps don’t have channels 😉 you just put in what you want to watch. And the company showing it gets tons of metrics in return to base their future app development around. They can automatically log it for on-demand replays. They can have multiple formats available (languages or video quality for example). It’s win-win, people. Get behind this. Drop the dead weight of cable and support a la carte streaming.

  40. JP

    January 25, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    @Tim, I get what you’re saying. Just think your price point is too high, don’t give these guys any ideas!
    $70 a month is close to what cable or a full streaming alternative like Fubo costs, prior to paying for the necessary internet costs.

  41. Tim

    January 25, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    It’s not the 90’s anymore fellas. The idea that many are basing the destination on their ‘best cable channel’ is what has caused so many blunders at NBC. The reality is that this needs to land somewhere with a dedicated app that can stream live without issues and replays at any time. Personally, I’ve not had issues with ESPN+ other than them making certain events only viewable if you pay for cable. However if they give the EPL the same treatment as the Bundes, I’d be more than happy. I’ve had decent experiences with Fubo also. Have not used CBS that much though so no opinion there. Regardless, ALL matches should be accessible via an app (reminiscent of the fox soccer 2 go days). I’d pay plenty for this. Seriously, like $40-70/mo just to have EPL, CL, WC/Euros, and Bundes in one place. Or maybe $30-40/mo for just EPL and Bundes.

    No one wants cable anymore. It’s a dead format. Full steam ahead to a subscription app that allows live and replays at high quality at home or on my phone or computer or whatever. Just my $0.02 though.

  42. disco george

    January 25, 2021 at 10:12 am

    I think the real issue is how Comcast/NBC plans to put sports programming on USA going forward. The channel is in more homes, but it also has entertainment programming that it has to balance with both the NHL and Premier League, plus whatever other sports programming NBC decides not to put on its broadcast channel (big figure skating events, etc.). Right now, USA is primarily entertainment programming, including some original content that it’s put there over the years. So does NBC risk losing the viewership it currently has on USA (people get really, really mad when Olympic sports take over the non-sports channels even when it’s only for two weeks) and turn it into a hybrid channel, or keep sports to a minimum on USA and push more out to the Olympic Channel and Peacock? Some groups of viewers are going to be mad either way… good times.

  43. Edward

    January 25, 2021 at 8:47 am

    NBC just paid $1 billion to put WWE Network content on Peacock. I think Peacock will be fine:

  44. ALEX

    January 24, 2021 at 10:48 pm


  45. Robert321BOOM!

    January 24, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    they also own and have shown matches on ‘some’ of these other channels on one weekend a year in the spring

    Universal Kids

  46. Azer

    January 24, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    Can you imagine if Fox Sports brings back the Fox Soccer Channel and wins the Premier League rights that way. The 10AM ET games which start at the same time would be streaming on Fox Sports Go. A joint deal is also possible. ESPN TV is all about College Football 24/7. It’s their bread & butter. The only other possibility is CBS with the CBSSN which I don’t believe have any US sports. If the PL stays with NBC/COMCAST, they also have CNBC not just the USA Network. The Premier League does not belong behind the paywall.

  47. KL

    January 24, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    I still hope the EPL goes to ESPN plus. it would make it easier to watch every game since the fa cup and efl cup are already on there

  48. USAJerry

    January 24, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    People thinking DAZN can be a player here in the USA? Geez. They are a sinking ship. They couldn’t even pay Canelo Alvarez’s $365 million contract.

  49. Jimmy cricket

    January 24, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Can’t see how CBS would be able to keep or find anywhere near the same level of talent for studio coverage should they pickup the PL as they do for Europe since they can’t really bring anyone other than Abdo into weekend coverage.

  50. Edwin

    January 24, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    @Rick ESPN has no room for EPL on ABC one game a week they have other sports commitments currently. They have College Football and that isn’t getting pushed out to air EPL because of the timeline the only way EPL gets on Sunday would be during the early morning timeslot as Sunday as ABC has commitments to NBA/WNBA and MLS for the early afternoon windows. So even if they got games on ABC it would be sporadic not guaranteed weekly. Its going to look like how ESPN does Serie A most likely a bunch of games on ESPN+ and the occasional game on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNNEws but it would be a larger money deal than what Serie A/55m yr for 3 yrs and Bundesliga $41 m yr 6 yrs has with ESPN. At the end of the day all EPL really cares about is the money they’ll get that from ESPN and will probable split a package with NBC.

  51. Paul K Redd

    January 24, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    I love the quality of the studio teams on NBC. Dividing up the rights would make it hard to have this quality of pre and post game analysis, etc. Compared to Rebecca Lowe & Company, I have found almost all of the other broadcast teams for European Football ( Fox, TNT, B/R, etc.) very weak. CBS is better than the others, but still not nearly up to NBC.

  52. Edward

    January 24, 2021 at 11:53 am

    Rebecca Lowe will soon be reading promos for Monday Night Raw. Cross promo where Tim Howard becomes 24/7 Champion, and Randy Orton interrupts Goal Zone to regain the belt after RKO-ing Tim Howard. The Two Robbies will be Tag Team champions.

    Just picture it.

  53. Michael F

    January 24, 2021 at 10:23 am

    @PS. Exactly. And ESPN would be a bad relationship partner because they cover so many other sports and leagues already and ones that they give priority to.. Why do you think the NHL left ESPN for NBC years ago! People just don’t think through this at all.

  54. Greg

    January 24, 2021 at 10:06 am

    Biggest question should be, does the Premier League really want to rock that Comcast boat?

    I’m not really seeing any issue here, what difference does it make if games are on USA vs. NBCSN? USA is on more TVs than NBCSN, NBCSN was 50% EPL, NHL, NASCAR/50% filler programming like car auctions. I’ve seen people cry that Premier League doesn’t want games behind a paywall when the entire league was literally born behind a paywall in its country of origin, and it took COVID scheduling to get live games on BBC, some 28 years into it’s existence.

    So the options are: NBC, with similar current schedule of 50% games on USA, 1 game a week on NBC, rest on Peacock; ESPN, with most games on ESPN+ during college football/basketball season; CBS, with most games on Paramount+ during college basketball season…

    Fox have given up on soccer out with World Cup and MLS and occasional US(M/F)NT games

    Turner dropped all soccer content after less than 2 years in the game

    Anything else is 100% streaming, and *another* service to pay for like Amazon Prime (has games in UK)

  55. PS

    January 24, 2021 at 9:52 am

    @Michael F – I can’t see the Premier League going anywhere other than NBC for another 3 years. They’re not silly and appreciate that the future of broadcasting is in streaming but with even one broadcast window on a national basis, it’s priceless to them in terms of exposure. With the sports rights market suffering the effects of Covid, it’s likely that deals will see around a 10% decrease so NBC could potentially retain the rights for less than what they’re currently paying.

    Comcast will be focussed on retaining the rights in the UK first and foremost but once that’s out the way, they have already gone public with how well the Premier League has performed for them in terms of Peacock viewership so there’s no reason they won’t bid strongly again. US broadcasters are only willing to bid so much for a European league that’s played outside of primetime, and I can’t help but feel that Comcast already pay toward the top end of what any broadcaster would be willing to go for it.

  56. DS

    January 24, 2021 at 7:33 am

    “Great”. I have Sling blue for $30 a month. That gives me everything I need: news + football. I used to just put on NBC SN on saturday and bam: three games (and switch to local nbc channel for afternoon game). Same on sundays. Last weekend the best game was on Peacock. And the sat/sunday before that only one game was on sunday…not good.

  57. Michael F

    January 24, 2021 at 4:19 am

    @PS. Thank you. Someone actually talking some sense here. I also wonder who this ‘source’ is. And to the others that wish all EPL matches are exclusively only on a streaming app, you are only providing a very narrow subjective narrative to your liking. You are not seeing the full picture of EPL reaching the biggest audience possible in the U.S.

  58. PS

    January 24, 2021 at 1:55 am

    The Premier League are dissatisfied with distribution (via Peacock), according to a “source”, yet ESPN+ is linked? What a load of rubbish.

    The Premier League actively pursue streaming options, which is why they’ve sold the contract exclusively to streaming services in many countries for the past two rights windows. Do you think Optus in Australia, Flow in the Caribbean, DAZN in certain countries, Spark in New Zealand (to name just 4 rights holders) would have been awarded contracts? The key for the US distribution is a national window on the OTA NBC network. Moving games to USA Network serves the Premier League far more as it has wider carriage. NBC has done more for exposing the Premier League to US audiences than any broadcaster before them.

  59. Rick

    January 24, 2021 at 12:54 am

    ESPN should commit to EPL. Put majority of games on ESPN 2 and some on ESPN. The rest on ESPn FC and also have One game a week on ABC main network. Committ to the worlds most popular sport and the viewers will follow.
    Nbc declined last few years and bringing in Peacock during a pandmedic and recession was a critical mistake.

  60. Hans

    January 24, 2021 at 12:30 am

    This total cluster f*** of the situation where and how to air the EPL is the most welcome gift to the P2P unauthorized streaming services in abundance on the Internet. As already mentioned who wants to get the games from different providers or on different platforms?
    I get my games from ESPN+ & CBS All Access and despise what Comcast is doing with their rubbish Peacock App and their clueless decisions how to present the EPL games to the US supporters.
    I totally agree that all the games need to be on a slick and reliable streaming service plus if the Premier League insists on TV coverage let the two parties hack that out. It is a disgrace how EPL fans are treated in the US. But than I am not sweating it 🙂

  61. dr

    January 23, 2021 at 11:55 pm

    @Ewan Adams, your is not the first post I’ve seen where people complain about not being able to pause or rewind Peacock replays. This must be device-dependent, I’m running the Android app sideloaded on my Firestick and the FF, RW, and pause controls work a treat, better than they did on Gold. Now that Peacock has retreated from its bait&switch decision, I have no real complaints with the service. The worst thing that can happen is for EPL in the US to get divided among several providers (as it is elsewhere), whatever else happens I hope it isn’t that.

  62. Mercator

    January 23, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    Not sure what the logic is in not giving the league a heads up at least. Also have to wonder who writes these agreements, how does the league not have a right to be notified in advance if NBC wants to shutdown the channel that shows half the games?

    They should split the streaming rights from the TV rights. Sell the streaming rights separately to either ESPN+, Peacock or CBS All Access. Sell TV packages separately, with a certain number that must be on broadcast (ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX), with the rest on a cable channel like USA/CBSSN/ESPN/FS1. Give broadcast partner(s) first pick of game of the week, cable gets another 2-3 games a week. No idea what the economics are but the bigger leagues have multiple broadcast partners. Maybe exclusive to one will bring a bigger deal, but I think you could sell 70% of games on streaming to Peacock for a decent amount and then divy up the TV rights between the 4 major broadcasters to ensure 1 broadcast and a few cable games a week.

    I still think it would be best if ESPN or CBS just won the rights. ESPN would not have the capacity to put many games on TV and ESPN+ is great so that might be as good as we can hope, unless CBS for whatever reason bids and commits to stream everything they show on CBS and CBSSN like with UCL.

  63. JP

    January 23, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    @MichaelF, I imagine most would be happy if CBS got the contract and aired matches on CBS Network when available (losing SEC football as other noted so Saturday’s would mostly be free) and CBSSN (Could be used for Sunday matches since no second tier college football which they mostly show on Saturdays).
    At the same time, just like with UCL, all matches available on Paramount+, even those shown on CBS or CBSSN.
    This would satisfy the cord cutters (access to all) and the casuals (large amount of matches on TV with the option to pay for all matches via streaming).
    If they allowed authentication for the matches on Parmount+ for those who get CBSSN through cable or other provider like Fubo, then jackpot for viewers. But wouldn’t anticipate that.

  64. Don

    January 23, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    Well I would actually use CBSSports to show replays during the week. Just like the RSN’s do with MLB NHL NBA games.

  65. Anthony

    January 23, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    I actually didn’t realize CBS lost SEC football. CBS could easily air a premier league game every Saturday on its network through most of the season (though it could conflict with college basketball) and put Sunday games on streaming. And coverage would fit nicely with Champions League. I would stay away from CBS Sports Network though if I were Premier League.

  66. Anthony

    January 23, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    1) Can someone explain how NBCSN wasn’t profitable (or at least breakeven) on a standalone basis? It seems like given cable license fees, plus the lack of programming besides live sports, would allow the network to be profitable without a complete shutdown. Just shutting the network down seems pretty rash.

    2) The next full EPL season will be on USA Network, NBC Network, Peacock. etc. So with NBC/Comcast, Premier League is already on multiple platforms. I think it is time for Premier League to create more than one package. Maybe a package for NBC if they commit to weekly NBC network broadcasts, plus a package for ESPN/ESPN+. DAZN, Discovery+, Amazon Prime, etc don’t really offer TV access or complementary programming so I am not sure why they would be attractive to Premier League.

  67. Don

    January 23, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    With CBS not having the SEC games after losing out to ABC/ESPN, I hope that opens the door for them to get the Premiere League and maybe put 2 games on CBS every week and the rest on All Access.
    I personally dont want ESPN to get it because I fear they will put the top games on ESPN/2 and not available on ESPNPlus like they have done with a number of Serie A matches.

  68. Michael F

    January 23, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Agree completely with Mccort912. Quite honestly, I don’t perceive much will change with how the premier league will be broadcast by another provider. Whoever picks this most popular euro league up, just watch how fans in the U.S. will still be disappointed with the split of coverage between a traditional cable network channel and its streaming app. Any provider will do whatever they can to maximize their revenues. I am amazed so many think that CBS all access (for example) will carry all EPL matches exclusively. Dream on, won’t happen. The Champions League is not nearly as popular a draw as the EPL, the same as Serie A or Bundesliga isn’t – where most (but not all) matches are aired on ESPN+.

  69. Ewan Adams

    January 23, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve never understood the purpose or putting big games on Peacock – especially Man Utd V Liverpool perhaps the biggest match of the season. If they had kept it on NBCSN or even NBC they could draw in a big audience and advertising windfall. Having tried Peacock it’s not a great experience, you can’t rewind the game and streaming quality is no better than you got on Gold last season. It’s a bad move by NBC and demonstrates perhaps their disinterest in signing a new deal wirh PL from 2022 onwards.

  70. Mccort912

    January 23, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    I dislike Peacock as much as anyone but if I don’t get how some think ESPN or some of these others mentioned will be better, do you really think they are going to not show college game day and then skip CFB for the 1230 game or the NFL pre games on Sunday? Not a chance that happens and it’s not 2008 anymore so watching on tape delay would be silly, so nothing will be on TV from August to January, all will go on ESPN + so if the premier league wants to have the furthest reach on TV and Streaming that won’t work either, neither would Discovery + or Amazon. CBS seems to be the only other option if they throw some on CBS Sports Network and a few OTA with the rest on Paramount +.

  71. RS

    January 23, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Too early to call CBS as the next EPL broadcast partner?!

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