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Premier League games move to USA after NBCSN closes Dec. 31

Premier League games move to USA

Editor’s note: As Premier League games move to USA beginning in 2022, find out what this means for soccer fans.

NBCSN will officially be going dark at the end of 2021. News of the sports channel being shut down isn’t exactly earth shattering. Sports Business Journal predicted the demise almost twelve months ago that it would go out of business. However, what is new is there are some interesting developments in the decision.

At the end of December 31, much of NBC Sports programming will shift to the USA network. This includes Premier League matches that would have normally aired on NBCSN. USA will broadcast a trio of Premier League games on January 1. Subsequently, many more will air on USA for the remainder of the 2021/22 season. No doubt, the decision to transition live sports programming from NBCSN to USA has been in the works for some time.

Here is what NBC Sports Programming Executive Vice President Tom Knapp said about the news:

“The strategic and intentional move of sports content to USA was a long and collaborative process with our corporate cousins at USA. It has created the cable version of a broadcast network, with the exception of news.”

Some may question why sports will now be on a network that primarily focuses on television dramas. However, Knapp suggests that the move could potentially bring in new fans. “The entertainment viewer will be exposed to these sports properties in ways that they haven’t been before. We believe that cross-pollination will be good for everybody,” he said.

Premier League games move to USA

USA actually began as a cable channel called the Madison Square Garden Network in 1977. The old MSG channel previously broadcasted MLB, NHL, NBA, as well as boxing, tennis, and wrestling.

As of December 2020, USA was in 86 million households in the United States. That was down four million from the previous year. This is still actually around six million more households than NBCSN at the time of the report.

Fifteen years ago, USA was the number one primetime cable network. Nevertheless, as cable TV subscriptions have steadily declined in recent years, NBC is clearly consolidating their networks to help ease the pain of dwindling cable viewers.

Although many Premier League matches will air on USA, some will appear on NBC’s other sister channels. For example, they will air across NBC, CNBC and E!, as well as their streaming service Peacock.

Along with Premier League games, USA is also set to broadcast IndyCar and NASCAR races, college basketball, golf, and Olympic sports in 2022.

NBCSN is shutting down in the middle of the bidding process for the next round of Premier League TV rights. How that will impact future broadcasts will certainly be a talking point. NBC’s exclusive Premier League coverage in the U.S. is set to expire at the end of the current campaign. ESPN, CBS, Amazon Prime and FOX are all thought to be in competition with NBC to secure the next contract with the Premier League.

As always, be sure to check our regularly updated Premier League television schedule to know exactly where to find each game.

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Dave Gooner

    March 5, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    The big problem with showing games on USA Network is the availability of ‘Replays’! They are only available from 9am the NEXT day through Peacock!
    I don’t mind them showing it on Peacock, but why do we have to wait until the next day? If there’s a 7:30am or 9am game, I may not have the opportunity to watch it then and would love to watch it later in the day or evening. This whole 1 day delay is ridiculous, we never had that issue when games were shown on NBCSN.
    Brilliant thought process PEACOCK/USA network.

    • Paul Brown

      March 16, 2022 at 1:24 pm

      USA network will be a big step down from NBCSN. USA network seems to keep sports as a low priority, while showing law and order and that ridiculous Chrisley show all day long. Today Arsenal vs Liverpool ( a huge game) won’t be shown, so a law and order svu from 2002 can be aired. I’m betting Benson and Stabler will catch the rapist. I know I’m in the minority being a premier league fan in the United States , but damn this is lame

      • Michael

        March 16, 2022 at 7:38 pm

        @Paul Brown. The Arsenal vs Liverpool has been set for Peacock for a long time. They always put big midweek games on Peacock. They started doing that even before NSCSN was taken down. They spent $Billions to get the rights. They want to make their money back, and they are going to do that by Peacock subscriptions.

  2. Ra

    January 15, 2022 at 8:42 am

    @Ron Just consider the $5 another increase to your cable bill and be happy. They increase it all the time. Especially the ‘other fees and taxes’ bill line all the time with little to no complaint from consumers. Just admit that they hold the cards.
    But wait — you can quit the game – cancel cable and get all soccer you l’ll ever care for for $10-17/mo befoe any promo or annual rates.
    The grass is indeed greener on the other side of the fence.

  3. Ron

    January 15, 2022 at 8:03 am

    Horrible Idea in the middle of the season! Additionally, there appears to be noticeably less games on cable USA on the weekends and almost every high profile game has been moved to Peacocks “premium” service for which you will have to pay! This flies in the face of the fact we consumers paid to have the sports package which included NBCSN and now they fold up in a cynical attempt to squeeze EPL Fans for $60.00 bucks a year to watch the leading teams! Who the hell mad that decision appears not to done NBC no favors and likely weakens their position in keeping the right’s in the next bidding rounds! Dumb as Dirt!

  4. TMillerSFO

    December 31, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you all, this was very helpful. I am pretty new to all of it, have been relying on Peacock, Paramount+ and NBC OTA (antenna). An inexpensive Roku really helps bring the streaming to the TV, even without a “smart TV.” Sling disappointed me during the Olympics, but I guess I may have to spring for Sling again because if this USA thing, which boggles me as a non-cable person. Very helpful discussion! Big thanks also to World Soccer Talk, enormous help.

  5. FlatBackFour

    December 31, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you! Fingers crossed it gets picked up somewhere.

  6. FlatBackFour

    December 31, 2021 at 1:55 pm

    I enjoy Sky Sports News on NBCSN weekdays. So far, it appears that it will not be airing on USA after NBCSN shuts down. Is this true?

  7. Kevin M

    December 27, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    If NBC loses the PL rights then I sincerely hope that whoever wins the rights brings Rebecca, Tim, the Robbies, Arlo and Lee Dixon over if not the whole team! I’ve always loved NBC’s coverage team for the Premier League.

  8. locofooty

    December 13, 2021 at 9:25 am

    Dennis, the new year’s 12:30 match will also be on USA, but it doesn’t seem like a permanent move.

  9. Dennis

    December 12, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    I believe the Saturday 12:30 game is on both NBC & Peacock

  10. Ted

    December 12, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for the reply. I prefer streaming services to the cable. So i think I am gonna go with Sling blue + Peacock. And when champion league starts again on Feb, I might get paramount+ until May. Hopefully what those 3 subscriptions, i should be able to enjoy EPL and UCL games.

    And Steve, since i just bought fire tv, i have free subscription to fubotv for a month so yea I agree fubotv has lots of sports channels but the only reason is that it is a little expensive for me that is why think i am gonna get sling blue as soon as my free subscription ends for fubotv. Hopefully sling blue has nbc local channel for my area so I can tune in to 12:3o games.

  11. Hans

    December 11, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Ted, your experience just verifies the mess the presentation of EPL games is in. Many of the different users are either confused or ticked off. Those using linear TV can’t get all of them in one place but have to consult a guide to find out which channel airs what, plus don’t get the games on Peacock and have to subscribe to either Peacock or some other service and may not get the big screen experience. Those who are in the streaming world are ticked off likewise because they have to subscribe to also at least 2 streaming services but are in a better situation to get the big screen experience.
    .
    Good thing is this, time is on the side of those who are ticked off. If it is not solved to the satisfaction of the majority and not just the EPL fan boys, with so much soccer available now there may be a preference shift in the making.

  12. SteveK

    December 11, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Ted, it can be daunting as a beginner in the increasingly high tech landscape of watching TV but all of us here have already been through that and can help you. There are pirates on this site who like to tout their favorite ways of accessing Premier League content like Smoothstreams and Primestreams because of some grudge or another against our evil overlords Comcast, but the least expensive LEGAL option to watch any of the 380 Premier League games live is Sling Blue plus Peacock. That’s $35 plus $5 month. You need both for the rest of this season because Comcast has decided some games will be on cable only and some games will be on Peacock only. (Some here, like me, expect this to change next season but we won’t know for sure until August.) At the moment, you have to be able to switch between two apps, this upsets so many, but unfortunately there is no one magic place where all PL games can be viewed like with the lesser Euro leagues on ESPN+ or Paramount+

    If you like to record games to watch later I recommend spending the extra 5 bucks for the DVR feature in Sling. In many cities Sling Blue also includes your local NBC and FOX channels but those are not guaranteed nationwide. There is only 1 game on NBC each weekend in the 12:30 EST Saturday slot so for that game you’ll need access to NBC, either via cable or cable-like subscription which Sling Blue is or you could watch it OTA, which stands for “over the air.”

    I hope that helps. You can get NBC and USA on lots of competitors to Sling, for a few years prior to this one I did FuboTV and loved it, it had many Spanish channels which carried lots of soccer, gradually I found I just used it to watch Premier League teams and Sling is roughly half the price monthly. If you and your family like to watch other stuff, non-soccer, you may prefer a more expensive competitor to Sling like Fubo or YoutubeTV.

  13. Ted

    December 10, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    So I am completely new to all this since I just bought a smart TV. And all i want to watch is Premier league games. So my best bet is just get Sling blue tv since i am on budget as well and i should get pretty much all games?. Correct me if I am wrong. When it says NBCSN EPL games to move to USA network, does it means games to be played on USA channel strictly or USA network ( which are Bravo, CNBC, Oxygen, etc)
    Also someone mentioned some games ( 12:30 ET) are remain to be played on NBC . IS nbc different from NBCSN

    • Christopher Harris

      December 11, 2021 at 7:50 am

      Hi Ted, Sling Blue would be a good one to get. Games will be on the USA channel as well as NBC, which is the main NBC network. We may end up with some games on CNBC too now and again, although we’ll have to wait and see what NBC Sports decides.

      NBCSN is different than the NBC network. The NBC network is your main local NBC channel. Sling Blue has most of them, but you’ll want to check to make sure they have it in your city/area.

  14. greg

    November 4, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    Mentioned in another thread that at least for the match I was watching, Lyon v Sparta Prague, after some time the stadium mics came back, but no announcer. Kind of cool, though…Lyon fans are known for their passion during games. You can also hear the Prague coach now and then yelling at his players.

  15. Mark B

    November 4, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Yeah like Paramount losing sound on many of the Europa League matches today

  16. Michael F

    November 3, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    @Hans. Please. Spare me my take of hatred toward other posts. I am just calling what it is. All you do is spew hatred toward Comcast – as you call them names and provide negativity. Your posts are hardly ever about anything else and it can be expected that whenever there is an article on the subject of NBC or Comcast, you will be there to spew your hatred toward them. I have no specific allegiance to them or any other provider, but it is just nonsense to constantly spew negativity over one specific provider endlessly, as you do. I am not the one that requires to show some restraint. You go and tell others on posts here that they just give opinions like they are asking Santa for something – showing disrespect for other readers and those that post. It is you that requires to show some balance in this endless attack at Comcast and NBC. Pick on ESPN or Paramount or any other for a change. None of them are perfect. They all have flaws.

  17. Hans

    November 3, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    @Michael
    I am obliging, because I was expecting your never failing rebuttal on any of my comments. Your hatred for other’s opinions is worst then what is being posted initially. Since this is a comment section I do post as I want to. Please find the inner strength to restraining yourself from waiting of one of my posts to just spew out your hatred, it is a sign of maturity to refrain from personal attacks on posters, which you obviously lack. If you must attack, attack the content not the poster who reports it.
    .
    To add to this and showing that you don’t understand the business angle here are quotes from investor analyst Greenfield appearing in nexttv . com who understands this busyness far better then you and I.
    .
    “On nexttv . com this headline was intriguing “Peacock Losing Over $8 a Month on Each of Its 21.5 Million Active Users, Analyst Says”
    .
    This bleak revenue perspective was provided by LightShed Partners Richard Greenfield, who in a note to investors urged parent company Comcast to make much bigger investments in Peacock, or get out of the video business altogether.

    Greenfield has other advice for the conglomerate: As in, get out of the video business. And he doesn’t mean just bundled multichannel video. He thinks Comcast should divest NBCU much in the way that AT&T is spinning of WarnerMedia.

    While NBC Universal needs to increase content/IP scale to compete as consumer behavior shifts away from linear TV,” Greenfield wrote.”
    .
    You see investors advise Comcast get out of the video business or invest massively because consumer behavior shifts away from linear TV. Again argue with the investor analysts and don’t attack those who post it, just because you don’t have an answer to the analyst’s findings and conclusion.

  18. Michael F

    November 3, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    @Hans. Most of this is just your babbling subjective opinion. Of course Peacock has had its hiccups (it’s well documented), but you are front and center on the echo chamber here with the constant Comcast bashing. Despite your constant displeasure to cite what you think is such groundbreaking news that you provide with each post, there are many that happen to like NBC’s studio coverage of the Premier League and the two Robbies. So perhaps you need to ease up on your hating subjectivity, just because you hate linear tv and Comcast. Can’t wait for your babbling response.

  19. Hans

    November 3, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Everyone is waiting here with baited breath for the outcome of the bidding for the EPL rights most likely to be known within 2 to 3 weeks. This killing of NBCSN to me is just a consolidation of their linear TV channels. It also tells me they are still clueless of how this should play out in the future and are trying desperately to save their advertising revenue from linear TV.
    .
    In the meantime for me this was a telling statement from the Hollywoodreporter . com:

    “Comcast on Thursday reported $230 million in revenue and a $520 million adjusted loss related to NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock in its third-quarter earnings report. That compared to $41 million in revenue and an adjusted loss of $233 million in the comparable year-ago period.

    For the first time since the launch of Peacock last year, management didn’t provide an update on the number of sign-ups in either the earnings release or call. NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said only that the company has “added a few million more subs” and more monthly active accounts.”
    .
    Added to this Shell put on a positive spin “All metrics are pointed up: our usage continues to be great, our mix of users.” This tells me they couldn’t win a piss-up in a brewery and are totally inept in handling the linear TV to streaming transition. They do not deserve such a precious commodity as the EPL and screw up its presentation. On the other hand as already mentioned the cancelling of the babbling two Robbies is welcome, even though I quit listening to them after a few trials.

  20. dave

    November 3, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    @Greg, those are my questions also. ESPN puts all the sports content I pay for in a single app (ABC on ESPN3, ESPN+, the ESPN linear flavors). Fox does the same in their app (FOX, BTN, FS1/2). NBC is already a step behind in making it hard to find sports content I am paying them for. I hope NBC plan to improve that – they used to have NBC Sports and Gold in the same app prior to Peacock – rather than eliminating existing features.

  21. Greg

    November 3, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    I’d like to make fun of WATSON for preferring Tim to the Two Robbies but I have legitimate questions I am hoping someone can answer.
    Is this just a shuttering of a TV channel or a full restructure of NBC Sports? For example, replays of EPL games that aired on NSBSN are available on the NBC Sports app (when logged in with cable subscription) shortly after airing (rather than having to wait for replay to be on Peacock). Are they killing this app also? If not, will USA network match replays be available on the NBC Sports app? Will I be able to watch live USA network matches through the NBC Sports app? What about the NBC Sports YouTube channel? They have some robust EPL content through that including extended highlights, and highlight type shows like the Lowe Down, will this go away with this change?

  22. Roberto

    November 3, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    Sorry, Turfit, you are correct, I knew cricket was somewhere. Football’s English roots are firmly in the working class, after it’s escaped the upper class start (they decided Rugby was their kind of game). Even though I am retired there will never be enough time to watch cricket.

  23. Christopher Ernest WATSON

    November 3, 2021 at 11:38 am

    If that means I am saved from the babbling of the “two robbies”, I, for one, would be very happy. Keep Rebecca and Tim, though.

  24. Turfit

    November 3, 2021 at 11:38 am

    @Roberto, When did NBCSN show Cricket? To my knowledge they have not, so why complain about a sport that you have no clue about. Or you just complaining about “The sport of British imperialism from the good old days” while forgetting the English roots in soccer. I suggest that you turn on ESPN+ and enjoy some T-20 Cricket World Cup.

  25. locofooty

    November 3, 2021 at 10:55 am

    The noon ET match on USA as well instead of NBC? Will this be recurring or just because it’s the first broadcast?

    • Christopher Harris

      November 3, 2021 at 11:44 am

      Just because it’s the first broadcast and they want to do something exciting to launch it on USA Network. Normally, the 12:30pm ET game will remain on NBC.

  26. Jesus

    November 3, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Moving PL coverage to USA means that all the pre- and post-match banter will be eliminated or curtailed. I’m sure that they will try to not affect much of USA’s normal programming.

  27. Rick

    November 3, 2021 at 10:25 am

    @Ilya That’s fair and I didn’t mean to belittle anyone that watches the other content. I’m simply saying that IMO poker, car auctions and EPL isn’t enough sports content to power an entire network. I don’t think it is any coincidence that the network shut down when Comcast/NBC lost the NHL after having it for at least a decade.

  28. Roberto

    November 3, 2021 at 10:08 am

    With the closing down of NBCSN what will happen to the other top notch sports? Where will the exciting Premier League Darts go? The only “sport” that the top players need real beer bellies. Then there is Snooker that I guess some people actually watch, along with corn-hole that is very popular in Florida. Cricket will be missed by some. The ones with a high boredom threshold. The sport of British imperialism from the good old days of the leisure rich who could sit all day watching very little actual action. The players wear sweaters (jumpers) because they never work up a sweat. It is amazing the bowler has to run 100′ to throw the ball. They have tests that last days, these test the patience of the spectators. Maybe American Ninja will be canceled as at least some good news.

  29. Chris Guardiano

    November 3, 2021 at 4:05 am

    @Rick I remember seeing a YouTube video a few months ago of an old NASL match that was shown on USA and that was in the early days of network. That shows that USA does have experience with soccer dating back to the early 80’s and I think this will be the thing that keeps the EPL on NBC unless someone else offers more money.

  30. Ilya

    November 2, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    Rick I am watching poker all the time on nbcsn. I used to watch hockey. Yes I can’t recall watching anything else besides poker and epl.

  31. Rick

    November 2, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    There isn’t, in my opinion, enough programming to carry NBCSN as a network. Their bellcows were 1) NHL (which they covered nicely but lost), 2) EPL and 3) …there isn’t a #3.

    Raise your hand if you watched NBCSN when the EPL or NHL playoffs weren’t on.

    It isn’t like USA hasn’t been covering sports for decades. I used to watch the US Open on USA for years. USA has aired plenty of NHL playoff games and the occasional overflow EPL match.

    When you’re showing car auctions for entertainment (that should have been my #3 above) you obviously don’t have enough live sports inventory.

  32. Kevin

    November 2, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Seeing this as a channel shutting in favor of “more streaming” is kind of an assumption in this case. Games are mostly moving from one linear channel to another. NBCSN wasn’t a profitable enterprise for Comcast so they’re ending it and using the content to help one of their other channels. The weekly balance will probably still remain around 6 TV/4 Peacock or 5/5.

  33. Kevin

    November 2, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    That first day of USA led Prem programming will most likely be:

    Arsenal v Manchester City 7:30 AM ET
    Watford v Tottenham Hotspur 10:00 AM ET
    Crystal Palace v West Ham United 12:30 PM ET

  34. Giovanni

    November 2, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    This is only the beginning more and more TV companies going to be shutting down cable channels for more streaming 10 years from now you gonna to see a lot more TV programming on streaming

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