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ESPN bids for US Premier League rights

ESPN bids for US Premier League rights

The fact that ESPN bids for US Premier League rights is hardly an earth shattering revelation. However, it is confirmation that the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader of Sports means business.

The bidding war is almost over for the rights to the Premier League for the 2022/23 through 2027/28 seasons. As a result, an announcement is expected later this week. Leading contenders for the rights include FOX Sports, CBS Sports and NBC Sports. And, of course, ESPN. In fact, a top-level executive at ESPN confirmed that the broadcaster has placed a bid for the rights.

Speaking in New York City, ESPN President of Programming & Original Content Burke Magnus confirmed the bid:

“Soccer has been really a tentpole for ESPN+ from the very first day. That and UFC have been the two categories that we have ‘sunk our teeth into’ from the beginning.

“[The Premier League rights] haven’t been available until now. So, we ran our process. We did it with discipline. We’ll see [what happens]. [We’ve had] good conversations. We hope we understand what they were looking for as part of the process. And [I’m] excited to see where it goes.”

Magnus made the announcement during a SBJ Media Innovators conference on Tuesday.

Final bids for the 2022/23 through 2027/28 U.S. rights closed on Monday. Bids were presented to the chairpersons of the Premier League at their shareholder meeting on Thursday.

The auction for the bids has now entered a second round of bidding. An announcement is expected next week.

NBC Sports’ current deal for the Premier League ends May 2022.

ESPN bids for U.S. Premier League rights: Analysis

When asked whether ESPN had placed a bid for the rights to the Premier League, Magnus’s first answer was revealing. The first thing he began talking about was how soccer has been so successful on ESPN+. Undoubtedly, if ESPN is able to win the rights to the Premier League, ESPN+ will be a major part of the strategy.

In addition to discussing ESPN+, Magnus spoke about the breadth of distribution that ESPN offers. Everything from social media to broadcast networks to digital, as well as the Walt Disney Company, ESPN really ticks all of the boxes.

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57 Comments

57 Comments

  1. Eddy

    November 14, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Said the same about CBS they are losing the SEC in 2024 but still are going to be going after PAC-12 and Big 12 College Football, throw in March Madness, and NFL games on Sunday its going to be a heavy Paramount + diet. They have CBS Sports Network but that channel isn’t on the ESPN/ESPN 2 or even FS1 level . As far as access that would be like the old Fox Soccer Channel days as far a niche channel vs popularity.

  2. Azer

    November 14, 2021 at 11:16 am

    I wish WST would change the headline. ESPN+ bids for US Premier League rights.
    ESPN liner channels have college football from morning to midnight. It is their bread & butter.

  3. locofooty

    November 12, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    VPN is your friend, Michael! ESPN+ is fine with it as well as MLBtv

  4. Michael F

    November 12, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    @JP yep. I know that. I guess a better example is other pro sports leagues in the US, such as MLB, NHL, NBA etc, where you need a cable-like package to obtain access to your local team blacked out. and yes, it’s amazing that in the UK, they blackout a match in the whole country. They did that for the first Ronaldo match playing for Man U. You had to have a ticket to attend to match to watch it live.
    Incredible.

  5. Jbaxter736

    November 12, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    Yeah you are right it’s amazing the price difference per month for S for a Premier League games in the US compare to the UK and vice versa for the NFL in the US..

  6. JP

    November 12, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    @MichaelF, all you local NFL games are available free OTA if you’re living in that market. Even games on ESPN or NFL Network will be simulcast on a local channel OTA if it’s your team. For those fans living out of market (or NBA/NHL/MLB), yeah it’s better to be overseas instead lol.

    Those in Europe probably jealous of how much soccer we get on the cheap compared to them, same situation. It’s good to be a soccer fan here and US Sports fan over there!

  7. Michael F

    November 12, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    @jabxter736 Thanks. That is quite cheap in comparison to getting all out of market games via NFL Ticket here in the States.

    Gotta love this industry that restricts fans from being able to watch any and all games from ‘their own backyard’,.. yet they can in a country thousands of miles away, the games are all available and on the cheap. I know most people would pay some extra to see their local teams without the use of subscribing to a cable-like package.

  8. Jesus

    November 12, 2021 at 7:57 am

    I predict that at last two companies will share the rights to the EPL in the USA. Similar to that in the UK. From what I’ve read there are 4 packages that were bid on. I would think that NBC will be rewarded for what they’ve done to promote the EPL in the USA by being given at least one of the packages. ESPN might be the other winner in getting the remaining packages.

  9. Jbaxter736

    November 12, 2021 at 4:43 am

    The cheapest price for the NFL in the UK is £18 a month for sky sports NFL are £20 a month for the full sky sports package And you would need entertainment pack of sky for £26 And you will get the majority of NFL games are you can get NFL game pass but I’m not sure how much the Price is in the UK.

  10. Lou

    November 11, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    I think when the dust clears next week, NBC will emerge as retaining the rights with the complete package, albeit it will be by a hairs edge. I never took Fox or ESPN as serious contenders to be honest as Fox is quite satisfied with its model of owning the major tournaments rights and ESPN is almost assuredly going to loose money on La Liga after ridiculously overpaying the for the rights.

    There is a lot of angst and excessive analysis of Peacock on this thread and one would surmise that NBC is in a such a state over their streamer as to be contemplating pulling the plug when the opposite is true. Peacock was always regarded by NBC brass as going to be a slow and steady road to subscriber growth and profitability. Yes, there is work to do and a plan is in place to ramp up original conent, add more first line movies and of course a healthy slate of Premeire League matches will help also.

  11. Michael F

    November 11, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    @jbaxter736. Slightly off topic, but I am curious. How much of the NFL games are aired in the UK and what is the expense and access to get the games? Thanks.

  12. Jbaxter736

    November 11, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    You are so much better off in America even if two companies get a TV right for the Premier League because in the UK it would be £40 a month for sky sports and BT sport plus £40 a month for virgin broadband and TV. And I can’t see a couple streaming services getting to the point where is £40 a month just for half of the Premier League games.

  13. locofooty

    November 11, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Pretty much a given that the rights will be split. Premier League looking to get paid. Yes, they will be overpaid for just like La Liga. Big shocker! lmao. I think this will affect the other European leagues greatly when it comes to purchasing power.

    Mercator, count me as one that would not get Peacock for one of the packages. Then again, not a die hard EPL fan. I would def get Paramount+ if they are the other half of the split. Paramount+ offers more for my money than Peacock. Would just catch the NBC OTA and Telemundo/Universo matches. What will Comcrapstic do? Will they keep the linear/stream divide for 190 matches? That would be hilarious as they’d face the wrath of viewers. Or will they finally offer all matches on Peacock and simulcast on linear? Will they cut down on the linear matches? Will they block Telemundo for showing some matches because they are on Peacock on the english side? That is the problem with Peacock. EPL is all they have. It will be interesting.

  14. Hans

    November 10, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    @greg
    Not my observation what do I know about original content. Perhaps a better choice of words would have been demand for its original content. Here are the findings by analysts regarding Peacock’s original content and I agree with that as I watch Paramount+ and Peacock only for the sports. With a share of only 1.6% they bring up the rear.
    .
    “According to Parrot Analytics, which estimates consumer demand based on data from multiple online sources, including Google searches, social media services, blogs, video platforms and piracy services, Peacock mustered only 1.6% of digital original demand share in the U.S. during the third quarter, a slight improvement from the 1.4% it drew during the prior quarter. Paramount Plus eked out 3.9%, while HBO Max, Apple TV Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus ranged from 6.1% to 8.9%; Netflix dominated with 43.7% of that metric.
    .
    “The issue with Peacock right now as it stands is that the demand for its originals is effectively nonexistent,” says Julia Alexander, senior strategy analyst at Parrot Analytics. “It’s not a comment on the quality,” she adds, it’s just that none of the offerings has fallen into the exceptional category.
    .
    NBCUniversal made a calculated decision to aim Peacock into the fast-growing world of free advertiser-supported TV channels as a zig when its rivals were zagging with a tight focus on commercial-free subscription platforms à la Disney Plus and HBO Max. ”
    .
    Here is another take on the difficulties facing Comcast & Peacock and fall square into that category, Netflix, Amazon Prime but not Disney+.
    .
    “But at the moment there are three or four services/bundles that almost everyone has. Netflix is foundational. Disney+/Hulu is a must-have for most people. Amazon is basically free. Those companies have all committed to streaming in a big way.
    .
    But the next tier — HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+ and Apple TV+ — they all have to give you a reason to pay for another service. Within the halls of Comcast, there are powerpoint decks and long-term plans floating around the company touting its ability to target different fan bases, from sports to horror to kids. In other words, Comcast is still working on its pitch.”

  15. greg

    November 10, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    Minor quibble with Hans’ take – there is plenty of original programming on Peacock:
    “www peacocktv com/collections/originals”

    …whether it’s good is subjective. Whether it’s well marketed depends on many factors – for instance I know about AP Bio because I follow Patton Oswalt on Twitter & he never shuts up about it when new episodes drop or when they’re filming. And Peacock’s awful UI means it can be hard to find, or hard to chance on something you might like. And there’s so much of it that like with Netflix and all of the tons of streaming combined the results in paralysis thanks to paradox of choice. Not unlike some football weekends, btw, when there’s too many good matches on at one time. I almost long for the days when there were only 1 or 2 to watch, eliminating the need to search & choose.

    re: any Viacom-Comcast merger…I think right now that’s a (happily) difficult one to get thru US anti-trust regulators. I like that we have a government not as willing to roll over for things like this. It would be horribly anti-competitive, bad for consumers, bad for anyone with content on the associated networks.

    I do agree with the part about brand development. If they take the bid with the most money but the partner doesn’t have a promo plan as good as or better than NBC, does that help with things like merch sales, tourists coming to the stadium to watch matches (supposedly bigger revenue drivers than you might think). Amazon can offer great tie-ins with their retail arm, but will they partner in Fan Fests? Will they have good shoulder programming? Do commercials like the Ted Lasso ones from 2014? They also have no over-the-air or linear, which I still think is something the EPL recognizes a need for in the US to keep growing the league.

  16. Hans

    November 10, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    There is so much to unpack in this thread and lets start with the easy one. The M&A of Comcast & Viacom is being downplayed and dismissed by Viacom as their CEO said ““At the end of the day, we’re focused on shareholder value creation.” That is the key for everyone, make the shareholders, Wall Street and investors happy, because we don’t care about the sport. In addition a M&A would present several obstacles, including potential divestitures and structure. One of the options under consideration is to bundle Peacock and Paramount+ together in international markets. Both companies are planning global expansions, and partnering is relatively frictionless.
    .
    As numerous investors and analysts have presented to Comcast the facts that they make money in the ISP business but are loosing money in the video business in the US. Therefore divesting the video business will keep shareholders happy rather then loosing $8 per Peacock subscriber as evident by the $520 million loss for the 3rd quarter. What is NBCUniversal gaining from keeping the full EPL offering? The cable business is shedding subscribers and ad revenue, Peacock is at the bottom of the streaming services because they have no original content, Soccer is a niche sport in the US. To justify to the investors 3 billion dollars for this property will not go over well on Wall Street.
    .
    The UK situation is a totally different scenario, first off Soccer over there is the number 1 sport. The costs for the rights have maxed out, especially taking into consideration the pandemic, and the EPL wanted something guaranteed that is safe and structured, therefore no bidding just a roll over the existing existing broadcast deals to preserve the rights valuation, since in the UK, Italy and Germany over the past 12 months have seen the value either stagnate or decrease.
    .
    This is not the case in the international markets the EPL sent out three invitation to tenders (ITTs) covering a total of 50 countries because the value of the EPL rights had increased by hundreds of percentage points and in the case of the Caribbean by %860. International is quite different than the UK situation and a 1st right of refusal by Comcast doesn’t fit that situation, why would the EPL go for that? As already mentioned this is contractual not word of mouth or sympathy.
    .
    Finally the EPL may consider that building growth of the brand may just be as important as the amount of the bid, as clubs finding it profitable to sell their merchandise on-line, especially when a pandemic may reduce match attendance. How many Prime subscribers are there and Amazon knows they are not adverse to purchasing club memorabilia.

  17. SteveK

    November 10, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    “if I had to bet it will be 190 games for NBC and 190 games for CBS” is a strong contender, Mercator, I agree with you especially if those rumors about Comcast strongly considering a merger/takeover of ViacomCBS have some validity. If rights are split I don’t think ABC/ESPN+ ends in the top two after saddling themselves with that 8 year La Liga deal at $175 million per year.

    I could live with a shared Comcast-ViacomCBS package to start especially if there’s a merger to follow.

  18. Mercator

    November 10, 2021 at 10:54 am

    I don’t think that willing roll over was much value add at all – it was just as beneficial for Sky and the like as it was for the EPL. If Comcast rejected the rollover, Amazon would happily take the rights and Sky would basically lose the key pillar of its UK business. A ROFR is also never a gentleman’s agreement – it’s a contractual obligation. The league, should it not take the highest bid, will have to explain to it’s clubs why that is the case and I promise you a gentleman’s agreement is not going to cut it. Don’t get me wrong I’m sure many are internally pulling for Comcast, but this is about money not playing favorites.

    I think if I had to bet it will be 190 games for NBC and 190 games for CBS. A split package will help Comcast build Peacock, because all of us watching will still have to subscribe to Peacock for the EPL, even if they only have half the games. Put another way, what does Comcast gain by spending twice as much for the additional 190 games? Anyone who would subscribe if they had all 380 games will still subscribe for 190 of them. I think NBC can’t afford to lose the EPL, but also can’t really afford to keep the full thing. NBC is also probably confident if the package is split their broadcast will be seen as the “best” one.

    CBS gets the other half I think – they have been aggressive so I think they will put in a big enough bid, and I think they could find a Saturday slot on CBS for an EPL game each week after their SEC deal ends. Saturday on CBS, Sunday on NBC. Most football fans probably already have Paramount+ and CBS/NBC already have an international streaming partnership.

    I do think it will be split for sure though. If I’m running ESPN+ or Paramount or Peacock or whatever, I’d ask how many subscribers 190 games could bring in. I bet this number is very close to the number of subscribers 380 games would bring in. I just can’t see how anyone could justify paying twice as much for all 380 games when 190 games will probably get you 80% of the subscribers as the full package. If sports rights had an exclusivity premium like that, every big sports league wouldn’t have multiple broadcasters.

  19. Ra

    November 10, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Peacock is losing money and Comcast has been struggling to achieve breakeven even with the current much lower fees (also reportedly). If Comcast is going with a loss leader strategy for Peacock, that seems to not be working out as well. But then again, they are Comcast. The only strategy they learned to master is a monopoly.
    So, unless they can create a compelling business plan and convince their board that they should pay 2x+ for the fees and they would still be profitable, it is hard to see them keeping the rights. After all, if it is feasible to monetize it better, why haven’t they done it already?

    Mine is indeed a true island – I am as concerned to see who gets the rights to the Paulista/Paulistão as I am with the EPL rights… 🙂

  20. SteveK

    November 10, 2021 at 9:33 am

    Michael F–do you like the view of the island enough to join me in predicting this will be the outcome, that Comcast acquires the full package?

    JP–agreed, never said it was a done deal, just that Comcast rolling over the UK rights so willingly–and not insisting those rights should be bid on openly–came with a gentleman’s agreement that Comcast would be in the drivers seat for the US rights renewal. That willing rollover Mercator was a significant value add for the Premier League, this is the way they pay Comcast back.

    I do not think Comcast wants to be part of any shared rights package, that won’t help Comcast build or merge peacock. The full Premier League package on NBC and peacock, though, with a little more value added Sky content, would be some very colorful plumage to attract others.

    Anyone else with a prediction of how this ends up? There’s a lot of Comcast hate here, a lot of I like ESPN+ for this and dislike Paramount+ for that, but who thinks the bids will end up differently than me and why? There is more room on the island…

  21. Mercator

    November 10, 2021 at 9:20 am

    @Eric T – Disney has a network channel in ABC. They also have ESPN, by far the biggest sports media organisation in the united states. Netflix aside, they are the top dog in streaming. And ESPN is notorious for pushing their own properties and ignoring the rest. There is a reason F1 gave away their television rights to ESPN – it’s far and away the best platform for a sport to reach a mass audience and gain new fans.

    @SteveK – I don’t think that is the case. If Comcast has a right of first refusal that obligation would be in a contract somewhere, almost certainly in their current deal, and that detail would have leaked. There is no reason the league would give Comcast a ROFR – a right like that has significant value and no one is giving it away without compensation. It is also generally not helpful in a bidding process – Comcast obviously would not be incentivised to bid up the price if they know they can jump in at the end and match. If anything, I think the 190 match packages were included to give NBC an opportunity to keep some of the rights since they don’t seem to be in a position to spend $2 or $3 billion on sports rights at this time. Most of these companies only care about getting their streaming subscriptions up and 190 games provides just as much an inventive to subscribe as 380.

  22. JP

    November 10, 2021 at 8:54 am

    @SteveK, the scenario you describe is essentially Comcast having the right of 1st refusal to match the highest bid (whether joint or solo). In the end, EPL will go for the most money, if Comcast willing to give them the most, then yes. But not a done deal!

  23. Michael F

    November 10, 2021 at 8:48 am

    @SteveK. I can tell you that I like the view of this island you speak of.

  24. SteveK

    November 10, 2021 at 7:51 am

    I realize I am virtually alone on an island here but I think it has already been decided to award Comcast the entire package if they want it. The minute Comcast agreed to rollover UK rights for Sky for the next 3 years at 1.193 billion pounds for 128 matches per year their US rights hand was also tacitly strengthened. Wink wink nudge nudge. There was never going to be a pre-emptive rollover of Comcast’s 1 billion for 6 years US rights because everyone knows those rights are worth a lot more now than 6 years ago. I could be way off, of course, but I wonder if this entire bidding process, the whole concept behind offering 4 packages, is solely to set the fair amount that Comcast will pay. That’s what is going on right now, the various bids for the partial packages (which Comcast did not submit actual bids for) are being tallied, and a total is being presented to Comcast for them to agree or not.

    This is put up or shut up time for Comcast and we’ll see just how serious they are about the future of peacock. In advance of the pending announcement, who is willing to join me on this island?

  25. rkujay

    November 10, 2021 at 7:01 am

    Some days I pine for the page upon page of matches on ‘today’s’ schedule. The sisters of the poor (the Europa league) alongside the sisters of the really poor (the Europa conference league). But generally I detest International breaks as a whole.
    Sorry for the digression.

  26. Mario Garcia

    November 10, 2021 at 12:20 am

    Looking forward to Thursday for their decisions.

    Won’t think any shift on premier league rights will change subscription habits, keeping Fanatiz and Paramount + active most of the year, with Peacock and ESPN+ only active during half of the year.

    So far Peacock is not worth (at least for me) full price. But whenever they run their discounted promos (at 2.5 $ per month), is worth it for the random (can never know what match[es] they will air) Premier League match and WWE PPV s.

    ESPN+ I’m a subscriber on temporal basis, tipically when my MLS or Hockey team is performing well (it hasn’t been the case for a while, so the subscription is cancelled for the moment and will stay like that very likely until next year when the MLS season restarts). Bundesliga and La Liga are bonuses.

    Fanatiz I’m almost a full year subscriber for their coverage of the Colombian league.

    Paramount + also pretty much deserves a subscription almost all the time, with Champions League + Serie A and when those leagues are off, their Concacaf qualifiers (complemented with the Asian qualifiers ) deserves to keep the subscription.

  27. Hans

    November 9, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Once we enter 2022 a reassessment of my streaming services will be in order. Two of them are nailed down, Peacock (Rugby matches like 6 Nations and European Cup matches plus Rugby Premier league) plus Paramount UCL, UEL, Serie A and I do like their other offerings. This putsthe yearly subscription for ESPN+ into jeopardy as I don’t care for La Liga, MLS and the Cup games are not worth the expense.
    .
    For me ESPN+ lost value when they dropped the Southern Hemisphere Rugby competitions. If they would have them I would keep the yearly subscription but then that will not become an issue until the end of February 2022.

  28. Leo

    November 9, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    I like Bundesliga but not enough to pay more than $60/year. And of course I won’t renew at the current $70/year nor the $150-$250/year they will require from next August. We are not in 2010 or 2015 anymore. In 2021, there are tons of links with HD quality (only thing missing is the rewind/play button). My hard earned money will not go to the pockets of EPL billionaire owners.

  29. Bobby

    November 9, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    I lived in England for 5 years and I can assure the EPL. Doesn’t really care about what you like. They will sell the rights to the highest bidder even if they broadcast all the games on tape delay or not at all.

  30. greg

    November 9, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    @Michael F slight disagreement on other networks covering their leagues…CBS/Paramount does a good job of pre/post-match shows for UCL, Europa & Serie A. ESPN+’s coverage of their late Sunday match and whatever other match they consider to be marquee (El Clasico, for instance) they do lots pre/post, they have sideline reporters, etc. And on the late Sunday match they spend the first part of ESPN FC on that match & La Liga.

    But yeah, NBC are right now the gold standard for in-depth coverage of the league they are responsible for.

  31. Michael F

    November 9, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    @Nosferatu. Nice summary. You hit on all the points pros/cons that I agree on. Especially about ESPN. Can’t see how that would be a win for EPL fans here in the states that have been accustomed to NBC’s coverage of the EPL over the years. I also am not a fan of CBS/Paramount’s interface.

    If NBC does lose the EPL, I would be intrigued with the idea of Amazon Prime taking the EPL and then hiring much of the staff from NBC, primarily Rebecca Lowe. It just wouldn’t be the same without her.

  32. jstrummer

    November 9, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    They should make an effort to sign the NBC crew but they won’t. I’ll watch wherever it’s on but I will miss Rebecca and the boys.

  33. Eric T

    November 9, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    @Hans NBC just lost the NHL. The EPL continues to do decent ratings for them as a sports property and the investment seems worth it from a financial perspective. I’m not sure Comcast wants to lose another sports property, especially with Peacock.

  34. Eric T

    November 9, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    @Mercator I don’t know how you can say ESPN has more reach than CBS or NBC when they can provide network television. I know Disney owns ABC but I don’t expect them to be airing EPL matches on ABC if they do get the rights.

  35. Nosferatu

    November 9, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    It’s not like I would stop watching if coverage moves to ESPN or another network. But I very well might find myself increasingly less-engaged if NBC loses the rights, based on what I know of other networks.

    Fox? No need to explain.

    ESPN(+)? It’s as others have said–they may well be spreading themselves too thin with all the leagues they cover (if they add the PL), they take a top-heavy approach in terms of the teams/players they focus on (it’s similar across sports), and I find many of their personalities and analysts to be very unappealing to listen to. And we all know that they keep and promote and give prominent placement to their own, no matter what the general consensus might be. (How long has Mark Jackson been doing NBA games for them, for instance? We can expect the same with guys like Twellman.)

    CBS/Paramount+? I don’t think their coverage is bad, but I’m not a fan of the interface, like how you try to continue watching a game from the home page (on Roku) but when you click on it it just takes you to some random Champions League game instead, for instance. And the replay issue would be a major problem. With the early-morning starts, I’ll often wait until shortly after the game ends and pop on the stream on Peacock or the NBC Sports app. If we have to wait five hours to do this (and all pre-, post-, and halftime-coverage is wiped out, as they do now on Paramount+), I don’t think we’re going to have many fans using this option. They’ll just go find a replay online illegally instead, if possible. No one should feel like they have to do that when they’re paying the subscription price already.

    NBC may not be perfect, but I still have cable, so I honestly can’t complain about what they offer. They do things to pull me in. These other networks would likely drive me away.

  36. Michael F

    November 9, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    @Hans Your reasoning may hold some weight, and I won’t pretend to be an expert in that area. I also won’t lose any sleep if things do change and NBC loses the EPL all together or has to share it after this season, despite my preference that it stays the same. That’s life. We roll with whatever changes come our way and adjust. Nothing stays the same too long.

  37. Michal

    November 9, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    Hope nbc keeps it. Please no Taylor Twellman, Kasey Keller or Steve Nicol.

  38. Hans

    November 9, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    I am going out on a limb here and predict that it is a snowball’s chance in hell that NBC will keep the entire EPL rights. Here are my reasonings why.
    .
    Comcast listens to Wall Street and investors NOT to fans no matter what Comcast says. When a rumor said that Comcast would divest their video business their stock popped 2% only to drop again as it turned out the rumor was false.
    .
    All homes whether or not they subscribe to cable TV, have a broadband connection or stream videos and some are included. In NBCU case Peacock is included free if you have a Comcast Internet connection. They therefore are losing more than $8 on each of its approximately 21.5 million monthly active users, putting it far away at present from the $7 to $8 average monthly revenue needed to reach its projection of breaking even by 2024, according to an analysis by LightShed Partners.
    .
    Connected TV (CTV), refers to any TV that can be connected to the internet and access content beyond what is available via the normal offering from a cable provider. As traditional linear TV viewing drops, marketers are increasingly turning to CTV: among US marketers with digital video in their media budgets, 60% said they were shifting ad dollars from linear TV to CTV and OTT this year. This means the advertising dollars for linear TV is shrinking.
    .
    Taking the financial aspect in consideration, which matters most to Comcast, there is no way that I can see they will shell out billions of dollars while loosing money on their streaming and video business. The best they may do is get a slice of the rights but no way the 380 games. If analysts can see this the EPL will likewise take this into consideration.

  39. Michael F

    November 9, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    @greg. Completely agree with your comments above about their studio show and partnership with Sky. It has really made following the EPL that much rewarding.

  40. Michael F

    November 9, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    @Hans. Regarding ESPN FC coverage of only top teams… exactly right. It’s a nice show for what it is, but even the leagues they carry, they don’t deep dive into all the clubs of those leagues.

    This is what I fear we will lose with EPL if NBC loses the bid and it goes to ESPN. Despite the continuous complaints over the model of what matches are aired live on Peacock vs on linear NBCSN (soon to be primarily on USA Network), NBC covers the English Premier league more thoroughly than any other provider covers their leagues they are contracted with. NBC has always given the respectable time and attention to all 20 EPL clubs. They give it the treatment it deserves and what many EPL fans are accustom to and want going forward.

  41. Michael

    November 9, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    ESPN is not going to repurpose a channel for Soccer’s. That is the entire reason for ESPN+ NHL is more popular than Soccer in US and it almost exclusively on ESPN+. The same will be for Soccer. ESPN+ for Euro Club, Fox National competition, CBS for MLS and Women’s. I don’t know if it is possible because of the owners, but I’d there is a way don’t be surprised if ESPN+ gets part of Liga MX which has higher rating than EPL in the US. Not likely though as long as Univision and Telemundo are OTL and have the right.

  42. Tony

    November 9, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Please god NO !!!!!!! Hope NBC keeps it all.

  43. dave

    November 9, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    @SC, I share your reaction that an interesting part of the article is the phrase “discipline” uttered by an ESPN representative.
    .
    ESPN have been extremely successful and remain a cash cow. Few would associate “discipline” as a top-of-mind about ESPN’s bids for sports properties. The La Liga deal, which seems likely ROI-negative even with generous assumptions, is a recent example.
    .
    If I were an EPL executive, I would be disappointed. Often as not, ESPN have been the driver of sports rights fee explosions. Perhaps it was a misstatement by ESPN or perhaps somebody else made an “aggressive” bid. I guess we will all know soon enough.

  44. dave

    November 9, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    @Norm, access to ESPN3 can be gained through a participating TV provider (cable or streaming) or through a participating high-speed internet provider.
    .
    [from ESPN site re ESPN app and ESPN3]
    “If you have already verified your TV provider, you will be able to navigate and watch all available content. If a lock icon appears next to your content, you will need to verify your account. Non-participating TV provider customers may have access to ESPN3 programming . . . as long as they subscribe to a participating high speed internet service provider”

  45. Yespage

    November 9, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    It’ll be interesting to find out who or who all won broadcasting rights. I can only imagine the joy people will have if any of the possible outcomes occur. Comcast wins and some people will be upset. ESPN wins and some people will be upset. If Paramount wins, some people will be upset. If Fubo wins, almost everyone will be upset. If everyone wins, some people will be happy, then upset.

    If ESPN takes it all, no way in heck is its price staying where it is.

  46. Norm

    November 9, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    No mention of ESPN3 which from my understanding is tied to having ESPN and not ESPN+. Correct me If I am wrong – but that would force a “cable” type subscription and ESPN+ as well possibly to have access to all the live games.

  47. José Cerrato

    November 9, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    Espero que NBC siga con la Premier League, ESPN haría con la PL como hace con LaLiga, ponerla en streaming.

  48. Mercator

    November 9, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    Interesting comment: “We hope we understand what they were looking for as part of the process.” The answer is obviously money and Magnus knows this so I read this as ESPN doesn’t expect to come in with the highest number and instead focused it’s bid on the reach ESPN can bring the EPL among sports fans and other casuals. They hope this might outweigh a similar bid from CBS, NBC, FOX which just can’t offer the mass reach of an ESPN. ESPN also doesn’t need a ESPN FC channel, ESPN+ is more than adequate, and they can put big games on ESPN2 or ABC. ESPN FC channel would be in fewer homes than any of the channels discussed so far, its a non-starter.

    There were 4 packages: exclusive, co-exclusive and then two others each with half (190) games. Co-exclusive seems to have ESPN+ written all over it, but I think FOX would be the only one willing to go co-exclusive with ESPN (I would never watch NBC if the games were both on USA and ESPN+ for example). The full package seems to be too big for ESPN and NBC based on their comments. I can only see CBS taking the full 380 package. Split packages seem like a disaster, but I could see NBC, ESPN or CBS taking one each. Really hope ESPN gets the full 380, exclusive or co-exclusive bid, but my thinking is now that CBS will come in with the biggest number and will be most likely to win the full package. An ESPN/CBS co exclusive would actually be ideal for fans – pick ESPN or Paramount and get everything there (one subscription), no need for Peacock and between ESPN and CBS they could get the big games to a big audience on CBS/ABC/ESPN.

  49. greg

    November 9, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    I’m still in the camp of wanting NBC to keep 100%, btw. Again, provided they get more consistent with what channel the matches are on. I love their studio shows, they have the natural partnership with Sky. Fix the match channel issue & it’s fine.

  50. SC

    November 9, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    “ So, we ran our process. We did it with discipline.” We’ll see, but if the market for the Premier League is as strong as has been touted I’m not sure a disciplined bid is going to be a winner. Personally, I suspect ESPN doesn’t want the full package because of their football conflicts, and the split bid options were included at their request. I still think NBC is the favorite if they go with a single winner. If they split it ESPN’s disciplined bid might be good enough.

  51. Sean Johansen

    November 9, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    If NBC lose some of the rights and it’s slit between 2 or 3 bidders., it’s going to be over more platforms. We tend to watch games on tv and only use Peacock if Man Utd are on there. We get Peacock included with Comcast.
    It feels fragmented too much right now with FA cup on one subscription, Euro football on another and Premier League on another. Only bonus if ESPN win is English football will be one platform.

  52. greg

    November 9, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Agree with Hans (constant use of the trite and 5th-grade-esque “comscum” notwithstanding) that NBC could do better with being more predictable around where matches will be. The early Saturday match, as well as Monday & Friday matches when they happen, should be on USA. Same with one match in windows with multiple matches (eg 2nd window on Saturdays and some Sundays). Late Saturday match on NBC (where I guess they’d keep simulcasting on Peacock). If they keep that consistent then there’s no hunting for matches or surprises. And get replays up quickly, as well as keep the studio programming replays up for a bit (like ESPN does with ESPN FC).

    I’d be interested to see how ESPN handles it if they get some or all of EPL. Do they repurpose a linear channel to something like the old Fox Soccer? Then they could rotate La Liga, EPL & Bundesliga there, overflow on ESPN+ and feature big matches on ESPN/ESPN2 or even ABC.

    The ESPN FC show also could use some refinement. Dan Thomas is growing on me & I like Ali Moreno much more in studio than on match commentary. Kay Murray is outstanding as a host, Seb Salazar pretty good as well. Steve Nicol is awful, they could do better for his spots. Most of the rest are fine enough.

    I don’t tend to watch much mid-week so not sure if they cover UCL/Europa then much or not. But weekends they do a good job of covering all of La Liga and Bundesliga, and the big EPL matches. But with three big leagues to cover, they might need separate programs or make better use of (and promote more) the league-produced highlight shows, like the on for Bundesliga.

  53. Hans

    November 9, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    First off I will keep my Peacock subscription since they have the major Rugby competitions. However their strategy of airing the premier league to say the least has been very frustrating since they scattered them over several different platforms. So anyone else then Comscum is welcome or if Comscum changes their approach to chop and scatter the broadcast.
    .
    However, I have been disappointed with the ESPN-FC show and maybe never noticed it really. Ever since they got the rights for La Liga that coverage is front & center to this show, Before the Manchester Derby they covered all the La Liga games and they are spending way too much to my liking with the top teams in the leagues. On Monday 15 minutes about Man United and OSG. So perhaps that will change if they get the EPL rights.
    .
    In addition I noticed that on ESPN-FC they never showed any clips from the UCL or UEL competition which airs on Viacom but they have clips from the EPL when they cover it as pundits. So here is to seeing the rights go to the network that is willing to present the most competent match day broadcast plus having pundits that are closely connected to the EPL.

  54. Sean Johansen

    November 9, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    I hope NBC wins. I love how Comcast lets you set reminder times for soccer games on linear or streaming. Then one click takes you to the game.

  55. Eplnfl

    November 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    We all thought so. Not sure I want to see NBC loose them.

  56. UnitedFan 3478

    November 9, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Will games be on TV? Or just ESPN+?

  57. UnitedFan 3478

    November 9, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    This is great. I can finally cancel Peacock.

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