Following up on the news we reported yesterday that ESPN bid on the U.S. rights to the Premier League, the bidding war is heating up. Today, we can confirm another entry. NBC bids to renew Premier League rights, too.

However, NBC Sports is taking nothing for granted, its chairman revealed.

Speaking to sports media executives in New York City, NBC Sports Group Chairman Pete Bevacqua said:

“Fingers crossed. We know it’s going to be incredibly competitive. It always is when you’re dealing with a great property. So, we’re taking absolutely nothing for granted. We’ll see where it ends up.

“When you do go through this [bidding] process, you do feel a little helpless. It’s kind of like Tom Petty and ‘Waiting is the hardest part.’ And that’s kinda how you feel right now. You don’t know where it’s going to go – you try to do everything right, and you hope your performance over the course of nine years certainly speaks for itself and helps. But now you just have to wait. You know [the Premier League] have to go through a process.

“I think this [process] will move quickly. Bids were due on Monday. I think this is something that will probably take one to two weeks, maybe a little bit more.”

Premier League rights: Competition

It is understood that CBS Sports and FOX Sports have also placed bids for the rights, in addition to ESPN. CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus sidestepped the question when asked about it on Tuesday.

“I’m not going to address the EPL negotiations,” McManus said. “EPL is a great product. But I’m not going to get into any current negotiations.”

Meanwhile, FOX Sports have been extremely quiet regarding the matter.

Reflecting on what NBC Sports have accomplished with the Premier League, Bevacqua had a lot to say.

“We put our best foot forward. It’s no secret that we would love to stay partners [with the Premier League]. It is one of our key properties when you think about the DNA of our sports business. It’s worked for us on NBC. It’s worked for us on NBCSN. And now USA. It’s been a great success for us on Peacock.

“The Premier League has been just an incredible partner of ours — an almost decade-long relationship we’ve had. I think we’ve done a good job for them, helping to build their brand and presence in the U.S. What we’ve done on weekends mornings and what we’ve done with the fan fests.

“We love the property and we love the people. I think the sport and the Premier League is going to continue to grow in the U.S. Hopefully we will be a part of that.”

EPL rights: Background

Given today’s news that NBC bids to renew Premier League rights, its current deal ends in May 2022. NBC Sports have held the rights to the league since 2013. Many soccer fans will be hoping they can extend that until 2028 if NBC can win the bid.

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