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NBC wins Premier League rights through 2027/28

NBC wins Premier League rights

“NBC wins Premier League rights in the United States for the 2022/23 through 2027/28 seasons.”

It is the news all of us have been anxiously awaiting. To find out which U.S. broadcaster will be airing Premier League soccer matches for the next six seasons.

The rights attracted no shortage of suitors. Sources revealed to World Soccer Talk that it was the most competitive bidding war ever for U.S. rights to the Premier League. As a result, several major media companies were involved in bidding. For example, they included WarnerMedia, Amazon, FOX, ViacomCBS, ESPN and, of course, incumbent NBC Sports. Afterward, the Premier League entertained the option of split deals. ESPN and CBS Sports were reportedly interested in a combined deal to usurp NBC Sports.

Ultimately, the Premier League decided to go with NBC.

The U.S. media rights were expected to cost somewhere between $250-300 million a year. Reports are that the deal was signed for roughly $433 million per year; $2.6 billion in total.

“We are excited to come to this long-term extension with the Premier League,” said Pete Bevacqua, Chairman, NBC Sports. “Our Premier League team, led by Jon Miller, has been incredibly dedicated to growing the Premier League in the United States over the last nine years. This new agreement is also a testament to the hard work of production, marketing and other areas of our company, as well as the tremendous partnership that has been established with the leadership and club owners of the Premier League.”

Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to announce our new US broadcast deal with NBC Sports, who have been brilliant partners for the Premier League over the last nine seasons. NBC Sports has significantly strengthened the popularity of the League in the United States in that time through its fantastic coverage and promotion.

“NBC Sports’ Premier League Mornings programming is now a real institution among supporters in America, with fans getting up early to come together and cheer on their favourite club, week in, week out. It’s an exciting time for football in the US and we look forward to continuing to work with NBC Sports to bring our competition to even more fans over the next six years.”

READ MORE: Pros and cons of the broadcasters who bid on the Premier League rights

NBC Sports is averaging a Total Audience Delivery of 609,000 viewers across its English- and Spanish-language Premier League television match windows this season – the highest viewership average through this point in the season since 2015-16 and up 14% from last year.

NBC Sports is the home of 489 of the 500 most-watched live Premier League matches in U.S. television history.

Premier League rights to date

The history of the Premier League on US TV has been a rich one.

When the Premier League signed a six-year rights extension with NBC Sports in September 2015, the media world was different. At that time, over the top streaming services were largely limited to on-demand taped programming. Meanwhile, linear TV networks offered streaming services such as ESPN3 and NBCSports.com. They were complementary to cable and satellite subscriptions, requiring authentication.

NBC’s current six-year exclusive rights package expires at the end of this current Premier League campaign.

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232 Comments

232 Comments

  1. Michael F

    November 24, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    @Hans. They settled already with the relocation lawsuit.

  2. Hans

    November 24, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    @MichaelF
    We are at opposite ends here with Arteta (not only cable who would have thought that) After 22 months he should have a much more solid approach to games as the stats show he devalues young players whose personality he can’t handle, Eddie will go on a free in the summer offering Xhaka a new contract beggars believe and he still doesn’t know his best starting 11. In game management is poor he should have taken Traveres off at halftime in Liverpool game as his inexperience showed. But most will give him more time after the next 10 games it will become more apparent that Arsenal needs management and owner changes.
    .
    This may be forced and we will know more as the Kroenke billion dollar law suit from St. Louis about moving the Rams NFL team, shows that there is a split between him and the other NFL owners plus the NFL. He has threatened to strike a separate deal with St. Louis and let the NFL and the other owners fight it out in open court. I am following this closely because they have a few weeks to solve this among themselves before all those emails and conversations become public in an open court trial. Hopefully Kroenke will consider getting rid of Arsenal no matter what he claims publicly.

  3. Ra

    November 24, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    @Hans I used Paypal in my Athletic subscription
    some time ago. It gives me more control over recurring payments.

  4. Hans

    November 24, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    After the 1st year with the same 1$ per month it auto renewed at a much higher price and will see if I will go into year 3 with another subscription. So be aware of your renewal date if you don’t like it to renew automatically.

  5. Mercator

    November 24, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    The Athletic is excellent and well worth the $1 subscription. Apple News+ is also free for the next 6 months and has FourFourTwo magazine available in full.

  6. greg

    November 24, 2021 at 11:02 am

    An enthusiastic +1 to @SteveK ‘s rec for The Athletic. Generally outstanding writer, and they recently added soccer data writer John Mueller (spacespacespace newsletter) to take over for Tom Worville who went to work to RB Leipzig. Subscription fees are worth it sometimes to get top-notch content. It costs money to pay writers and deliver the product.

  7. SteveK

    November 24, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Speaking of Black Friday deals, The Athletic is running a special right now $1 a month for the first year. I won’t provide the direct link because any link has to be approved but it on the front page of Slickdeals dot net right now. Soccer coverage on The Athletic is superb if you follow Euro soccer leagues. Make sure that once you subscribe, you go into your account and disable automatic renewal otherwise you will forget about it and a hefty renewal charge will appear on your statement next year. Better to renew at another sale price next year.

  8. Michael F

    November 24, 2021 at 9:22 am

    @Hans I still think the final verdict on Arteta is still out. This is a young squad and at the very least, the plan to go younger makes sense. It’s different than Man U that continues to spend on older established talent and has a manager that was way over his head with no tactical plan and they just play like individuals. I like the quote that Debruyne had when asked about the Manchester derby recently… he said that Pep told the squad that “we have no idea what to prepare for from Man U” and they ended the training session an hour early. lol. At least Arteta does have a tactical plan and uses it. We shall see going forward. They are 5th in the table. That’s pretty good, considering how they started when so many were out with injuries or quarantining due to Covid protocols etc. I like the pieces they have brought in. People talk about all the money spent on these young players, but we won’t see instant championship caliber success because they are quite young. I think you’ll see it pay off in the long run.

  9. Hans

    November 23, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    @Ra
    I am with you on that at times for me it also goes into the realm of principles and they can shove it because of whatever shoddy job they did in whatever area under their control.

  10. Ra

    November 23, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    @Hans Yes, me too. That is one of the reasons why I firmly believe Peacock is leaving money on the cable. This is how much I spend yearly on services that feature sports:
    Paramount+: $120/yr (commercial-free + $20 for Showtime)
    Disney Corp: $75/yr
    F1TV: $64/yr
    Sling WorldSports: $60/yr
    VBTV: $15/yr
    Peacock: $15/yr
    It is funny, but I spent the same amount on VolleyBall TV as I did on Peacock in the last year. A big part of the reason why I jumped into the 50% off promo was winter sports. I would like to watch this past weekend but was unwilling to give Peacock $5/mo so as not to incentivize their bad customer practices.

  11. Hans

    November 23, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Totally agree with your sentiment and like you I have the Paramount+ service without commercials for $100 per year. I am too expensive to sit though almost 20 minutes for each 60 minute episode.

  12. Ra

    November 23, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    @Hans Thanks for the tip. I saw your post and just got Hulu also for the price. It is hard to watch so many services, but it is even harder to skip a great deal. The Hulu organization for ESPN+ (favorite shows, keep last watching position, etc.) alone is worth the 99c. Not sure I will end watching anything else, as I can’t stand commercials.

  13. Hans

    November 23, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    Oh SNAP, I am subscribing to another streaming service because of the Black Friday deal hulu . com/gma
    .
    Hulu ad-supported for 99¢ per month and for less then $12 for the 1st year. While no football on Hulu but it does have all 12 episodes of the 2002 Firefly series a must see for any SciFi fan.

  14. Hans

    November 23, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    You have to question what he learned under Pep, moving the cones on the training ground, because his playing style is with the handbrake on and nothing like what City does on the field. I know he doesn’t have the players, therefore he needs to change his playing style.
    .
    In addition he devalues young players, Arsenal only gets back what they paid for Guenduzzi when at one time he was rated 50 mill. Saliba IMHO will never play for Arsenal after how Arteta treated him and now Saliba is on the radar of major European clubs after his handling of Mbappe.
    .
    Here is still for hoping for someone like Overmars, Ten Haag or Rangnick to come and take the helm at Arsenal but in the power corridors there is a massive lack of footballing knowledge but more precisely European Football knowledge. The only comfort I have is this is a 2nd year without European football Arteta surely is gone for the next season.

  15. Michael F

    November 23, 2021 at 9:37 am

    @Hans Diet Pep. I like that.

  16. Hans

    November 22, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    @Micheal F
    Regarding Arsenal it is very problematic, on ESPN-FC the failures of Man United were laid bare, Mark Odgen said that they have disinterested owners, bankers in positions that know nothing about making footballing decisions, thus they burnt through 4 managers. I thought that Arsenal would learn from that and not make the same mistake after Ferguson left. Yet they did.
    .
    For me the straw came when Arteta plaid a false 9 in the 2nd game against Villa Real in the UEL semi final, terrible formation and game plan. He got suckered in by Klopp into loosing his cool at Anfield and got the whole Kop fired up and urging Liverpool on. That is the last thing you would want to do and it showed the game was lost shortly there after. Ramsdale, Arsenal’s man of the match after letting in 4 tells you all you need to know. I wish they would have gone for a proper Director of Football like Overmars who would have brought in an experienced manager. In some Arsenal circles Arteta is known as Diet Pep and it shows.
    .
    Now to some interesting news from the WSJ that perhaps shines some light on Peacock’s future and the common consensus is that Peacock needs original content and evidently Comcast got the memo.
    .
    “Comcast Weighs Pulling Some Content From Hulu in Effort to Boost Peacock. NBCUniversal unit has a window allowing it to remove shows that appear on the Disney-controlled streaming service.
    .
    NBCUniversal is considering removing much of its content from Hulu and making it exclusive to its Peacock platform, according to people familiar with the matter, as the media giant determines how to best play its hand in the streaming wars.
    .
    NBCUniversal, which owns one-third of Hulu, with Disney controlling the rest, has to make a decision soon. Under the terms of an agreement with Disney, NBCUniversal has a one-time window to exit from the content-licensing agreement between the two early next year. If it doesn’t exercise the option, the content would remain there until at least 2024.
    .
    “If NBCU wants to hit 60 or 70 million subs in the next few years, they have to play the exclusive game and pull that content from Hulu and put it on Peacock,” said Julia Alexander, a senior strategy analyst at Parrot Analytics, an industry consulting firm.
    .
    There you have it, the first card played after the 2.6 billion rights acquisition and it may look like that for the next EPL season Peacock will play a bigger role with more original content next to the EPL matches.

  17. dave

    November 22, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you for the back and forth on the evolving sports business model. Per the wise words of Robert Frost, “Thinking is not to agree or disagree. That’s voting”. I find it enjoyable to read and engage with multiple perspectives to sharpen my thinking. This is a good thread for that

  18. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    @JP. Great point. The Michael Jordan years was the last time I ever paid any attention to the NBA. Loved the mailman and Utah Jazz, Pistons and Isaiah Thomas before that and the Bird/Magic era was special.

  19. Ra

    November 22, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Ended up getting 6mo of Peacock for 50% off (code Today)… saw the deal on another site I like to follow 🙂 The next 2 marquee games will be live on Peacock, and with 2.5/mo will give them another trial.
    It is funny that NBC takes 6 months to get from me the same $15 that ESPN+ gets in 2. And no, I don’t have anything against NBC but I like to do good business.

  20. JP

    November 22, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    @Michael F, it’s even worse than that. All about what star players want to join forces and subsequently force a trade or conspire to sign with the same team when they hit free agency. Durant to Golden State (following a hard fought 7 game series where his team was very close to beating GS) was the final straw. Jordan would’ve never jumped ship to Detroit, Isiah Thomas would never jump ship to Boston. They competed and improved until they could knock them off the pedestal.

  21. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    @JP I concur with you on ignoring the NBA, as it is essentially not a team sport. All a franchise has to do is draft or trade for two or three superstars and they are instant championship contender. The easiest trophy to win in all of pro sports. Is there any doubt who will run the table in the playoffs in most years? I never watch it. I just happen to mention it since others do.

  22. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    @Hans. In reference to your brief comment about Arsenal, I think you need to hang on and there is hope for trending up with this club. Youngest team in the league and with promise already showing in several areas. This plan of theirs makes sense and I feel Arteta is the right man. Pep’s endorsement for him shouldn’t be understated. This guy can coach.

    In a sport and league that has so little patience for seeing a turnaround, Arsenal is finally ignoring the quick patch fixes and relying on their plan for longer term success. I admire that and wish them all the success.

    Someone else made a comment about how difficult it is to follow a legend when speaking of Man U after Alex Ferguson’s retirement. The same could be said for what occurred after Arsene Wenger retired at Arsenal. The team was getting old and they weren’t developing a plan to replace the aging stars.

    Yes, they got beat again by Liverpool at Anfield (which is a one barometer to their progress) but there’s an article on the Athletic today that points out how this defeat seemed different – even though the final score looked the same. Arsenal did compete well for a time and Ramsdale is a gamer at goalkeeper (making highlight reel saves every week). They are not yet at the level of the big 3, but there is improvement, and once again… remind yourself: they are the youngest team in the league.

  23. JP

    November 22, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    The pandemic was a major factor in realizing how easily I could live without cable. Slowly Lost interest in many of the American sports (aside from local team) in the years prior, and was basically keeping cable for a local RSN, beIN (La Liga at the time), and because of convenience/inertia.

    Working at home all day came to see how little of the 200+ channels I actually watched and not worth the cost just for that RSN (going OTT would be similar cost since only Fubo carries it)

    Over three months later of finally going through with it, and no regrets. As for that RSN, with all the NHL available on ESPN+ actually don’t miss watching my team. Listen to their radio stream and follow multiple games on ESPN+ every night. My hockey fix is satiated and still able to “follow” my team in real time and see highlights soon after (goals almost immediately). Going Nashville/Anaheim and Ottawa/Colorado tonight…..if I stay awake, Carolina later.

    Ignored the NBA completely last year so knew that would be easy. Stopped caring about many of the non local NFL games once I quit fantasy a couple years ago (fantasy and gambling are what give them so many casuals). Baseball was already long gone (my team even in a World Series recently and barely bothered to watch). College sports, even NCAA tournament (which for a long time was my #1), gone from my rotation a handful of years for a variety of reasons, but mostly the “one and done” super teams. College basketball lost all continuity, different cast of characters each year and no longer saw teams/players progress through the years. It was better when the NBA let them go pro out of high school, at least the pool of players who went to college stayed for a year or two (if not 4)

  24. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    @Michael F – To me, everything means all of the football rights they have. ESPN+ mostly does this now and Paramount+ has done it very well from the beginning. The one exception seems to be smaller leagues on ESPN+ – I wish they showed all the Belgian games but understand they may not have english commentary. This is very small and niche though so more of an annoyance and not offensive. It’s completely different than NBC which deliberately splits the games so it is as unfeasible as possible to only have cable or only have Peacock. I’m aware of what Bein does and I alternatively watch everything on Bein as well – again, not paying cable for one league.

    Sure cable has other stuff, but frankly I don’t watch much of it. American NFL football is mostly on TV for free, CFB I usually go out to bars to watch, I don’t really watch much else but news and again that is available free, along with highlights for all these other sports. So I actually don’t have much need for cable, although I admit I alternatively watch some things like the NBA (but if I couldn’t, I just wouldn’t watch). However, I fully understand cable may be great value for some. Nothing against people who have cable, if you are happy with it then great, I’m glad they are at least catering to someones needs. But again, if you have cable for other reasons, you wouldn’t cancel because Peacock shows all the EPL games. So why is NBC withholding all the games from Peacock subscribers? The only reason for this is the theory that some people will be paying for cable just to watch the EPL – and if the EPL were not on there exclusively they would cancel. I think this is bizarre, in my experience there is almost no one like this – everyone has cable for other reasons or they don’t have it and aren’t going to get it to watch 50% of the EPL games. I’m sure NBC has some convoluted powerpoint that will explain why this insane strategy makes sense, but fundamentally it doesn’t seem to create many, if any, new Peacock subscribers and also isn’t going to keep people from cancelling cable all together. I think ESPN is in a bit of a different position – people will subscribe to cable just to watch Monday Night Football or SEC football. I think NBC has misjudged things and thinks big ticket items like the Olympics or the EPL are the same, but they just aren’t. Unless its American football, your sport is generally optional among the masses and many leagues are learning this the hard way.

  25. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    @Mercator. Good response. I want to add a comment though to this quote of yours: “the reality is ESPN+ has everything for $5 with no cable. Paramount+ has everything for $5 with no cable.”

    What exactly is considered ‘everything’? All other other soccer leagues that is not the EPL? Nope. Not French Ligue 1 — which requires a cable-like sub to get BeIN sports.

    So take the soccer leagues out of the equation. ‘Everything with no cable’??

    Not even close. What you miss if you like American sports too is plenty, if you don’t have a cable-like subscription. Practically all the high profile NCAA football games and it’s 4 game playoff and many bowl games. All the NHL playoffs, all the NBA playoffs, all the MLB playoffs, some NFL Monday night regular season games aired on ESPN and at least one wild card playoff game exclusively that airs on ESPN. Also all the linear-only broadcast NHL and NBA regular season games. I might be missing some here, but you get the point. ‘Everything’ is relative to each viewer’s taste and considerations for what is important to them.

  26. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    @Dave – Broadcasters are a middle man that are going to be cut out in due course – between DTC to consumers and NFT’s, teams and leagues don’t really need them for future revenue. What advantage does NBC bring to a league like the EPL, which produces its own global feed and with with a decent tech platform could go DTC on its own? The answer is nothing except the ability to pay $2.5 billion up front. The minute these broadcasters are not overpaying for the rights, they don’t bring much to the table. It’s not 1999 when the only way to reach 120 million people is via TV – Amazon prime probably reaches that many people, the EPL could reach billions directly. The one place where NBC has struck me as very forward thinking is with the EPL fan fests. This is the sort of value add a broadcaster can bring beyond money (and funny enough, looks a lot like record labels shifting from distributing albums to live performances as a way to stay relevant and profitable post-napster). Actually, having a broadcaster serves one other purpose – a fall guy for the league and someone to pump out league sponsored propaganda (ESPN is a master at this). If the EPL’s DTC service fails I’ll be upset at the EPL, it may risk my interest in the product. If Peacock screws up, I will dislike Peacock, but the EPL remains untouched (and they get their revenue from the broadcaster so me turning to piracy costs them nothing immediately).

    @Michael F – I see your point, but the reality is ESPN+ has everything for $5 with no cable. Paramount+ has everything for $5 with no cable. I can get cable for $5 alternatively. Sure I like the EPL, I certainly think its better than any of the other leagues, and I would be willing to pay 2-3x as much to watch the EPL compared to other leagues. But $8-10x as much, and I have to deal with a cable subscription I don’t want? Forgive me for not spending my Sundays in Church thanking the good lord for Comcast’s generosity. The truth is it’s all relative – value is a relative concept. NBC’s broadcast of the EPL is not good value, despite the quality of the broadcast being top shelf. You can argue otherwise, but I would say the number of Peacock subscribers indicates my view is not that contrarian. I guess though the broader overall point I’m making is that Comcast should be careful about treating these rights as exclusive. The reality is, for the 50% of fans who are aware of alternative options, Comcast does not have exclusive rights and it would be a long term mistake to treat the customer as if they MUST pay for cable or Peacock to watch the matches. That simply isn’t the case. ESPN+, Paramount+…despite the other options available on the internet, these two offer the best value for that content (it’s better value that piracy, seriously). Peacock and NBC cable, that’s just not the case. And it doesn’t have to be so! Again, add in the sky content, give us some option to pay to watch all the games on peacock, make sure the app works consistently…that’s it, that’s enough I would pay $5-15 bucks month for that Peacock.

  27. Hans

    November 22, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    @Michael F.
    ” What is on ESPN+ and Paramount+ is other soccer leagues (not EPL) that some argue is equal to what the EPL delivers for a quality product. So if you agree with that opinion, you could choose to just pay for those two streaming apps and enjoy so much soccer equal to what the EPL delivers at a great price.”
    .
    Many people follow players, not necessarily teams or leagues, unless there is a real competition on for the title or places in European Football. Bundesliga & Bayern plus Ligue Un and PSG and to some degree La Liga come to mind of not being too exciting for a competitive race. That may change during the season. For the EPL the fans of Liverpool, Man City & Chelsea will be captivated, the rest of us possibly not so much.
    .
    I have done just as you suggested, Paramount+ is a must subscribe, but ESPN+ and Peacock not so much but ESPN+ has the edge because I like ESPN-FC.

  28. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 6:18 pm

    @Mercator So $40 is still considerably cheaper than the fees you were paying when you were in the UK and subscribed to Comcast bundle.

    Here is another perspective to see the positive (because lord knows one seems to always focus on the negatives). You claim $40 is a ridiculous money grab since one is paying for that subscription by choice to watch the EPL, and everything else is on ESPN+ or Paramount+.

    Respectfully…. Here is where I think you (and perhaps others) have the wrong perspective. What is on ESPN+ and Paramount+ is other soccer leagues (not EPL) that some argue is equal to what the EPL delivers for a quality product. So if you agree with that opinion, you could choose to just pay for those two streaming apps and enjoy so much soccer equal to what the EPL delivers at a great price. I repeat, just because ESPN+ and Paramount+ offers all the matches of the leagues they currently carry, doesn’t mean that’s what Comcast should do (right or wrong / for or against their model).

    If you must have the EPL, you get it cheaper and all the matches available (Sling Blue + Peacock) to you legally than you did in the UK or via the Comcast bundle. No blackouts. Everyone has access to these matches, they just have to choose whether they want to pay.

    Those that can’t afford a Sling Blue sub, can opt for Peacock and catch all 380 matches on-demand with about half of them live at $5 per month. What a deal.

    I really can’t get over all these comparisons of other stream services and what they do and provide and what NBC/Peacock chooses to do. Apples and oranges. Different leagues. Different demand. Despite all the debate about it. It is what it is.

    Here is what I see on this web site: More discussion and focus on the EPL and how so many are so upset over not having the price points they want that is given for other soccer leagues than any and all other leagues put together. That tells me that the EPL is in very high demand. At $40 a month, if you are die hard EPL fan and need access to all the games… geez, that’s a pretty reasonable fee in my book. But that’s just me.

  29. Hans

    November 22, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Just stumble across another possible head wind for Comcast to attract new neutrals to the Peacock offerings. As reported on The Verge from the WSJ:
    .
    “Roku lines up more than 50 new shows for its free channel, rolling out over the next two years, these Roku Originals will have ‘basic cable’ budgets. As noted by the WSJ, 155 million people have access to Roku devices, and about half tune into the Roku Channel, a hub for ad-supported TV shows, movies, and live news. Aside from ads, Roku rakes in an average of $40.10 / month per user and recorded 56.4 million active accounts in its most recent earnings report. Roku remains tightlipped on its planned budget for its new shows, vaguely telling the WSJ that it will be close to what typical cable shows spend.”

    While this may have nothing to do with sports properties, it does effect the available time for watching content. So there is the two pronged approach that Comcast is battling, other sports properties and available time to watching Peacock content. Basically it boils down to why subscribe to Peacock for entertainment content when something is available on the free Roku Channel.
    .
    As a soccer fan and many others here will share this sentiment, offer the EPl unfragmented or simultaneously at a price point that is agreeable to the subscribers (Reasonable NOT for free) and will cover your costs to some degree. You crunched the numbers if you can’t make them work, you created that problem and don’t expect the subscribers to bail you out.

  30. dave

    November 22, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    @Stevek says “it’s a slow moving generational glacier that’s gonna sweep everything up in its path and that includes all streaming app operators not only the one owned by Comcast. And, this shift isn’t going to be felt for a very very long time, and certainly not within the 6 years of this next PL rights deal.”
    .
    I think you nicely highlight the short-term vs long-term. There is literature that incumbents almost never succeed with disruptive innovations. The incumbent is too highly invested and successful in the existing world and almost always loses too much in the short term if they try to disrupt it themselves. That does not prevent upstarts from trying and eventually succeeding
    .
    It is interesting to see ESPN used as an example of doing it right. Soccer is the exception that proves the rule. The big money sports on ESPN are all over the place – ABC, ESPN/2, ESPNU, SECN/ACCN, ESPN3, ESPN+. How could it be otherwise? ESPN get $100+ per year out of 75 million people whether they watch sports or not. That is probably not replaceable in a new model. But an upstart currently getting $0 per year from 0 people will see positive risk-reward from attempting major disruption

  31. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    @Michael F – In the UK I paid for the full Sky/BT sub for a few years, it was like £70 for Sky+ £25 for BT or something. Stopped doing that when I figured out the betting trick (all my friends thought I was stupid to pay Sky), then stopped the betting trick once the bootleg streams became truly watchable. Like I said though, everyone in the UK seems to know how to watch via other means because even when you paid ransom to Sky/BT, you still got none of the 3pm matches. When I moved to the states I had a Comcast bundle, idk what the price was north of $150 though. Never checked it until the Peacock screwed around and I was missing Arsenal matches. So I cut the cable entirely and for a $15 cable alternative. This is far better than the streams available when I lived in the UK and is actually better quality than my old Comcast cable TV box. It’s not about the money – the reason I find $40 unacceptable now is because I am forced into buying a cable bundle to watch one league. Everything else is on ESPN+ or Paramount for $5 bucks, so $40 is ridiculous and clearly a money grab. When I came to the states I was just glad the 3pm matches were on, I would have happily paid my cable subscription (a complete ripoff) and never paid attention to what NBC was doing if they just didn’t bungle the Arsenal games last year.

  32. Ra

    November 22, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    This is actually interesting: https //videos.marca.com/v/0_jmlpg2dw-el-video-que-demuestra-que-las-jugadas-de-cruyff-zidane-messi-ya-las-habia-inventado-pele?uetv_pl=futbol&count=3

  33. Hans

    November 22, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    @Michael F
    Since I am on no other EPL provider I share what I researched and what my experience is at the present and what I might do in the future.
    .
    First, for me an English broadcast network is necessary. DAZN in Canada offers the EPL, UCL, UEL and other soccer matches for $150 per year, add to that another $100 for the VPN. However to connect and be verified as being in Canada is very difficult as DAZN could jeopardize their content rights. Therefore, they are using a dynamic algorithm to determine your validity of connection being in Canada. It is doable but requires more then the usual technical expertise.
    .
    Optus in Australia is much easier and costs $102 per year plus your $100 for the VPN. Easy to get with a PayPal account tied to your US credit card and it isolates you from any regional searches.
    .
    In both cases live games and on demand is as expected, are easily and shortly available. The unknown is the quality and surrounding broadcast shows, pre, post and analysis. If the Rugby experience from Australia’s Stan Sport and also their UCL & UEL broadcasts hold true for the EPL, it will be fantastic. Again Stan Sport offers besides sports events, TV shows and movies from different US networks. The experience from US residents, posted in the Rugby Union subreddit forum to get Stan Sport via a VPN is overwhelmingly positive. Stan Sport is doing a fantastic job.
    .
    Like many others here I am adopting a wait and see attitude, because I know a 2nd Peacock launch is coming, the 2022/2023 season will bring changes and there is no rush to change anything as my “Alternative Sources” are well placed and if Arsenal continues their slide for next season to another year of no European football, I will have even less interest in following the EPL closely and religiously.
    .
    What may force me the VPN route is if Peacock changes their Rugby offerings. Just finished a most thrilling and entertaining Autumn Nations series from Stan Sport that was available for download in either 720/50fps or 1080/50fps shortly after completion and I was blown away by their presentation when comparing that to the Peacock Rugby offerings with no studio experts and no post game discussion. I am very tempted to go that route if anything changes.
    .
    So, the onus is on Comcast, they have to convince subscribers to shell out for yearly subscriptions as their other content is of very little interest to me.

  34. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    @dave I will also say that was a suburb post. I am not convinced the younger generation is sitting down to watch soccer matches. Less so than ever. Yes, they follow social media blogs and get score updates and catch some highlights, but sit and watch soccer all of Saturday and Sunday mornings? I am a parent and I know what my son and his friends do, and they love the game of soccer and play pickup games almost weekly thru the warm season. They are not watching the matches. I am.

  35. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    @Greg – Actually I think the UK piracy numbers are entirely driven by the 3pm blackout. When I lived in London the common thing to do was actually sign up for a betting site and usually you could watch the games there if you had a bet in play. Came out much cheaper than Sky/BT. But everyone I knew pirated and knew how to do so to watch the 3pm games. And this was pre-2017, streams were still dodgy and not HD back then. I would go to QPR matches when I couldn’t get Arsenal tickets because the stream wasn’t really of the quality to sit down an enjoy. There isn’t much data on EPL in the US – this info is really only useful to NBC so I’m sure they have it but its not going to be broadly available. Most EPL info is on the UK, for obvious reasons. But American piracy trends generally seem to track the UK’s (about 50% of people pirate) although I agree soccer in the US may be far above or below that number since its more of a niche sport (I would bet it’s below, maybe 30% in the US and 50% in US among under 35, but this is just a guess).

    @Dave – Funny enough, that’s what happened to me. Prior to Peacock, I just paid comcast for cable and never checked the bill. Even Peacock, I signed up right when it came out and figured it was no worse than NBC Gold. Then it crashed during several match weeks and I missed the Arsenal matches. So I looked for alternative streams that would work when Peacock crashed, realize I can get cable for $5 online, and cancelled my Comcast cable. I have been here bashing Peacock, NBC and Comcast ever since. lol if Peacock just worked, I literally would never have checked my bill and probably would still be paying for a huge cable subscription. This is what I mean by shortsighted and driving your users to piracy – it’s never the first option, but once people figure it out good luck convincing them to pay a monthly fee again. This is why ESPN+ and Paramount+ are much better – its literally not worth it to pirate that stuff because it would cost just as much as paying ESPN or Paramount.

  36. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    @Mercator. I will clarify: ‘How much did they pay to watch EPL matches before the days of these live tv stream services?’

  37. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    @Mercator. Thanks for providing the details of your split YTTV sub account. That’s great if you can do that and is very cost effective. That’s a creative way to save. So you are in a great position to watch the EPL for a very small fee per month.

    As for folks you know that complain over spending $40 for a monthly combined fee of Sling Blue + Peacock… here is my question: How much did they pay to watch EPL matches before the days of streaming??

    Again… look at perspective. Access to Soccer is cheaper than ever before. And people can make choices to watch so many leagues or just one that they prioritize for LESS money than they ever paid before.

  38. Ra

    November 22, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    @SteveK Don’t agree. Back to my 6-yr old example. I wanted to watch Bundesliga with him the other day. But he made me change to Serie A on Paramount+ because that is the service he enjoys the most due to Paw Patrol. Who would have guessed that Paw Patrol would bring Serie A another fan?
    And yes, he asked for F1TV on his Ipad. I was the one who said no, can’t have it.

  39. Ra

    November 22, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    @dave @Mercator Agree with the formative age. Once that train passes, it is gone. Fun fact: I really enjoy F1 (part of my childhood), but nowadays the person at @home who most watches F1 is my 6-yr old son. He spends >1/4 of his TV time watching F1TV through his own initiative.
    Those habits become an inter-generational pastime.

    Btw, good point about freedom to choose. I choose to pay $10/mo to watch F1 alone, but I don’t want cable by principle. Yes, I agree that cable will get you a certain audience while alienating another.

  40. Stevek

    November 22, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Dave, someone needs say it, so I will: that was a superb post. This seems to make sense to me but I do not try to speak for most young fans:

    “1. Younger people are less likely to watch games than previous generations. A smaller percentage identify as sports fans, and those who do are more likely to follow favorite entities on social media rather than watch a full match
    .
    2. Younger people are generally more comfortable with a “sharing economy” where the concepts behind Uber and Airbnb are broadly applicable to many other aspects of life
    .
    Both of those, if true and sustained as people age, would be very long-term negative to the current sports business model. While there are probably things Comcast, Peacock, EPL, etc., could and should do in light of that, generational trends are often a slow moving tide that profoundly impacts everything.”

    And then this is also true: if younger people aren’t downloading Peacock to their iPads they likely also aren’t downloading ESPN+ or Paramount+ to their iPads, hence, Comcast and Peacock don’t really need to worry about the young’uns or their strategy or how supposedly poor Peacock is to “most fans” because, well, it’s a slow moving generational glacier that’s gonna sweep everything up in its path and that includes all streaming app operators not only the one owned by Comcast. And, this shift isn’t going to be felt for a very very long time, and certainly not within the 6 years of this next PL rights deal.

    Or is their a different conclusion to draw?

  41. dave

    November 22, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    @Mercator, thank you for the thoughtful comments. I think you and I are probably well aligned on three of your points:
    .
    “You miss fans at a certain formative age and I don’t think you ever are able to really get them invested in the same way again” – agree, and I think a lot of short-term-profit maximizing decisions taken over the past few decades have created many of today’s structural challenges
    .
    “There is just an incredible disconnect between what is being paid for sports rights and what consumers will actually pay for sports rights” – agree, and I think the cable bundle has long been a cross-subsidy from people who care little about sports (much of society) to people who are avid sports fans; the non-sports-fan can increasingly find great entertainment for a fraction of the price, and there may not be enough price-inelastic sports fans to make up for that subsidy loss
    .
    “A lot of it is also momentum I think, most people don’t actually check their cable bill and it’s not until they actually miss their games because of some carriage dispute that they realize I can cut cable and get on with my life anyway” – so many large entities act foolishly on this; habits are difficult to form and difficult to break, and it is not a good idea to interfere in any way if someone’s current habit is to your advantage

  42. greg

    November 22, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    @Mercator – the pirating studies you reference seem to be UK centric. FWIW, it’s very expensive to watch EPL in the UK, right? The monthly Sky and BT fees ain’t cheap. So of course younger fans – those with less disposable income because they aren’t making as much money and right now housing costs are high, even UK grads in the last 15~ years are dealing with student debt, etc.

    There’s similar debate around the Euro Super League, with Real Madrid president going on about younger fans not into soccer as much. Well, it’s expensive to go to matches and it’s expensive to watch on tv. So no wonder people either pirate or don’t watch at all.

    In the US in the 1980s it was easy to be a baseball fan – tickets were cheap, most MLB teams had a free-to-air broadcast partner with most away games on tv and maybe 1/5th of home games. Playoffs were all free-to-air. So you lock in a generation of fans. Now you need a cable package to watch more than a handful of games per year and it ain’t cheap to go to the park.

    If the EPL was that concerned about the younger fan base & piracy in the UK they’d make it easier to watch, cheaper to go. But attendance is fine overall, the tv money flows and clubs spend big. For soccer fans priced out there are EFL or non-league matches for lots less money. I think they clamp down on piracy so the bottom doesn’t drop out of the Sky & BT subscription market, but by and large they’re getting eyeballs and putting butts in seats.

  43. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    @SteveK – Really? Everyone I know balks at paying Sing Blue + Peacock which is $40 a month. That’s a cable subscription basically to watch one league. Every other league is available for $5 without cable, and are on platforms with more additional content as well. If anyone asks me should I subscribe to Peacock I tell them no you can get ALL the games for $5 elsewhere. Peacock at $10 or $15 bucks directly would be an entirely different story – but 2 subscriptions totaling $40 bucks and Sling Blue doesn’t have ESPN? That’s laughably bad value and most sports fans realize it. I cannot stress the degree to which consumers just aren’t going to pay for cable ever again. I don’t care if the second coming of Christ will be on NBCSN this Saturday, I’m not paying for cable and this is the majority view under 35. NBC gives these fans the one finger salute while every other broadcaster (except Fox, of course) actually has made huge strides to make their football content available and accessible for a low fair price.

    @Michael F – I split YTTV 6 ways, with a T-Mobile subscriber so the total price is $55/6 or $10 a month for me. I really only do this so I can login to watch Fox 4K events and so my parents can watch CNN. I usually use an IPTV I pay $15 a month for, and I get the Disney bundle for $10 a month through Verizon. I think I only actually pay outright for Paramount+, which is great value. My most expensive media subscription is actually YouTube premium… its like $18 bucks or something and I thought it was ridiculous but I just cant cancel and go back to the ads so here we are. If the product is good, people will pay. But I’m not going to be ripped off because you paid $2.5 billion dollars for “exclusive rights” to something free on the internet.

  44. Stevek

    November 22, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    I used to pay that for FuboTV, Michael, I appreciated the slightly better picture quality for certain PL games and I really liked having all the Spanish channels & access to their apps for all the European soccer, Champions League, Europa League, et al. I wasn’t doing the Bleacher Report Live thing and was very happy syncing up the British radio station coverage of the games to the Spanish video. But once Paramount+ took over the Champions League and I needed ESPN+ in order to watch Inter w/ Antonio Conte I realized I could get by just fine going Sling instead of Fubo. Tried Sling Orange for the Euros for $10, which was highway robbery…not…then started up Blue for the PL. Surely “most fans” pirated the Euros rather than agreeing to that $10 ransom.

  45. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    @SteveK. For clarity and perspective: YTTV is $65 per month. Note that Mercator already stated in an earlier post that he is a YTTV subscriber.

    He himself is paying more than he needs to as he expresses his displeasure over the NBC/Peacock price point.

    Go figure.

  46. JP

    November 22, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    @Mercator, excellent point about the lack of access (cheap) and engagement of younger fans. I’ve had internal debates on this for many years. Leagues push their games later and later to grab higher ratings and advertising dollars, but with that, they’re losing the young fans who would serendipitously stumble upon games during their viewing hours and become life long fans afterwards.

    I’m 1st generation American, so not like my family had a big tradition of being huge fans of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, etc. NBA a bit because our team was very good during those years so had some exposure to it.

    For the most part, I became a fan because games were on local TV during afternoon hours. Back then (and up to early 1990’s), you could still find playoff or even championship games on an afternoon weekend. NBA finals, NCAA Final Four, MLB playoffs (even weekdays!), and so on. Now all that is pushed to primetime and finish in the early morning hours.

    Only the NFL is largely afternoon and local TV. However, even they are pushing times later. Conference championship games used to be around noon and 4pm, now almost 4pm and 7pm. Used to regularly have Saturday early afternoon playoff games. That would be gone too if not for the extra wild card round recently added.

    Maybe that’s why soccer is popular among the younger crowd? Cheap access and early (for us) matches.

  47. Stevek

    November 22, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Mercator “you pay your $70 a month to watch and are happy, great! But this is not most fans, most are not pleased to be paying those prices despite agreeing the broadcast is good. Most are not happy with peacock even if they love Rebecca. This will have an impact on interest, particularly for younger fans, going forward. It will have an impact on the willingness to pay for those who are interested.”

    That’s not me, either, Premier League-wise I go the $35/mo Sling Blue route and get Peacock for free so I can watch any of the 380 PL games live. Most real fans wouldn’t find that too onerous. I’m still in a year of Paramount+ for $29.99, which works out to a whole $2.49/mo for Champions League and Europa and Serie A and I’m locked into a year of ESPN+ for all of their crap at $5 a month. $42 a month for a bulging legal soccer package of Sling/Peacock/ESPN+ & Paramount+ that I can’t possibly keep up with. I can’t envision pirating all of that but for $42 a month or so I can’t imagine most fans really trying to.

  48. Ra

    November 22, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    @Michael F. Yep. Looking at the schedule for the remainder of the season, I realized the other day that I will end up getting another month of Peacock in mid-December – Bundesliga, Serie A, and LaLiga will have a year-end break. Brasileirao’s season will be over by then. In other words, no other major live soccer between Dec 19 – Jan 8,
    If Peacock gets its act together, I will keep my subscription – otherwise, I will be done with it for a while.
    I don’t care about the $5; it is a matter of pride. The line I will not cross? Subscribe to cable.

  49. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    @Dave – Good question and I agree, obviously piracy, even among US EPL fans, is driven more by broader trends than what a single broadcaster is doing. But to your first point I think a big part of why young people aren’t into sports in the same way older generations are, is because young people today never really had freely accessible sports on TV outside of the NFL (still as popular as ever BTW). I remember when the cubs and braves were on normal TV quite often – I would watch and I’m not even a baseball fan (but I was when the cubs were doing well because I could see most games). It’s not like that anymore – unless you or your parents are paying north of $50+ a month, or you pirate (and really the best forms still require payment), you just don’t have access. I watch the same sports, and love the same teams, as when I was 10 years old. You miss fans at a certain formative age and I don’t think you ever are able to really get them invested in the same way again.

    On the second point, I don’t think it has much to do with sharing I think people just realize paying $60 a month to watch a few games is not good value. MLB must have lost a ton of fans, half the fans I know basically said I’ll find a different sport to watch if MLB is only on cable at $80 a month. In the $5-15 range people will pay, but beyond that people start to tune our or just pirate. A lot of it is also momentum I think, most people don’t actually check their cable bill and it’s not until they actually miss their games because of some carriage dispute that they realize I can cut cable and get on with my life anyway. There is just an incredible disconnect between what is being paid for sports rights and what consumers will actually pay for sports rights – Sinclair will be the first victim of this but others have it coming as well.

    It’s funny because I think the view of piracy will also change slightly as the market shifts. Right now its spoken about in a hushed tone, as something evil or at the very least distasteful. I think actually there are plenty of fans who, if they could not pirate, just wouldn’t follow at all. In an odd way it does keep fans engaged, and even if they aren’t paying for the right to watch today, its much easier to get money out of them tomorrow if they remain engaged. This is part of the reason the split of EPL with cable is so silly – instead of conditioning people to paying $5 for Peacock, they condition people to figure out how to stream it elsewhere which makes it much harder to get them to pay for your channels or peacock in the future.

  50. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    @Ra. Good advice to those upset with Peacock and Comcast. I agree with that thought completely. And btw I am happy.

  51. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    @SteveK – Yes well you notice media journalists never mention piracy directly because it does no favors to the broadcasters they need a good relationship with to provide coverage. All it is is an advertisement for those who may not yet be aware. You notice they all still talk about exclusivity, when I’m fact as the head of BeIN Sports noted, it’s a fictional legal construct not appropriate for a world in which the content is not actually exclusive to a broadcaster. The EPL is at the front of this and probably does more than any of the league on earth to fight piracy because they recognize it ultimately diminishes the value of the rights for broadcasters.

    It’s the same with other sports, illegal streaming is rarely if ever mentioned but obviously is a huge component of the industry (particularly because of Sinclair’s issues). I don’t think football is as widely pirated in the US, because actually EPL aside almost everything is available for a fair price and there aren’t as many hardcore fans compared to say NFL or NBA (the NBA is heavily pirated as well, it’s basically a joke at this point).

    And again, there is a difference between the broadcast and the distribution. No one has taken issue with NBCs broadcast except a handful of arlo white haters out there (I also don’t understand that). It’s the distribution and the use of peacock that drives everyone up the wall – as pointed out in your own quote! It just strikes me as a bit out of touch – you pay your $70 a month to watch and are happy, great! But this is not most fans, most are not pleased to be paying those prices despite agreeing the broadcast is good. Most are not happy with peacock even if they love Rebecca. This will have an impact on interest, particularly for younger fans, going forward. It will have an impact on the willingness to pay for those who are interested. I said from the very beginning the concern with NBC overpaying for the rights is they will have to do things not good for the league or fans to get their money back…and here we are!

  52. Ra

    November 22, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    You are debating the gender of angels. My suggestion as a cord-cutter? Get ESPN+ and/or Paramount+. Why waste time with Peacock and their stupid schedule? Be happy!

  53. Stevek

    November 22, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    As far as I’m concerned Mercator Comcast does not need to reboot Peacock, but that’s because I live on the East Coast, own several Apple TVs and only watch one thing on Peacock, the Premier League. Two clicks and I’m in the middle of the PL Hub, hell, I don’t even know what else is on Peacock and don’t care. I get it for free since I have Comcast internet and I paid $29.95 for the entire first year. I don’t need it to change at all, I’m not inconvenienced like those on the West Coast. But just because I’m happy to be able to watch any PL game I want live doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with me. I also fully realize there are many ways Peacock can improve.

    I don’t remember exactly what I paid for Gold but I think it was $65, so I want to thank our Comcast overlords for giving me the chance to get everything that used to be on Gold for $29.95 last year. If 30 bucks is gonna drive someone to piracy methinks those folks aren’t the kind of customers anybody needs. And now that Peacock is free, Comcast is really screwing me over. No wonder so many are being driven to piracy, free is just insulting. Where’s the respect? What about all those folks who aren’t lucky enough to be stuck with Comcast as their cable and internet provider. Peacock costs a whopping 5 bucks a month, so that’s what 50 bucks for the 10 months of the PL season? What a hassle to be asked to pay $50 to watch all 380 games replayed on demand of the best soccer product on planet Earth and watch 180 exclusive games live. $50 is so unreasonable for all that. It’s ransom level I say. The young hordes and few senior citizens here forced to resort to piracy must seriously realign their priorities.

  54. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    @Mercator. Than you have no substantial proof as to how many or what impact specific to Comcast when you specifically make the claim that Comcast “are losing a paying generation of customers”.

    And at risk of ticking off anyone… but I feel piracy is an interesting concept, which is done without any morality or grounds as to holding to a principle. To suggest it does is about as oxymoron as it gets.

  55. dave

    November 22, 2021 at 3:49 pm

    @Mercator, I am curious how much of your perspective is specific to NBC, Peacock, EPL, etc., and how much is broadly associated with generational trends. The data I have seen suggest a strong divide by age along at least two dimensions:
    .
    1. Younger people are less likely to watch games than previous generations. A smaller percentage identify as sports fans, and those who do are more likely to follow favorite entities on social media rather than watch a full match
    .
    2. Younger people are generally more comfortable with a “sharing economy” where the concepts behind Uber and Airbnb are broadly applicable to many other aspects of life
    .
    Both of those, if true and sustained as people age, would be very long-term negative to the current sports business model. While there are probably things Comcast, Peacock, EPL, etc., could and should do in light of that, generational trends are often a slow moving tide that profoundly impacts everything. Trying to understand your perspective on that

  56. Stevek

    November 22, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Mercator “I’m not sure what article you are reading on the Athletic, all of them have more than 20 comments on this topic.” perhaps you missed me write “the last article by Richard Deitsch and Felipe Cardenas on Nov 19 has typical comments” and yes there are 64 comments but I only quickly counted up the ones that offered a direct opinion on NBC retaining the rights, yea or nay, and as I said it was overwhelming, 16 pro to 4 negative to 1 Mercator style response. It’s unfair to refer to an article most can’t read so I’ll pull out an excerpt for everyone, it’s a discussion between two sports media columnists and a good example of the coverage NBC and the Premier League get elsewhere:

    “Cárdenas: It makes sense for NBC to retain the rights to the Premier League. The network has done excellent work in creating a tone and a unique brand identity for the Premier League in the U.S. The production aesthetic, studio talent, and the play-by-play teams are among the best in the business, in both English and Spanish. NBC has established an important and well-engaged audience that will continue to grow. The network has a robust content platform that aligns well with the Premier League, which is easily the most popular European soccer league in the U.S. It just feels like the best move for both parties…

    Deitsch: I’m not surprised in the slightest that NBC retained the rights. They’ve been a first-rate broadcaster for the Premier League for the reasons you stated above. Look at the quality of the presentation, from the choices of talent to the financial commitment of broadcasting games on-site, or holding fan fests around the U.S. NBC has treated the property with the same respect they treat other tier-one broadcast properties. Where I am surprised is that the Premier League did not take on a second media partner because that has certainly been the trend in North America. All the major sports in the U.S. (the NFL, college football, NBA, college basketball, the NHL, soccer, etc.) have multiple broadcast partners. It’s really a huge win for NBC — if one can win while forking over more than $2 billion dollars. The interesting question for me is how NBC will divvy up the games between network, cable and streaming…
    Cárdenas: Soccer fans are a demanding audience. They’ve become accustomed to having full access to first-rate international leagues and convenience is their ultimate request. More apps may be the future of soccer streaming, but that reality has not been initially well received. I’ve already seen negative reactions on Twitter about NBC continuing to move games to the USA Network and the presumption that NBC will increase the subscription costs for Peacock. Someone tweeted at me to say, “Hopefully $1B is spent on fixing Peacock.”
    If you’re a Premier League fan who was avoiding paying for Peacock, you might as well sign up now. Rick Cordella, Peacock’s chief revenue officer told me in April that they strive to have a “well distributed schedule” on the streaming service for each Premier League matchday. Cordella added that NBC is still trying to find the right mix between streaming and linear. Peacock is a relatively new product and Cordella acknowledged that keeping the soccer audience engaged on the platform is a priority. Momentum is in NBC’s favor, and now is an ideal time for them to make improvements in production and experiment with live TV. I’m curious if you think NBC can take note from what their competitors are doing with the NFL, NBA and college football broadcasts, Richard.
    Deitsch: I think NBC’s soccer production is top shelf and Rebecca Lowe (along with Ernie Johnson), in my opinion, is the best sports studio host currently working today. NBC’s pre- and post-game shows are in the same area code as Inside The NBA, which is the highest compliment I can give a studio show.”

    Notice no fear of driving young’s to piracy if all matches aren’t available live and in one place for $5 a month, notice very reasoned assessments of Peacock, some suggestions for improvement that are very realistic and the take home–there was really no comparison to other soccer leagues, their opinions were the NBC soccer coverage stands head and shoulders above most sports properties let alone soccer properties.

  57. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    @Michael F – Actually two of those figures are commissioned studies, and the UK figures are backed by a similar BBC study. Again, a quick google will show you the leagues themselves cite these numbers so they are obviously correct.

    The numbers you are looking for, on one product in one market, are not going to be available anywhere and you know that. You also know there is no reason US figures would be markedly lower (and one professional study does include us numbers which are the same).

    So I guess I would ask is what you don’t buy? The cited numbers themselves or the idea that around 50% of fans pirating your product will have no long term ramifications. I know these numbers, which you could have found yourself to be fair, are inconvenient for you…but it should provide some context for why NBCs strategy isn’t that wise and isn’t beneficial to the league in the long run. I would cite more articles but I know you won’t read them – in any case in markets where OTT services are introduced, piracy falls markedly because people can actually pay a reasonable price for the content they would otherwise pirate.

  58. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    @Mercator. Your very last sentence of post to @SteveK tells me you wear your emotions on your sleeve.

    “Ransom level fees”?? I know from earlier posts that you stated you subscribe to YTTV live tv stream service. That means if you don’t subscribe to Peacock, I am paying a whopping $5 a month more than you to watch EPL matches.

    How about that for some perspective. My 5 bucks I pay is considered a ‘ransom level fee’. Yes… you do need to log off of this discussion.

  59. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    @Mercator. Ok, thanks for that overall summary. However, this is general survey data off the internet of the sport itself and not specifically the impact of viewership of the EPL in the USA or to my question on proof of how many households have dropped cable-like subscriptions and Peacock specifically because of Comcast splitting the games between their linear and stream service and to suggest that Comcast “are losing a paying generation of customers.”

    Sorry. I don’t buy that conclusion.

  60. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    @ SteveK – I’m not sure what article you are reading on the Athletic, all of them have more than 20 comments on this topic. And yes, most are strongly in praise of the NBC broadcast, which I am as well and no one is arguing about. But there are at least half a dozen comments explicitly saying I will pirate and there are a dozen more wholly critical of Peacock or NBC splitting between Peacock and Cable. I’m sure you only read what you like to read, but I suggest reading beyond the first 20 comments perhaps. You can find all those same soccer journalists on twitter, and read the comments under every article. There are always several saying I’ll just pirate (and yes, most say they like the NBC broadcast, no one said otherwise). Grant Wahl’s first comment was even to point out that Peacock should simulcast all matches. Why do you think the poll here didn’t have a majority wanting NBC to get the rights? I just wonder why you guys are so determined to bury your head in the sand like this. It’s not good for fans, the league, or the game. It’s not even good for Comcast, they still lose tons of money on Peacock and I can’t see that changing when they agree to pay 3x as more for the same content that got Peacock dead last in subscriber count.

    It’s not smart business sense, no. In the same way fox needs to overpay because its football broadcasts are so bad, NBC no doubt overpaid in part because Peacock is so poor and disliked among fans. It’s a short term approach to the product and it will not work long term. Just like driving your fans to piracy is a short term approach that will burn you long term. There simply is no reason or excuse for why Peacock is still so awful, more than a year after its launch. I’m just still confused by the lengths some people seem to go on here to avoid admitting NBC is really screwing things up with Peacock and needs to be significantly better. NBC itself knows this, so just bizarre to see someone really making the claim its not that bad. If it wasn’t that bad, they wouldn’t need to reboot it. If it wasn’t that bad, it wouldn’t be the worst performing streaming platform. If it was any good, none of us would have issues with NBC. This is not some conspiracy against NBC – we are just EPL fans who are sick of Comcast’s nonsense and screwing around with the league we all enjoy. Go back to PL Mornings like things were before Peacock and I will log off and leave “real PL fans” who pay ransom level fees like you and Michael F in peace.

  61. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    @Ra. I like your passion for these other domestic leagues you have access to. That’s great. I have this same passion for the EPL and some lower table tier matches I saw this past weekend. It was great. My passion for the EPL though goes well beyond the matches themselves. It’s the culture of this league and it’s history and all the storylines that I follow and certainly there is plenty of sources that cover this league in great detail (as you know).

    Note that I don’t share the view that the EPL is the only thing to watch, it’s just that is what I primarily choose to view. Only so much you can watch or follow in detail!!

    That’s the beauty of choice. I am certain there is good soccer to view elsewhere. Glad you enjoy it. It’s kind of my argument to those that make such a stink about EPL matches not all being available via streaming. Well, you have ‘name any other league of choice’ at your disposal and at an incredibly cheap monthly fee.

  62. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    @Michael F – The various studies and surveys are all available on google, you should be able to pretty quickly answer your own leading questions. Depending on age and market, the number always seems to come in north of 50% of fans (higher the more younger fans surveyed). This about lines up with what I see anecdotally – I don’t know anyone over 35 who does pirate most of their sports, I don’t know anyone under 35 who does not (if we include cable password sharing). Take it from the head of BeIN Sport how big an issue this is: “Seemingly, everyone in this industry is asleep at the wheel and refuses to confront the piracy elephant that’s been in the room for years. We now live in a world where exclusive broadcast rights are, effectively, wholly non-exclusive. Think about that: non-exclusive. Consumers, young and old, are accessing everything for nothing – via a Kodi or a VPN or beoutQ – wherever they are, whenever they like, and this behaviour is being normalised.”
    ***
    According to research by SMG Insight commissioned by the BT Sport Industry Awards, 54% of millennials have watched illegal streams of live sports and a third admit to regularly watching them, compared to only 4% of over-35s. Eighteen to 24-year-olds are also half as likely to have subscriptions to pay TV services such as Sky or BT Sport (12-24%).

    ***
    A ten-country study of more than 6,000 sports fans has found that 51 per cent still use pirate services to watch live sport on a monthly basis, despite 89 per cent of respondents owning a subscription to a pay-TV or over-the-top (OTT) platform.
    ***
    The Charting Global Sports Piracy report, carried out by Ampere Analysis on behalf of video software provider Synamedia, found that 42 per cent of those who regularly use illegal streaming services watch sports fixtures on a daily basis, which is 60 per cent higher than the average fan. Over a quarter (29 per cent) of those who use piracy websites said they have paid those services for access to sports content, while 31 per cent cited a sporting event not being broadcast locally as a key motivator for using illegal providers. Just 16 per cent of respondents said they never watch sports using a pirate service, with 44 per cent saying they consume sports via legal OTT platforms every week.
    ***
    EFL Website: Statistics show that over half of sports fans consume sports content from pirate services at least once a month. Over 7,000 illegal EFL streams have been detected so far this season, with an average of 170 people viewing each stream, totaling almost 1.2million people.

  63. Stevek

    November 22, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Mercator, sorry, but you come off as fairly clueless when it comes to speaking on behalf of Premier League fans here in the US and Peacock. I subscribe to the Athletic and read it diligently, also the SBJ with John Ourand. Richard Deitsch and Matt Slater have very knowledgeable sources on this, their articles are always very balanced and well sourced. Comments, which are only allowed from paying subscribers, are overwhelmingly positive for Rebecca and the Robbies and the job NBC does with the Premier League and they overwhelmingly wanted to see NBC retain the rights regardless of how they may feel about certain aspects of Peacock. I’m not going to provide the direct link because if you aren’t a subscriber you can’t see but the last article by Richard Deitsch and Felipe Cardenas on Nov 19 has typical comments, I just quickly went through and counted them, there were 16 very pro NBC and maybe 4 that were negative. There was only one commenter that had your level of vitriol and over-reach. So your opinion on this is hardly representative.

    “The problem is I still wouldn’t pay for a pass – Peacock and NBC have screwed around with people for years now, and people figure out how to watch via other means. You can’t just abuse your customers for years and then say okay I’ll give you what you want and expect them to immediately be back.”

    And please, a little perspective might do you a world of good, Peacock has only been around for a little over a year, it is hardly broken, it has everything it is supposed to have and does everything it is supposed to do, as we have discussed elsewhere navigation to get to the PL Hub is superb. It’s goal was to take over from the Gold Pass and it did so very capably last year. For those of us who took advantage of the into offer it only cost $29.95 for that first year, a massive bargain my friend. This year they maintained the status quo because they didn’t know if they’d get the rights renewed. Smart business sense, no?

    “NBC is doing long term damage to the league and to their own bottom line by sticking to this failed split strategy. I can’t stress the degree to which they are losing a paying generation of customers with this nonsense.”

    The only nonsense around here is your heightened sense of reality. Most of us realize Peacock has only been around for 15 months and can only get better. But even at 15 months what it is right now is a bargain, yes not having everything in one place is a minor hassle, yes the rights fee they paid seems quite a lot right now but they have 6 years to keep figuring it out, to keep evolving and even though I’m a good predictor on this subject I won’t make a prediction because no one has the answers one, two or even three years down the road. A lot can happen.

  64. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    @Ra. Thanks. Interesting info. Your comment on the demand for it in that region is legit.

  65. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    @Leo. Yikes. Much better to have a cable-like subscription of your choice and pay $5 a month for Peacock – smile.

  66. Ra

    November 22, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    @Michael F. Disney is offering all EPL games on streaming in South America. All games are on Star+ for BRL 32.90 (USD 5.88). But then again, EPL is not such a big deal there as it is here.

  67. Leo

    November 22, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Comcast will need to get their money back. Currently they charge about $470/year to EPL fans.
    It would be interesting how a package modality could work in US market. Maybe something like this:
    All games for 1 team of your preference: $150/year.
    All games for 3 team of your preference: $400/year.
    All games for 10 team of your preference: $1200/year.
    All games for all teams of the EPL league: $2000/year.

  68. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    @Mercator. Your quote: “ I can’t stress the degree to which they are losing a paying generation of customers with this nonsense.”

    Not trying to pick a debate, but you will need do better than this than just making an assumption that Comcast is “losing a paying generation of customers”.

    How many? What proof? Give us the statistical facts on this from a reputable source…, not just your emotional opinion or because you ‘think’ this is true simply because perhaps you decided to drop a subscription from a provider etc

  69. Ra

    November 22, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    Comcast must be leaving money on the table. I am certain of this. But enough with Comcast.

    What a great performance by Vini Jr yesterday. I laugh every time people here think that EPL is the only great soccer in the world (or even the best). It is the most physical, but not the most interesting in the eyes of the beholder here. I am more into ‘futebol-arte’. I too see the poetry and beauty in life!

    Galeano’s ‘Soccer in Sun and Shadow’ is a big omission in the article listing the top soccer books.

  70. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    @Hans. This last post of yours was quite good, informative and I thought objective. Thanks.

    I do wonder… Are all the EPL telecast contracts in other regions/countries similar to Comcast? That is, where it prioritizes linear tv exposure and not all matches are provided live via streaming?

    If so,… then all the complaints should really be channeled at the league, not the provider who won the contract. This is then EPL’s chosen model.

  71. Mercator

    November 22, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    @SteveK – “No they are not, fans of the PL realize it is the “crown jewel” and also realize what a bargain Peacock is and because they are fans will continue to subscribe or continue to enjoy it for free since they more than likely already are Comcast customers, since Comcast is a pretty big cable company. Very few will “pirate” as long as the combined cost for Peacock and some sort of cable access for NBC and USA remains reasonable.”

    PL fans do not realize this at all and most are justifiably not pleased at needed an expensive cable subscription and a broken streaming service just to watch one league. No other football league is like this, and its insane to hear you pretend PL fans just happily accept this because omg the PL is so valuable. Check the Athletic, check twitter, check the comments here… the combined cost is not seen as reasonable and many are able and willing to just pirate instead.

    @JP – Agreed, even just a cable login on peacock would sort through much of the confusion. The problem is I still wouldn’t pay for a pass – Peacock and NBC have screwed around with people for years now, and people figure out how to watch via other means. You can’t just abuse your customers for years and then say okay I’ll give you what you want and expect them to immediately be back. NBC is doing long term damage to the league and to their own bottom line by sticking to this failed split strategy. I can’t stress the degree to which they are losing a paying generation of customers with this nonsense.

  72. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    @SteveK. Great post and as you know, I generally share the majority of your viewpoint. Peacock is $5 a month for subscription to watch matches aired live and is available on-demand for all matches. Whether you are a cable-like subscriber or not, that’s hardly anything to quibble about. I certainly don’t.

    It’s crazy when everyone compares other streaming services carrying their soccer leagues that is a similar sub cost per month, that the one carrying EPL should now carry all the matches live. They don’t and that’s the reality.


    @JP. Great idea. You just described the perfect world. Wouldn’t it be nice if all businesses could satisfy all customers with the ultimate in choice and price. Maybe some day.

  73. Stevek

    November 22, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    JP I think we are going to see some sort of Premier League Prime Pass though not anytime soon. Comcast has a second try at the Olympics on Peacock and that should be their sole priority. But something rolled out next summer for the PL? Yes, I think there’s a good chance of that happening along with a lot more NBC-SKY convergence. That is if Peacock and Paramount+ haven’t already been merged together by then.

  74. JP

    November 22, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    @Micheal F, good points about the difficulty in pleasing both sets of fans (cable vs streamers), but here’s an idea

    1) Matches shown on cable are available in the “higher” Peacock tier – Higher price = Access to ALL matches
    2) All high profile matches shown on cable or OTA (if feasible, no overlap in scheduling etc) – Cable subscribers don’t feel short changed or forced into streaming
    3) Access to Peacock exclusive matches available to Cable subscribers via authentication, even if subscribed to the “lower” Peacock tier. – Hardcore EPL fans who have cable could still get access to all matches (would mostly be lower profile, given high profile remain on Cable too) for a relatively low fee if they so choose.

    As for price points, that’s up for debate. But, think with the above criteria, all subsets of fans could be satisfied.

  75. Stevek

    November 22, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Must we continue to moan about the “NBC botched strategy” and recycle the already lame wouldn’t it be great if they did this or that? Peacock is inexpensive, pay it, hope for improvements in strategy or concept or watch some lesser league.

    “the weekend after they announce the rights stay with them they treat the product like a 2nd-rate entity…If it were the random Friday matches or even Monday that was Peacock only, fine. But Sunday? And with a marquee match to boot?”

    Comcast has very clearly laid out their strategy…if you fancy yourself a Premier League completist you need cable and Peacock to watch games. Period, end of. Sign up, re-up or watch some lesser league on another streamer. You should expect A LOT of marquee matchups to be Peacock only and there to be an increasing emphasis on driving eyeballs to Peacock because Peacock will be re-imagined, reworked, propped up and screwed around with for years to come by Comcast. It’s a given they try to improve on their “botched strategy.” right? We Premier League fans will be their guinea pigs.

    “With the current setup, they’re just p*ssing off everyone and probably losing EPL customers either out of spite, easier access to other leagues, or pirating.”

    No they are not, fans of the PL realize it is the “crown jewel” and also realize what a bargain Peacock is and because they are fans will continue to subscribe or continue to enjoy it for free since they more than likely already are Comcast customers, since Comcast is a pretty big cable company. Very few will “pirate” as long as the combined cost for Peacock and some sort of cable access for NBC and USA remains reasonable. Soccer fans, as opposed to PL fans, will watch various sundry other leagues and rationalize their choice. (If only after making that choice they’d cease recycling the same lame arguments and opinions about Comcast, Peacock etc.)

    As a current Apple TV owner let me recommend any Premier League Peacock watcher to pick themselves up an Apple TV 4 or Apple TV HD, doesn’t have to be the current model, doesn’t have to have extra storage and follow Michael F’s guidance: “pause, rewind features exist for live matches on Peacock. Thus, I can watch a match in its entirety even if the match is not complete and still airing live on Peacock. At least matches aired live on Peacock are available soon after on-demand on Peacock.”

    Let the pirates pirate, for the true PL fan your time is more valuable.

    On this “I agree with you about the ‘Premier League Morning’ show airing on Peacock. It should be available on-demand on Peacock” I have to disagree Michael, live PL Mornings is a cable value add and if you want to wake up to Rebecca and the studio show that’s one of the good reasons you keep your cable sub. Should it be this way, of course not, but we didn’t just fork over billions for the rights for the next 6 years.

  76. Hans

    November 22, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    This being an EPL fan site we get mostly fan’s viewpoints and very little sensible business (Non fans) viewpoints. As already mentioned the match viewer numbers are troubling for the amount of money paid for and I take my own case as an example since I am the only sports fan in the house.
    .
    Must streaming services for me are Netflix & Amazon for the obvious reasons plus Paramount+ because they have content others in the house watch plus UCL, UEL and Serie A. Price increases will come and these services have been and will be the first to get a slice of the budget. That leaves just sports.
    .
    From what is available I will choose perhaps just some months not a yearly subscription. Disney experienced that with India’s Star network that after the cricket season was over, massive subscriber cancellations. Or I will use the Internet freebies solutions especially since free downloads are available after a match concludes.
    .
    This brings me to the Comcast. As expected for the time being they are behaving like dicks with their fragmentation of games but that is bound to change. You don’t buy a multi billion dollar property as a loss leader, because a loss leader into WHAT? it is not a single show it is several episodes of the same show at the same time, top table and bottom table clashes.
    .
    This makes me believe that since they lost part of the Murdoch empire to Disney in 2018 they bought the rest which included the Sky network. This was not their 1st choice in 2018. Since every bidder crunched the numbers this time around it looks like they didn’t want a 2018 repeat as that could dent their ego and may give the appearance Comcast is run by chumps. But the sports property does not adapt as easy as the entertainment property to the changing landscape. So to me it looks more like they now got a 2.6 billion dollar ball and chain.
    .
    Upon honest examination, where would I like to have seen the EPL broadcast to be aired. Honestly I really don’t know as all the points being made are valid, Disappearing in ESPN’s sports offerings, going to a provider with past failed soccer presentations, going to a new provider with little or no track record. For me Amazon now has the edge over ViacomCBS as they would throw mega bucks at the property to make it work for their subscribers.
    .
    Comcast WILL have to change in the next 2 to 3 years as a new problem will appear. Disney wants to bundle and invest into Hulu, but can’t at the present as Comcast owns 33% and it would be counter productive for Disney to spend billions on Hulu as it would make the future sale of Hulu more expensive. Comcast knows that and sits back and says make us an offer. But that changes in 2024 as the contract ends and Disney can demand a sale. Once done they will heavily invest and analysts predict $7 billion per year and then Disney will repeat what they did with their 1st bundling.
    .
    The future is just not bright for Comcast unless they restructure and perhaps go back to passes. A yearly pass for Canadian DAZN and Australian Optus are $150 and $102 respectively and that is just sports no other entertainment, so you can see Comcast HAS to raise prices. THUS fun times ahead as it looks like Comcast will be squirming trying to recoup some of the 2.6 billion dollars.

  77. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    @JP I will add though… I have to believe that your suggestion to add a tier pricing for EPL matches live on Peacock will p*ss off another set of EPL fans that have a cable-like sub for more reasons than just the EPL. No one is going to be satisfied with this decision.

    You see, if they are going to split coverage of live matches on linear and Peacock, we all know only a handful of matches is ever going to air at all on linear tv (to watch live or via DVR later). And sometimes, as we see this coming Sunday – even a high profile match (Chelsea vs Man U) is aired only on Peacock. There are many EPL fans tied to cable-like subs for other reasons. After all, this is how they became EPL fans.

    I still think they are tinkering around continuously to find out the viewing dynamics and demand of Peacock subs, which is why they now have been shifting some high profile matches to Peacock only. I don’t believe that’s a good strategy to do this indefinitely and that is unfortunate. Years ago, when NBC Sports Gold streaming had the remaining matches aired live that NBC linear didn’t air, fans all knew it was the lower profile or lower demand games and so cable-like subs were fine with it. And those that wanted more, paid for NBC Sports Gold to go and get the rest of the games.

  78. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    @JP Yep. I can’t disagree with you there.

  79. JP

    November 22, 2021 at 11:58 am

    @Michael F, “I suppose even if matches aired live on NBC linear tv was available immediately after on Peacock on-demand, EPL fans would drop their cable-like subscriptions, if that’s all they have it for. I know I would, if that’s all I watch on the cable-like sub.”

    That statement sums up NBC botched strategy in a nutshell. EPL fans who only have a cable sub to watch matches would surely be willing to pay more than $5 a month to have all matches on Peacock. With a simple pricing/tier strategy they could easily recoup from those fans what they’re getting per subscriber for their cable channels.

    Peacock could remain is as for most, but for EPL fans, maybe $5 more ($10 a month) for all matches live on a higher tier of service….much like Paramount+ charges more for the ad free version.

    With the current setup, they’re just p*ssing off everyone and probably losing EPL customers either out of spite, easier access to other leagues, or pirating.

  80. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 11:57 am

    @greg As an added comment, I agree with you about the ‘Premier League Morning’ show airing on Peacock. It should be available on-demand on Peacock like the matches are, for those that view everything on some delay. That’s unfortunate.

  81. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 11:42 am

    @Jp Not gonna happen and won’t happen, no matter how much people complain about it. I suppose even if matches aired live on NBC linear tv was available immediately after on Peacock on-demand, EPL fans would drop their cable-like subscriptions, if that’s all they have it for. I know I would, if that’s all I watch on the cable-like sub.

    I mean, what would be the point of needing it? I bet a LOT of fans watch matches on delay a few hours later – like I do.

    I also think there is a major difference with general fans of all soccer out there (follow top teams of every league) vs the core EPL follower. It comes down to what is important to the viewer and what they are willing to pay…nothing more, nothing less.

  82. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 11:36 am

    @greg Not being an apologist for the provider at all. I understand the frustration. Just stating what everyone should have expected. This does not surprise me in the least and shouldn’t surprise you.

    That said, I have Apple TV and pause, rewind features exist for live matches on Peacock. Thus, I can watch a match in its entirety even if the match is not complete and still airing live on Peacock. At least matches aired live on Peacock are available soon after on-demand on Peacock. Little solace for those that want more, I get it.

  83. JP

    November 22, 2021 at 10:52 am

    @locofooty, I imagine most EPL fans would be fine if everything was put on Peacock (live) and still simulcast on cable if too if they want. They’re upset at the half and half approach. Most of Saturday requires cable and all of Sunday requires streaming….

    Since not a fan, just enjoying all the comments, arguments, and defense of all this. I would be irate if CBS did this to Serie A. Just to preempt a certain reply, yes I know EPL is the premier soccer property in the US and somehow justifies that approach, yada yada yada.

  84. locofooty

    November 22, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Telemundo blocked from showing the Sunday matches. At least put them on Universo smh. It’s not OTA and you still need to be subscribed to some type of programming package to get it. Ya’ll get used to more of this with the $2.7 billion deal.

  85. greg

    November 22, 2021 at 10:16 am

    @Michael – I get why they do it, I still think it’s effed up. If it were the random Friday matches or even Monday that was Peacock only, fine. But Sunday? And with a marquee match to boot?

    Comcast is my ISP (Fubo for tv) so I get Peacock. But I’m west coast – I like the 2-hour Sunday morning program but obviously I watch it delayed. Without a DVR feature for Peacock or decent rewind/scrub-backwards & pause features they essentially tell everyone not on the east coast to go pound sand. I get that’s more or less Comcast’s approach to customer service, but still. And again, all they’re showing on NBCSN is Mecum auto auctions. And again, the weekend after they announce the rights stay with them they treat the product like a 2nd-rate entity,

  86. Michael F

    November 22, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Yep. The reality is that if you want access to all EPL matches live, you need a cable-like sub AND Peacock. That of course gets the ire of both linear tv only and stream only viewers. It isn’t ideal, but it’s reality. It’s also only $5 a month more, so there is indeed some perspective and justification if you are a die hard EPL fan and want all the matches live. It is what it is.

    With my schedule, I could almost justify not having a cable-like subscription… IF EPL was all I watched for the subscription (but it isn’t). The reason is because I can rarely watch the matches live on early Saturday or Sunday anyway. My schedule is busy and that’s why I love DVR and on-demand, and I can easily stay away from web sites to avoid spoilers and view later in the day or even next day. I know it’s not ideal for most, but it easily works for me for a sport that is in a different country and time zone.

  87. Yespage

    November 22, 2021 at 9:13 am

    This Saturday, 4 of 5 on NBC, NBSCSN, and USA. Sunday… none, including Chelsea v Manchester United.

  88. Michael

    November 22, 2021 at 8:40 am

    @greg. They put the games on Peacock because they can monetize those better. They have to make their money back. They will put enough on TV to keep the contract, but at the end of the day Sports Rights are a loss leader. As Kartik said in the Podcast the EPL paid the same amount ($3 Billion) for something that gets 600,000 average per week and maxes out at about 1.1 million for the big matches…as CBS pays for the SEC game of the week which averages 3.5 million per week and will max at at 12 to 13 million for an Alabama vs LSU game. Comcast has to overpay to keep the EPL rights. That was the most important task for them. Mission Accomplished. Now that this task is done, they have to make there money back. I am not a marketing expert, but it almost seems like the competition ran up the cost on Comcast in the bidding process to make them overpay the same way that that Comcast run up the cost on Disney buying the Fox and 21st Century Studios from Fox. I guess all far is love an war.

  89. Ra

    November 21, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Peacock special – to watch the day-old matches while eating leftovers from Saturday. Definitely not for me.. 🙂

  90. greg

    November 21, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    So of course the 1st weekend after they secure the contract, on the Sunday they put everything on Peacock while showing Mecum auto auctions all day on NBCSN. I’m one of those of happy they won because of the quality of coverage but I’m baffled by stuff like this. One of the matches is Chelsea v Man U. It may very well be a rout, but now it’s a potentially newsworthy rout.

  91. Efrain

    November 21, 2021 at 7:23 am

    @Mercator Thanks. And shame on the Arsenal loss, that stung 🙁

  92. Michael F

    November 20, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    @Mercator. I second the notion of catching EPL matches aired in 4K on YTTV. They and FuBo both do it. Great watch experience. I had FuBo for about 2 years and really liked it. To me, my 2nd choice for best live tv stream service.

    What made me switch to YTTV is primarily their unlimited DVR cloud and ease of recording sports leagues etc. You don’t think how convenient that is until you have it. To never have to worry about running low of recording space or to remember to record a certain game etc… it’s all there waiting for you to watch. YTTV also had better overall video quality than FuBo (at 1080p) when I switched, which is noticeably better on a large 4K tv screen.

  93. Mercator

    November 20, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    It’s technically 55fps but the Apple TV can match US frame rate. Sky/BT is 55fps and Astrosport the same for the 10am games. I believe Optus is 60fps but I have never gotten it working.

    Funny enough though NBC OTA in my market is 1080/60 so that is always best for me and closest to real time, and those games are sometimes 4K on YTTV and Fubo I think. Perfect for Arsenal/Liverpool today!!

  94. Efrain

    November 20, 2021 at 9:27 am

    @Mercator
    “I still watch almost all the matches via alternative means, not because of money but because the product is significantly better (I have multicast, the app is more stable than peacock and 60fps, and I can get Sky/BT content even though NBC is good and I often alternatively watch the NBC broadcast). ”

    Would be grateful if you could share on which alternative means re better picture quality (60fps). I absolutely hate NBC/Comcast/Peacock because of their broadcasts in 30fps (and no 4k matches this season) and was actually rooting for Amazon and ESPN. My last attempt was DAZN Canada (since they broadcast in 60fps) but I’m in USA and they could see I was using VPN so that didn’t work. I get the impression you might have other workarounds.

  95. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    @Chris Thanks! I will read it next. I was also planning to read Calcio, but the kindle version is not available. I highly recommend Tor! Very interesting read, especially the beginnings when football was frowned upon, and during the DDR. People believed that amateur was the only true form, and to some extent that belief is alive even today. Case in point, Bayern still broadcasts its amateur games on BayernTV plus.

  96. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    After reading ‘Tor!’ by Uli Hesse, I am thinking about reading either ‘Calcio’ or ‘Morbo’. Did you guys read it? Do you recommend? What is your best read on soccer? Thanks in advance.

  97. Hans

    November 19, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    @greg
    “Which is why I still can’t get my head around a mass migration to streaming because unless you set up enough shared accounts to mitigate costs (and the services don’t limit passwords to say specific IP addresses or regions) you still end up paying a bill similar to the old world of cable.”
    .
    That is a dilemma the industry is facing and if they don’t watch it, as you rightly deducted, they will kill streaming themselves. This may be to the liking of the cable conglomerate who have fought the a la cart system tooth and nail which is why the vMPVDs just mirror the cable companies and their business practices and take users for chumps. Today was announced that as of Dec 21st if you want Hulu Plus Live TV, you have to pay more and get Disney Plus and ESPN Plus whether you like it or not.
    .
    Sounds familiar, vMPVDs are starting to look like the cable cash cows and will be no different then cable packages given the time. Users are smart enough to look through this scheme and will make choices if they can’t have an a la cart system they will try to get something that is close to it. maybe 3 to 4 must have streaming services or change their viewing preferences.
    .
    @SteveK
    Not in the Apple Eco system but own Apple stock since 2012 so please keep buying Apple products as it will secure my retirement lifestyle, today the stock was up 1.7% breaking the $160 per share barrier. Otherwise Chromecast plus Google TV, Roku and a QUHD resolution screen and Chrome browser. Here is what I like about ESPN+
    .
    On the home page I like the live programs in the first line, click on browse and have 4 rows to select either Featured, Sports, Leagues and Conferences. Two clicks to get into everything regarding Bundesliga. Easy and intuitive for me. Click on Schedules & Replays you get three tabs Live, Upcoming and Replay. Again two or three clicks to get to the destination NO scrolling I hate that.
    .
    On the Chromecast more arrow navigation then I like but follows the same pattern except since it is only 1080p less rows and columns on the screen but no scrolling again.
    .
    On Peacock after clicking Sports two HUGE panels of Live content, with 5 panels below for Live and Upcoming. Noticed a change there is now a line below showing “Latest Events, Highlights & News” which is trying to imitate ESPN+ and their Sports or Featured menu. So there is hope that Peacock may reach the ease of navigation that I like in ESPN+.
    .
    You can tell Peacock has not quite figured out how to present and unify the User Interface to its users. On the PC the Browse Button will always be highlighted after you click any of the other tabs except Channels. That threw me off at first as it is totally against any User Interface conventions I realized just ignore what the top tab bar says.
    .
    On the Peacock App it is different as the top bar navigation follows user convention and an underline bar shows what is selected. However on 1080p the use of screen real estate is at best wasteful as the Peacock panels are too huge and wastefully organized. I am excusing this since they are new to the streaming game and promised a relaunch of their product.

  98. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    @Michael F – You are correct, sorry I’m thinking of Paramount+.

  99. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    @JP – I was watching the Monaco Lille game, actually was very good as well. Another red though, the French have really lost their marbles lately, playing the wrong type of football half the time!

    @Greg – In many cases the point is not to save money though. I pay about $75 all in for streaming, and that’s considering Peacock, Apple TV and Amazon Video for free. But I have access to just about everything on this great planet earth, often completely commercial free, so this is a bargain compared to a $100 cable bill for the same crappy 200 channels. The benefit in streaming is not saving money, it’s the significantly wider variety of content and not being locked into a monopoly with a cable company. This is partly what’s so frustrating – companies are not making the most of flexibility streaming provides. NBC doesn’t include the sky content, ESPN doesn’t show games they have rights to, Paramount seems to be the only one really trying to make everything they have available in some way to stream. People will pay, but they aren’t going to pay the same or more for the same thing on cable.

  100. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    @Mercator. Your quote: “Why would Comcast not have improved it much in the last 2 years? We still can’t pause.” I am assuming you mean pause live matches? Wrong. You can pause live matches and I believe scroll back the time line to beginning of match while it is airing live. This ability is not yet featured in Parmaount+ for live matches.

    Someone please correct me if I am wrong. I believe this feature was added to Peacock a few months ago. Paramount+ is still behind there.

  101. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    @Michael F – No errant reporting of facts, ESPN did put the standard stream of the games on ESPN+ for Semis and Finals of the Euros. Prior to those rounds, it was the three screen view. They received an immense amount of criticism for this and then changed their approach in the later rounds of the tournament. Again, I really have no favorites in this fight, I will praise a broadcaster when they get it right and complain when they get it wrong. I actually cancelled my Disney bundle initially I was upset about ESPN+ not putting the Euros on, had to quickly sign up again after complaints from the family. I know you think we have some agenda against NBC, but most people really don’t we are clear about what we expect and NBC is just the worst at providing that.

    SteveK – I don’t think fox or warner is a legitimate broadcaster for football, I think the market takes the same view. They were always going to have to pay a premium (just as Fubo would need to), because they are obviously so bad in all other aspects only a significantly higher bid would be competitive. But for NBC, ESPN, CBS or Amazon, I think the PL would just have taken the highest bid, given the remaining intangibles are somewhat similar with each broadcaster have strengths and weaknesses. NBC is trash on Peacock but they have a good Broadcast and the Sky partnership. ESPN has a great marketing presence and ESPN+ is best in business, but they can’t offer the same linear access. I would say all 4 of those are “serious” bidders and among them EPL will go with the money, but they obviously aren’t going to shoot themselves in the foot and go with fox or warner for a few extra million. I will also say, I’m not sure Peacock will improve. Why would Comcast not have improved it much in the last 2 years? We still can’t pause. They probably had to pay more for the EPL rights because of how bad peacock is, if they had a good streaming platform they would be far and away the best option and as a result could probably win with an even lower bid. They are incompetent at best, I think we need to be honest about that.

    I don’t understand the navigation issue. Peacock was worse originally, but with the PL Hub it’s now quite similar to ESPN+ and Paramount+, both of which have the same hub concept. I find ESPN to be the most intelligent, what I want to watch is almost always known and presented first. Peacock got much better at this recently, but still not that great and often doesn’t present the EPL first (the only thing I use it for). P+ is basically useless in this respect, you have to go to the content hub. But after that point P+ is well organized.

    And FYI – people just won’t pay for multiple services and will drop the ones they are about the least, which is Peacock for the vast majority of consumers (Paramount+ also). Disney is usually a keeper, Netflix a keeper, and most people have prime. The rest, people just aren’t going to pay for en mass. I actually pay about as much all things considered as a cable subscription, but I get infinitely more content. We are not all looking to save a buck, some of us just want a better experience. Again, sad I have to resort to alternatives to get Sky content while Comcast struggles to drum up interest in a streaming app that could easily present this. They really should be doing so much more with that they have.

  102. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    @SteveK. One more comment I have about ESPN+ navigation. I completely concur with you and this is the first time I am bringing it up and I am actually amazed there isn’t more complaints about their navigation. You open the app and it shows everything that is live playing at the time. Hockey, basketball, soccer, tennis etc etc. it’s information overload the moment you sign in! Where is the choices at the top to go to where you want? Not there. Need to scroll way down to find what you want. And specific daily shows — like NHL’s ‘In the Crease’ highlights is buried far below. Scroll way down and then way over to the right! ESPN+ most certainly could use a redesign for ease of navigation.

  103. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    @SteveK. I would agree. But this whole discussion of what streaming app is better is always going to be about individual preferences. I know there are several that like to multicast numerous matches at the same time – and ESPN+ provides this capability, so that now becomes the best streaming app there is… to those that want that feature. But for those where navigation is important and just get me to the content I want to watch a single match… then that makes that streaming app meets their needs.

    Some continuously exclaim one streaming app is terrible and the other is great, and usually it is somewhere in between based on preference. It is the age of social media where over-sensationalizing is done so as to make a point and be heard.

  104. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    @Mercator True. I am a hard-core soccer fan, but I don’t bother to watch EPL because it is not convenient for me. I will not subscribe to cable before the end of time, and I don’t bother myself to watch a single weekly match on NBC if I am not following what is happening in the league.

  105. SteveK

    November 19, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Paramount+ is miles better than ESPN+ though, it is solid 2nd behind Peacock. If you notice, there’s no “Sports” tab on the top line, it is just Shows Movies and News so right off the bat Peacock is better. But at least Paramount+ added the “My List” option so now you can put an Europa League or Champions League or Serie A icon right there on the front page and it is one click to get to their version of the Premier League Hub for each league. There’s still a lot of clicking and scrolling, backing in and backing out, to search for what you want once you are there but at least Paramount+ cuts the clutter to get there.

  106. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    @SteveK. The navigation of Peacock is the same on Roku and Samsung smart tv as it on Apple TV. I have all devices.

  107. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    @greg. I will add to SteveK stating the same… excellent post.

    I never understand this ‘pie in the sky’ idea that when we go to this all-streaming-world (if/when it ever does happen), that we’re spending less in a household. Sure the choices may be more specific in our choices than getting a hundred channels, but it still all adds up in the end – and is only advantageous for those living alone with their own choices. Entertainment costs money, regardless of how it is brought to us.

  108. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    @Michael F – I fully understand Comcast’s commercial needs and that they are not going to be able to do everything to please everyone. I would reiterate my three main points though.

    1. This commercial need is driven in part by how much NBC pays to secure the rights. The more they pay for them, the more they have to take actions unfriendly to the consumer in order to get a return. I just don’t see anyone overpaying as a positive for fans, and I’m shocked this is at all controversial.

    2. There is a lot NBC could do to improve the product without harming their revenue streams. This includes adding Sky content, improving Peacock’s technical capabilities so video quality is 60 fps and the app is more stable, making PLTV content on demand, and adding a cable login portion to Peacock so those with cable access can get everything in one spot. I have no clue why they have not done this yet, but I think it indicates they are no where near as competent or concerned with the EPL as many people assume.

    3. The way they do business, by making cable a requirement, is not good for the growth of the game or the league among younger fans, a key demographic. I understand from a business perspective why they are loath to do this, but lets not pretend everything is fine and this isn’t an issue. I also think its an issue if everything is only on streaming, it’s important to have games on broadcast TV to reach many fans. My only point is that by not offering an option for cord cutters, NBC is really limiting the reach of the league among many fans. I would say the same thing if it were on ESPN+ and never on TV. The ideal would be everything on TV and simulcast to stream – that’s not the business reality yet. But NBC is far further from this reality than any other broadcaster, which I think is a perfectly valid and understandable reason so many fans are displeased. I know most other leagues are like this as well, and frankly the same strategy severely harms those other leagues. The lack of a streaming option for games is killing baseball at the moment, and hurting NBA interest as well. NBC shouldn’t be surprised Peacock is a failure, when it doesn’t do the basics of every other streaming platform in providing most of these games to stream. We focus so much on single digit changes in the ratings and whatnot… but from my perspective they are losing an entire generation of fans with this strategy. Yes the hardcore ones pirate to get what they want, but most just don’t bother to watch. It ultimately it translates into less interest in the game and lower long term revenues. It’s really not a matter of being cheap or unwilling to pay, its a concern NBC is not reaching a significant number of potential fans.

  109. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    @SteveK. Amen!…. on the navigation comparison to find the specific soccer content on ESPN+ and Paramount+ vs Peacock. Peacock is much easier to get to this content you want.

  110. SteveK

    November 19, 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Concise and excellent post greg.

  111. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    @Mercator. Once again, I want to correct your errant reporting of the facts.

    This statement of yours. Your quote: “ESPN did put the back half of the Euros on ESPN+ after massive complains for not doing so originally.”

    The massive amount of complaints was not the fact that ESPN+ was not airing the Euro 2020 matches. They were airing these matches. It was the fact that ESPN+ was airing all these Euro 2020 matches on a 3 way split screen experience. If you wanted to watch these matches the way everyone expects to watch a match traditionally — you needed to subscribe to get linear ESPN networks.

  112. SteveK

    November 19, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    Hans, let me add this caveat, I don’t know what you are using to access ESPN+ Paramount+ or Peacock, I’m basing my navigation assessments solely on Apple TV apps because that’s how I access all 3. It is entirely likely that the fantastic Peacock navigation to the Premier League Hub I experience is due to the Apple TV.

  113. JP

    November 19, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    @Everyone. While you were bickering, probably missed a massive upset of Bayern and a great Mechelen v Club Brugge match (few minutes left).

    PS, whatever Comcast is paying you, MichaelF, for public relations, not enough 😉

  114. greg

    November 19, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    @Hans, the article you quoted is, to be blunt. written poorly, confusing as hell. And you top it off to write “without the offsetting gains…” You can’t discount the gains of the internet delivered services (vMPVD). That’s where about half of the lost cable subs seem to go (me included).

    If you go to the source report: www leichtmanresearch com/major-pay-tv-providers-lost-about-650000-subscribers-in-3q-2021/

    …you can see that the real bottom line is overall, between cable & other major providers, the net loss was 1,333,5000. The vMPVD services gained 679,884 for a net pay-tv loss of 653,616…yes.

    But, for companies like Comcast & Time-Warner that also run cable ISPs, they still collect money for internet service. And for TimeWarner it’s possible more folks picked up HBO Max as stand-alone (I did).

    All to say that while traditional cable is losing subscribers, people are still paying for entertainment somehow, they’re just paying Netflix, Amazon, HBO & others directly. IOW, it’s all about the specific content each service provides.

    Is that an argument for more individualized streaming services? Possibly. But what happens when people start adding it up & realizing they’re paying just as much for 3-5 streaming services as they were with cable and decide to drop say Apple+ or Disney or AMC or whatever? What goes? Depends on the household, who wants to watch what, the price-points….

    Which is why I still can’t get my head around a mass migration to streaming because unless you set up enough shared accounts to mitigate costs (and the services don’t limit passwords to say specific IP addresses or regions) you still end up paying a bill similar to the old world of cable. Because ultimately it costs money to procure sports rights, or make movies or series or whatever. And the consumer has to pay for that.

  115. SteveK

    November 19, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Hans, I know you have Peacock now and are not solely a pirate anymore, so I can’t let you get away with Peacock supposedly being rubbish in its navigation. Since the introduction of the Premier League Hub, it is now better than ESPN+ and Paramount+ in terms of getting right to ALL the Premier League stuff quickly and easily. From the app first screen, click over to Sports, click one row down to the big unmissable PL Hub window and bang, you are there for everything Premier League. All the games live, all the games on demand, all the shows on demand, all the highlights on demand. All right there.

    Do you have any idea how hard it is, how many clicks and pages and scrolling you have to do to find the particular soccer game on ESPN+ that you want? Do you watch soccer on ESPN+ or on Peacock or do you just watch rugby? It is baffling and convoluted just to find the Soccer icon on ESPN+ because it is such a low priority, you have to weed through so many shows and other sports, and then once you are there after about 50 clicks you can click on, say, Carabao Cup or FA Cup and be presented with the games. It is maddening compared to Peacock and the Premier League.

  116. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    @SteveK good response. thank you.

    @Mercator. This is a good example of you leaving some facts out. It’s easy to do so out of convenience to make your point, but we should at least be providing opinions based on what is factual.

  117. SteveK

    November 19, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    Mercator “The EPL chose NBC because they offered a ridiculous amount of money, more than $50m a year over any other serious broadcaster.”

    According to multiple reliable sources the Warnermedia Fox bid was higher than Comcast, who here would have predicted that the 20 PL owners would choose to take less money? Weren’t most here predicting the only thing the PL was interested in WAS money? I suspect the PL chose Comcast for that ridiculous amount of money but also for a lot of little reasons that added up in the end.

    Peacock will improve, Comcast won’t want another Olympics streaming debacle, now that they know the Premier League is going to be around for another 6 years we should expect more from them. Put yourself in their shoes–with the rights running down just how much more should Comcast have sunk into the Premier League not knowing if they’d win renewal? Now they know. Now they can implement some sort of long term strategy whereas before they had to be in a holding pattern. I suspect we see a lot more Sky-NBC convergence online and in studio. My next Comcast domino–shift properties around, clear legislative hurdles, and acquire Paramount+

  118. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    @SteveK. As to last paragraph about the young viewers watching soccer. I can say I have witnessed the same exact thing. Throughout his teen years, my son and all his friends were watching the EPL and UCL via cable or cable-like subscriptions. He is now 23 years old and his friends about the same age… and NONE of them are watching soccer currently, my son catches scores and a few highlights – but NEVER sits to watch matches. They got ME into this sport!! And it is ME that is watching it religiously now. Pretty funny.

  119. Hans

    November 19, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    @Mercator
    All your points regarding the terrible Peacock service I agree with and are valid PLUS Comcast knows that now. A relaunch is planned for 2022, sort of like the Romney presidential camp needed a relaunch after the hidden tapes were made public about the 47% wanting stuff for free,
    .
    So Peacock is rubbish in its navigation, picture quality, starting time etc. Many are used to wanting to watch what they want when they want and where they want WITHOUT cable and DVR. Comcast’s present infra structure doesn’t allow for that YET hopefully, plus their technical development team must not be on speaking terms with their European counterparts.
    .
    One thing is for sure the market is going in the direction of streaming plus on-line availability and unless the providers meet that demand they will be standing there watching someone else cashing in on that revenue stream and having the EPL rights will only generate revenue from the hard core fans but will not add neutrals and the youth demographics.

  120. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    @SteveK. What is somewhat incredible to me – is that there are those that complained that the Euro 2020 was not available on ESPN+ in the traditional live air coverage, yet these ones only had to pay $10 to watch it all that way via Sling… or.. live with the split screen coverage on ESPN+ with their current subscription.

    This is easily the age of whining about every small “injustice’ (in their eyes). sorry, don’t mean to be so flippant, but jeepers creepers. This content costs the providers money too. It’s business. They are in for a profit.

  121. SteveK

    November 19, 2021 at 3:53 pm

    Ra “I know they need to keep milking the cow, but how many here subscribe to cable because of the EPL? For me, only WC and Euros made me get a single month of Sling mo of Sling blue for $10.”

    That’s funny, I did the same exact thing, subscribed for the $10 month of Sling just for the Euros just so I could get ESPN and ESPN2, I knew they weren’t going to put everything on ESPN+ even though I was already subscribed to ESPN+ for Serie A, and the English cups. But I did re-up with Sling once this PL season started and yes, that’s the only thing I watch on Sling. Had Fubo the previous two seasons and appreciated the DVR capabilities of both, but since I’m only watching the PL and Sling is half the price of Fubo I switched.

    “All providers went on record to say how uniquely positioned soccer is for streaming. Both soccer and streaming cater to a younger audience in the US. Truth is that the older, cable, hard-core EPL audience is not the holy grail the networks are looking for. That is the big disconnect. My kids don’t even recognize the shirts of EPL teams, because we have only Paramount, F1 and ESPN+ at home.

    I’ve said this a million times so once more won’t hurt, no one really knows how soon the streaming revolution will overtake us, each network and cable company has made different inroads, they’ve each had successes and missteps so far, and in my mind there will be some serious consolidation coming well before we hit the third year of Comcast’s new PL deal. Do you think Paramount+ will stay just the way it is? No, the antitrust hurdles will be cleared and someone will buy them, it might be by Comcast. So much will happen just within the first 3 years of that deal that we can’t foresee. I am not sure there is one holy grail but I do know this–advertisers want to reach viewers who will spend money, is it only the young spending money these days?

    I only know one kid who watches soccer, he started out a Chelsea fan because his father was a Chelsea and watched actual premier league games on TV with his other soccer playing buddies. That was three years ago, now, he never watches actual games anymore, never sits down in front of a TV for soccer. He is all about watching Youtube highlights of players he likes, Pogba, Neymar and Youtube highlights. That’s it. Like I said it is just the one kid I know but I have a feeling LOTS of young kids are just like him. They aren’t the holy grail for anyone.

  122. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    @Mercator. I will apologize for my seemingly snide remarks earlier. Your points and questions are somewhat legit… to a degree. But again… this is not a perfect world or fit for everyone. This is a cable company. They chose to do business a certain way. I will now quote a great paragraph provided earlier (above) by @SteveK. See below this paragraph of mine. Some of the things you demand that should be happening is simply not reality yet. As you yourself have been wondering, how is Comcast going to get back their profit for this new deal? And I am sorry your friends don’t have access to all the live EPL matches. Neither does every football, baseball, basketball, hockey fan that chooses to not subscribe or can’t afford cable or cable-like tv stream service. Unless they pirate. This is reality.

    “Comcast is not going to do anything that jeopardizes their income from NBC and USA. One nice thing they have started doing is simulcasting the NBC games on Peacock, they do that with the NFL as well. CBS also does this putting their NFL games on Paramount+ but by the way, that’s not something that ESPN or Fox does with their NFL games. If you want to watch their NFL games you watch them OTA or via your cable bundle. Why do you think that is? It’s because not everyone is rushing to get everything streamed, there is money tied up in NOT rushing headlong into streaming.”

  123. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Kudos to ESPN! They will broadcast St. Pauli’s game tomorrow!!

  124. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    @Michael F. I am actually not complaining; I am satisfied with my ESPN+/Paramount combo. I have all soccer ex-EPL for $12 (I actually pay some more to P+ because I do not stand commercials).

    I am just debating that I don’t think NBC is able to maximize their EPL profit pool with their fetish for cable.

  125. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    @Ra. Correction on sentence in paragraph 3: “ MANY are happy with this decision to stay with NBC. Many are not. We obviously know that aren’t.”

  126. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    @Michael F – Yes, and I just explained why. Football is a social sport and I prefer to enjoy it with friends, friends who have no interest in what NBC is offering. This is a big part of enjoying the matches for me and its somewhat ruined by NBC because, unlike every other football league, you need cable to watch and none of my friends have cable or will get cable. These are the young people with disposable income the EPL seems to place such a high priority on. Their introduction to the game is a Barcelona match on ESPN+, because EPL is buried behind a cable paywall. The biggest thing to boost the EPL popularity among my friend group is probably Sinclair’s nonsense with RSN rights – this led almost all my MLB and NBA friends to find alternative means of watching, which fortunately also enables them to watch the EPL. Again, you are doing a very poor job as broadcaster when your most valuable demographic pirates all your games.

    Matches 24 hours after the fact are absolutely worthless in my view. It would be one thing if they were on demand immediately, this would help with the early matches for us non-east coasters. But 24 hours after the fact? Useless. I don’t know why you think Im cherrypicking, I’ve said MULTIPLE times what NBC’s strengths are, and their broadcast is good. You are the one with your head in the sand here insisting there is nothing wrong with Peacock despite the litany of complaints from just about everyone who has used the platform, and despite it’s obvious commercial failure to date. Again, NBC broadcasts are solid, Peacock and NBC’s broadcast strategy are a joke. This is the majority view of most fans, please check the comments here or anywhere else online. You are the one taking the insane position of cherrypicking the positives while spinning and making absurd claims to justify Peacock.

    The EPL chose NBC because they offered a ridiculous amount of money, more than $50m a year over any other serious broadcaster. Again though, you are on here lying about the reasons behind it in some silly attempt to defend NBC’s worst practices. I know you are an EPL fan so this really baffles me because its just not good for the league. Again, why are casuals asking me about La Liga clubs instead of EPL clubs? This is down solely to the broadcaster, no one mentioned La Liga when it was on Bein and that was when Messi was still around. This cannot be good business – NBC is getting maybe 1-2 “viewers” and zero revenue out of the 8-9 big EPL fans in my group chat. The saddest part is it doesn’t have to be this way, with a few improvements too peacock and a willingness to make all the games available on Peacock (even at an extra fee), NBC would be an excellent platform. Why is Sky content not on peacock, why do I have to watch alternatively to get that? Why can I not login to peacock with a cable login so all the games are in one place? Why is Peacock still 30fps if their biggest property is a sport? I really would love to hear a serious answer to this – these are all things NBC could easily do to significantly improve the product at no real cost to them, and yet they have not. I know you think we complain endlessly here and yell into a void, but not that ESPN did put the back half of the Euros on ESPN+ after massive complains for not doing so originally. These businesses depend on us, as viewers and consumers, and the only way to get the product the league deserves is to demand it from NBC, not to make excuses for every one of their failings.

  127. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    @Ra. Live in the real world, please. And I DO demand more. I am happy EPL is staying with NBC – because provide what I want in the coverage of the EPL that I am not convinced any other provider or providers would (especially if they dumped it all on their stream service). I am ok to have some matches on linear and other matches on streaming for now. It doesn’t bother me in the least, because I am not paying a cent more today for it.

    EPL wanted linear presence with their new contract. It’s obvious. They chose a cable company conglomerate to continue their long relationship.

    The fact is… there are some (like yourself perhaps) that I believe have demands that are beyond reality. Time to face that reality. Hate Comcast all you want and make a choice to pay or not pay. Maybe are happy with this decision to stay with NBC. Many are not. We obviously know that aren’t.

    But I gotta tell ya… if I truly did cut the cord and had to live with the fact of what is today for all the soccer content available at the price points I can get it (live or on-demand)… and that includes EPL on Peacock!… I would not complain. It’s $5 a month.

  128. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    @Michael F. Friendly reminder that complaining about complaining is still complaining…

  129. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    And wait for it…. Mercator above confesses he gets Peacock for free!!

    Have fun trail blazing your way to —“ I complain about anything and everything because of principles”…. I won’t join such a venture and it’s a complete waste of time. Life is way too short. The guy has access to all EPL matches and endlessly targets NBC/Peacock with negativity. Maybe I should impressed one has the time in their life to expend such energy.

  130. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    @Michael F. Michael, can you help me find more customers like you for my business? What are your hobbies? Most customers demand more for less, but very few would spend their time arguing that people should be grateful for paying more for less.

  131. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    @Ra. Classic echo chamber cord cutter reply. Lol. At $5 per month, to get 50% of matches live and the other 50% 24 hours later that air live only on linear for the most popular domestic soccer league in the world… I would not complain. Just because other providers give all matches live of their less popular leagues and competition throughout a calendar year… is immaterial!

    This has been about b*tchin and complaining endlessly to get everything on the cheap. That’s what cord cutters have now become. And even those that haven’t cut the cord and have the content all live …. complain!! Amazing. The same ones that claim it’s not about cost. For $5 a month… it shouldn’t be.

    Here is what I will never do. Complain about something that should be – when I already have it!! Here is looking at you Mercator. Lol

  132. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    @Michael F. Do you buy expired meat at the supermarket because it is a great deal? I don’t. That is what I think about the day-old matches at Peacock for a low price.

  133. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    @SteveK I know they need to keep milking the cow, but how many here subscribe to cable because of the EPL? For me, only WC and Euros made me get a single month of Sling mo of Sling blue for $10.
    All providers went on record to say how uniquely positioned soccer is for streaming. Both soccer and streaming cater to a younger audience in the US. Truth is that the older, cable, hard-core EPL audience is not the holy grail the networks are looking for. That is the big disconnect. My kids don’t even recognize the shirts of EPL teams, because we have only Paramount, F1 and ESPN+ at home.
    That is why I think that ESPN’s 140M for LaLiga makes more sense then NBC’s 433M. I see a lot of kids wearing Barca and Real jerseys. There seems to have a great potential for ESPN there. I see limited upside potential for NBC unless they rewrite their whole business plan.

  134. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    @Mercator. I am shaking my head at your very lengthy reply. You have YTTV and yet you care so much that all matches are not carried live on Peacock. Amazing. And yes, of course I knew what you were saying about all matches on a stream service, yet the fact is Peacock DOES have all EPL matches on their stream service. Some live and some 24 hours later… at an amazing price of $5 per month.

    Like so many cord cutters that shout through an echo chamber — You choose to cherry pick the negative and ignore the positives.

    The fact is… EPL chose NBC for reasons obvious to all. They give their league priority and assure it gets the exposure and promotion it wants of its league.

  135. SteveK

    November 19, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    Ra, the whole streaming subscriber thing has yet to shake out, what armchair quarterbacks think they know about the future of streaming is not much at this point.

    Comcast is not going to do anything that jeopardizes their income from NBC and USA. One nice thing they have started doing is simulcasting the NBC games on Peacock, they do that with the NFL as well. CBS also does this putting their NFL games on Paramount+ but by the way, that’s not something that ESPN or Fox does with their NFL games. If you want to watch their NFL games you watch them OTA or via your cable bundle. Why do you think that is? It’s because not everyone is rushing to get everything streamed, there is money tied up in NOT rushing headlong into streaming.

  136. Hans

    November 19, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    I do not pretend to have the answers to what would be best for any EPL fan and I think the networks are also not sure how to address the changing landscape to satisfy us. What we as fans want at prices we are willing to pay will not match what the providers need to receive, that is at the core of the problem.
    .
    To add to this today were released the numbers for legacy Pay-TV subscribers. According to pcmag . com /news/cord-cuttings-latest-toll-134-million-legacy-pay-tv-subscribers-gone in the article “Cord Cutting’s Latest Toll: 1.34 Million Legacy Pay-TV Subscribers Gone” it shows just how badly traditional services got clocked in the 3rd quarter.
    .
    The top seven cable operators combined to lose 700,500 subscribers, a figure we may find easier to visualize as “almost the population of Denver.” The biggest among them, Comcast, reported that 407,000 video customers canceled service (a roughly Bakersfield, Calif.-sized figure) to leave it with 18.55 million video subs. Without the gains of almost 680,000 from live TV streamers like Hulu, Sling and Fubo TV, the data shows that cable and satellite lost 1.34 million customers for the quarter.
    .
    This just confirms to me there must have been other reasons for Comcast to pay $2.6 billion for the EPL rights and it looks like these numbers just added to the woes of their bottom line as over the past year, top pay-TV providers had a net loss of about 5,1 million subscribers, compared to a loss of about 4,8 million over the prior year.
    .
    For me this now slightly turns to hope Comcast will live up to the EPL’s expectation and present us with excellent matches and programs, rather than who should have gotten the rights. As said earlier in this thread the outcome will be fun to watch.

  137. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    @Michael F – It’s not really an assumption given what we know now. CBS has always put everything on Paramount+, and really have no other option to put in on TV. Every single football package they have is available there, as would the EPL. ESPN was more of a question mark, but again they don’t have space on ESPN to put EPL games, and ESPN has stated that was never the plan. Based on the FAQ its clear their initial bid was streaming only, and the EPL told them in the second round they need to put games on their broadcast networks. So really the only assumption here is that the games on ABC would also be on ESPN+ (and this would be max 1-2 games a week anyway), and I agree that may not be the case but this is far less offensive as ABC is free to air (like NBC, no one complains about the games on NBC). Put another way, thinking the games wouldn’t all be on streaming is an assumption you are making, and one not backed by any evidence, which all points to having all games available to stream.

    Peacock does not air all matches live. Of course we are talking about live matches, what a silly retort to say they are available after the fact on demand. And 30% or 50%, the point is it’s not all the games, it’s not close to all the games, and recently things are worse because its not clear if the big games will be on linear or Peacock. Again, bizarre the lengths you seem willing to go to defend the indefensible. I agree with you about NBC’s top shelf broadcasts, but you lose all credibility when you start making excuses like this for Peacock.

    I agree P+ isn’t much better, and I don’t watch delayed games on the platforms so I’m sure you are correct about this flaw. But again, all the games are on P+, and in 60 fps. Spin things however you want to make NBC look good, the vast majority of fans would rather have ALL games in 60 fps than whatever Peacock is doing. Even the shoulder programming they screw up, half the PL stuff is not available on demand and the channel still doesn’t have a guide telling you what is on when. CBS puts all the UCL magazines and additional content on P+ on demand, it’s actually better than Peacock in this regard.

    You act like we just woke up one day and said screw Peacock lol, it’s a terrible platform and you can go anywhere on the internet to get the same views. It’s not performing well commercially. It has fewer paying subscribers than any of the other platforms. Look at any of the commentary on the new rights deal, like or dislike NBC, everyone seems to agree Peacock could be much better and is far worse than ESPN+ or P+. You can say this is subjective, but it’s like saying that North Korea being a worse place to live than the US is subjective. It’s a meaningless comment one uses when they have nothing substantive to say in return.

    And yes, I do have YTTV but in fairness I split this 6 ways so the cost isn’t really relevant and I only have it for older members of the family who aren’t as tech literate and so I can login to watch FOX 4K content. I also have Peacock, I get it free. I still watch almost all the matches via alternative means, not because of money but because the product is significantly better (I have multicast, the app is more stable than peacock and 60fps, and I can get Sky/BT content even though NBC is good and I often alternatively watch the NBC broadcast). I don’t care that much, but the reason I do is because I would much prefer my peers to follow the EPL. Aside from the already big EPL fans, none of my peers are getting into EPL because they aren’t going to pay for Peacock and don’t have cable. It annoys me to have friends asking about La Liga because they see games on ESPN+, and not knowing a damn thing about Arsenal because they can’t access most EPL content unless I send them bootleg links. I don’t want it to be this way, and actually I would pay significantly for a good product (I think I was the only one saying I would pay $200 to Amazon if they got the rights and did it properly). But no one is signing up for cable to get the EPL, it’s that simple. In my view, the broadcaster is not doing a good job if I have to get friends into piracy before I’m able to get them to follow EPL, and they are not doing a good job if they can’t make money off a hardcore willing to pay EPL fan like me. I know this isn’t a concern of yours, but again I don’t know any of my peers who have cable unless they are using their parents login – the EPL should be easily accessible for these potential fans and instead they are locked out. As a result I have to entertain discussions with casuals about Barcelona because whenever I bring up Arsenal I get a “Bro, send me a link you know I don’t have cable.”

  138. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 1:23 pm

    I enjoy discussing more than I enjoy watching the EPL. With that said, I don’t understand why Peacock doesn’t offer all EPL games in their premium tier. It is obvious to me that they would have more subscribers and make more money than they do today.

  139. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    @Mercator. Perhaps I was being presumptuous in thinking you truly have cut the cord. I can’t recall but I think you actually did tell me that you have YTTV. Forgive me if I mistaken for someone else. If you do, why do you care if Peacock doesn’t air all the matches live. If you only have YTTV for the EPL, that is your decision and preference. I have UTTV for several other reasons other than for the EPL, so I can justify it myself personally as to why I continue with it.

  140. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    @Mercator. Fair enough. Although I will still claim there is plenty of subjective opinion in your above statements specific to Peacock vs Paramount+, and even the linear tv coverage discussion. Like the following:

    First, you are making the assumption that ESPN or Paramount+ would telecast all EPL matches live on their stream apps just because they currently do with what soccer leagues they have now. That is an assumption. Not fact. As it was, ESPN didn’t air all Serie A matches last season on ESPN+ and in fact never had those available on-demand later. Admittedly, it was rare, but it happen. EPL has way more demand throughout the whole year than any other league or competition (including UCL). Yes, UCL’s demand is high when it gets to round of 16 – but it’s still mid week, which is harder for many to tune into live (people have to work!)

    And peacock DOES air ALL Premier league matches, just not all of them are aired live. And the ratio is not 30%. Look at the weekly EPL aired schedule and you will find that it is easily 50/50 and probably more so that the matches aired live on Peacock are more than those aired live on their linear networks.

    Paramount+ takes many hours before their UCL matches are available on-demand (granted not 24 hours) but many hours… and at least we know with Peacock when it will be available! peacock tells you. We have no idea with Paramount+. It will be at some point later in the day that it aired its match live. The UCL coverage also provides score spoilers of the matches constantly – so what is the point to saving a match to watch later?. Peacock’s live aired matches are world feed and they never provide spoilers of other matches aired before or at the same time. Yes, the one exception is the live aired match on NBC OTA that is simulcasted on Peacock with NBC feed.

    Peacock airs all the daily 24/7 shoulder programming and some of these shows available on-demand. What does Paramount+ do aside from UCL match day in providing and promoting and exposing the UCL or Serie A leagues… on a daily basis?

    Plus anyone that has linear tv via cable-like sub is not looking at Peacock as inferior to Paramount+… only the true cord cutters are. Like yourself. Again, preference.

    Again… this is subjectivity to preferences. Not factual that Paramount+ is infinitely better than Peacock. Just your opinion that admittedly a good many share. Doesn’t make it fact. It’s preference to what they have or want, and what they are willing to spend their money on.

  141. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    @Michael F – Yes, Paramount+ is miles better than Peacock only because all games are actually one it. We would all live with Peacock if the games were all on it, but they aren’t. On any value proposition, CBS is going to come out way ahead because you are getting all the games, not 30% of them like Peacock. But I know this obvious fact tends to annoy you so move past that – Paramount+ is far better video, it’s 60fps for me. Peacock still 30fps. I also think it’s poorly organised and has much less compelling content, but I will agree these final two points are subjective. Peacock didn’t accidentally become the most despised major streaming platform in the US, it earned that. I will also say I have never had anywhere close to the technical issues on Paramount+ that I had on Peacock, but again this may be luck of the draw and recently both have been quite stable for me.

    Second point, because it’s two broadcast channels, not one. The FAQ indicated both CBS and ABC would have made slots available as requested by the EPL. Each network does have room for one weekend game each, where it is crowded is on the cable channels like ESPN, but a cable channel is no where near the same as broadcast exposure. A game on ABC and a game on CBS is going to get you a much broader reach than one game on NBC (and this says nothing about having two broadcasters, including the leading sports broadcaster, pushing your product online). If this was about reach, ESPN/CBS would have provided the most once they conceded to a set amount of games on their broadcast networks. I just don’t think this is a compelling enough point to the EPL though to justify taking a bid that’s $50m lower per year, pissing off you legacy partner and current UK partner.

    Nothing emphatic or prophetic about what I am saying. I really do hope I am wrong. I just have yet to see any serious explanation of how Comcast can break even financially, and given what we all know about Comcast, it should be very concerning for fans knowing Comcast needs to find a way to make a lot more of revenue out of this product than they have in the past.

  142. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 11:42 am

    @Hans A good measured and balanced response. I probably should have more clearly specified my comment about being a prophet to the emphatic statements given by @Mercator.

    Much of this discussion turns into subjective opinion, when certain ones speak with authority like its fact, and I simply wanted to point that out. I can even be guilty of that. We all sprinkle our comments with some opinion, and that’s ok when we do… so as long as we admit that’s what they are. It’s also good to state the reasons behind why there is that opinion.

  143. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 11:31 am

    @Mercator And please tell me how ESPN/CBS can reach a wider audience on linear TV than NBC can? All have OTA and cable networks in most households that have cable-like subs, and NBC (for example) has open slots that won’t compete with any other US sport, something ESPN cannot do because they do have other prioritized US sports they carry over the course of the EPL season.

  144. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 11:25 am

    @Mercator I only have time to pick at one of your points at the moment. Your quote: “And ESPN/CBS are infinitely better on just about everything but the actual broadcast – their platforms are better, they are cheaper, they can reach a wider audience on linear TV.”

    I would definitely disagree with you regarding Paramount+. That is a very subjective statement and a simply leaning of your preference.

    Paramount+ infinitely better than Peacock? Please state reasons on how they are. I see little difference in overall quality of stream app layout and they haven’t even added pause and rewind, and until recently their video quality on UCL matches was sub-par on several platforms.

  145. Hans

    November 19, 2021 at 11:12 am

    @Michael F
    “Will prices go up? I suppose so at some point. They always do. Everyone raises their prices eventually … I will simply make a choice to pay or not pay if I think it’s worth it or not.”
    .
    Since we are in the war for video consumption, different rules apply and each company may make decisions that they would not make in normal situations. YTTV and Roku both made the unusual decisions when they had provider problems, to add channels at no additional costs and sometimes even threatening to give a refund. I had a whole year of free Peacock service as I complained over the bait and switch and got a refund. They correctly banked on the auto renewal process. It is perfectly summed up in the statement “Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures”.
    .
    We agree on the decision point of whether to pay or not. For me that point will be Nov 2022. As you very well remember my 1st choice was for Comcast to retain the rights IF and this is a BIG IF, they decide to put all the games on Peacock. If not my choice was ViacomCBS. Just checked other sources for the EPL rights and the Optus network in Australia also has the rights until 2028 plus other soccer rights however, with yearly auto renew their subscription is $102 (US) this gives you an idea of where Comcast has to be heading price wise and Optus didn’t splurge for $2.6 billion (US).
    .
    “You essentially speak as if it all is going to go down as you say – like you’re some prophet”. NOT REALLY, there is a reason why analysts and money managers are being paid multi million dollar bonuses as it is their job to predict profit outcomes for projects, we are just repeating their findings as many here don’t recognize that companies live by the governing principle “make an overall profit or cut your losses”, case in point TBN and the UEFA competitions as they went suddenly to ViacomCBS.
    .
    Do I want NBC to succeed, YES and will make changes in my consumption if they are dickish about maintaining a fragmented EPL presentation.

  146. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 11:01 am

    @Michael F – I don’t think any of us are prophets, I just cannot see how NBC makes money on this if they were not making a profit on the last deal. I don’t really care about their bottom line, my concern is what NBC will do to try to recoup these losses. Given the price, it’s already clear Peacock will not simulcast all games. I wouldn’t be surprised if NBC starts spreading the games across even more of their cable channels for revenue reasons. NBC will get into disputes with carriers and large portions of subscribers may lose access to games. I cannot see NBC spending much to improve their broadcast or Peacock itself, and why would they?

    A – A fair point and surely there will be growth of the game in the next few years, particularly with a world cup. But does that growth justify paying 2.5x the price? I’m not sure how it could, even assuming interest doubles again during the term of this deal. Remember the estimates were in the $300m range and the final price is 50% higher. It would take unexpectedly significant growth to make the numbers work, and if they don’t we could end up in a Bein situation with the games locked away from the vast majority of the US audience.

    B – Correct and this is why NBC paid more. But it doesn’t mean they didn’t overpay or won’t take extreme measures to get their money back. There is a difference between more to lose and can’t afford to lose at any cost. This is in part why I think they overpaid – you always do if everyone knows you can’t afford to lose.

    C – I don’t think this is the case. From the FAQ in the other thread, the CBS/ESPN bid offered significant airtime on ABC and CBS. They chose the NBC bid over that one because of the money, not because of more guaranteed airtime. Fox/Warner I think we all understand why they did not choose, again those two have been so bad with the sport recently they would have to pay an astronomical premium and clearly didn’t. I also think EPL core fans are like me, younger and with some disposable money. No one I know like me likes or pays for Peacock, vast majority don’t have cable. I would argue NBC’s linear strategy, and Peacock being so bad, means they actually don’t reach the “core” demos as well as they want to or as well as those same demos could be reached with CBS/ESPN.

    D – I do agree fans of La Liga and Bundesliga dodged a bullet here, because ESPN/CBS would have certainly prioritised the EPL over either of those leagues and probably raised prices as well. I don’t think it’s clear ESPN would not have been as good of a broadcast. After spending this much on the rights, ESPN would have put on a good show (which they can do regularly when they try – see US/Mexico or La Liga). Where ESPN does itself no favours is with smaller leagues which in some cases it literally can’t be bothered to broadcast the rights they do have. I also think ESPN/CBS would have provided more of an avenue for growth, simply because they are reaching a different demo. How do you think NBC can grow the game from here? Again, they are doing so well on the broadcast side, it’s really hard for them to improve it. All they can improve are the distribution and technical side, which based on the amount NBC paid, will clearly not happen.

    E – I think this is important as well and my issue with NBC is not the broadcast at all. It’s very good, I love Rebecca and while they could add a bit more than just the two robbies most weeks, I think its hard to improve on the NBC broadcast. But ESPN/CBS could put on something just as good if they made an effort, which they would given the price of the rights. And ESPN/CBS are infinitely better on just about everything but the actual broadcast – their platforms are better, they are cheaper, they can reach a wider audience on linear TV. But NBC put up hundreds of millions more, ultimately these other items aren’t as compelling as an extra few hundred million.

    I get that but at a certain point that hinders the growth of the game and the league. As with Hans, I don’t care that much as I will watch the games for a set fee regardless of what Comcast is doing. But I actually would have preferred Comcast paid much less, because then they would have more of an incentive to focus on satisfying consumers and growing the league, and not try to make as much money as they can to recoup significant losses. I hope I’m wrong, but NBC has been going backwards the last few years, ever since Peacock was introduced, and the price they paid here indicates they will go even further backwards in pursuit of cutting their losses.

  147. Hans

    November 19, 2021 at 10:24 am

    @Nosferatu
    “doesn’t seem particularly great, but when you look at the whole landscape of sports broadcasts”. Correct all sports business suffered because of the pandemic, but as already mentioned no one else has that kind of money on the wrong side of the balance sheet. No other network has sports property that expensive as pointed out in the podcast.
    .
    “not being in the red last year seems like a pretty great achievement–and I assume is a signal to the Comcast bigwigs that this might be a rare sport that actually will hold up well in the coming years.” Not in the red ONLY because they are also an ISP and that is where the income came from NOT their video business. When the false rumor spread that Comcast will divest the video business their stock popped 2%. We will NEVER know the true breakdown unless they improve to the point that they can publish these numbers, without making them look like chumps. Amazon does this with Prime subscribers and the streamers follow that pattern.
    .
    “the sport could continue to serve as a solid selling point for the Peacock service.” The EPL is a niche, MLS has more followers but EPL has a larger crowd of core fans. This is a risk to bet on that the EPL will contribute to their bottom line. EPL fans and money managers are at the opposite sides of this spectrum. The fact that Peacock is the least paid for subscription service is an indication that more then sports properties are needed.
    .
    @Mercator
    “Comcast isn’t going to lose $200m+ a year without trying something.” They lost $520 millions on Peacock last quarter and they know they need to stay relevant. They face a multi pronged problem. Advertisers are moving more of their budget from linear TV to AVOD and SVOD which means less income for the USA channel, which needs to be compensated in another area, thus the relevance of Peacock is most important.
    .
    We would have no Sports on our devices unless companies thought they can make a profit from it. However the landscape has changed since 2015 and Netflix having such a huge number of paying subscribers tells you ALL the other players in the game of attracting eyeballs have yet to find a way to get close to Netflix’s 47% and the ability to spend $20 billion a year on content.

  148. Michael F

    November 19, 2021 at 10:22 am

    @Hans @Mercator @Ra. This is not a perfect world. There are pros and cons to every scenario and future projections are just what they are. Projections. Not confirmed until it happens. You essentially speak as if it all is going to go down as you say – like you’re some prophet.

    Here is what is clear.
    A). NBC perhaps overpaid on the initial look but as @SteveK pointed out, we really won’t know for another few years to clearly state that as a slam dunk fact. The game is growing in audience in the US and there is a World Cup coming on this soil soon to help it grow more.
    B). NBC had WAY much more to lose than gain by losing the Premier League to its competitors.
    C). EPL ‘core’ fans in the the US (which admittedly are a good many cable-like subscribers) had much to lose by seeing Premier League go to a joint bid to NBC’s competitors (despite your potential subjective spin on it), because the EPL would not be given the priority these other broadcasters could possibly give that NBC has. Which is why the EPL chose NBC! Two sources confirmed there was a higher bid by Warner/Fox and they went with NBC.
    D). Fans of other domestic soccer leagues (LaLiga, Bundesliga etc) would be the loser if EPL was on ESPN as those leagues would get less priority and ESPN would still not give the coverage treatment that NBC has given all along. ESPN is already saturated with many sports and leagues and have only so many resources. That’s just plain fact. Not conjecture
    E). I can’t speak for Comcast as a cable company, but certainly MANY others have and the sentiment is not good. But as a broadcaster of this beautiful sport and most popular domestic league in the world… NBC is without a doubt the premium gold standard for presentation and coverage. And to the core EPL fan, that is important. It may not be to you or some others. To each their own.

    Will prices go up? I suppose so at some point. They always do. Everyone raises their prices eventually. I for one won’t be spending my time whining about it. I will simply make a choice to pay or not pay if I think it’s worth it or not.

  149. Efrain

    November 19, 2021 at 7:21 am

    So NBC again. Good coverage and analysis. Sh** picture. Disappointed.

  150. Ra

    November 19, 2021 at 7:01 am

    @Hans @Mercator It will be interesting to see what Comcast next moves will be to try a break-even. They will certainly try to raise prices on both linear and streaming, and it will be interesting to see if they will not end up losing even more revenue due to detractors. The bad thing about not changing providers is that the upside is also more limited, as the model is well defined. Hearing praise from hard-core fans do little to grow the overall audience.
    Will now EPL get their own tab on Peacock, like the WWE performing arts?
    My bet is that this piece was important for their investors storytelling. They simply could not be on record losing yet another sports property. They will simply not disclose the Financials of this specific deal. We will gear “the long term Outlook of this property provides great value and unique yada-yada-yada to NBC.

  151. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 2:07 am

    @Nosferatu – Well looking at all the trash on Peacock and NBCs inability to make quality original content, I can see why NBC might think $400m a year for something guaranteed to get you north of 500k viewers each match is a better investment than plowing that money into original content which will bomb.

    But losing 10-20 million a year is one thing, now pay 2.5x as much and the loss becomes a number shareholders will not ignore. They must have some plan to not lose $250m a year…and that’s what’s unsettling about this.

  152. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 1:58 am

    @Michael F – Well I think this is the concern right? Peacock is not going to have anywhere near enough paying subscribers to justify this deal. Which means a big component for NBC is likely moving the games to USA so they can maintain/increase the distribution fee. They were not making money when the rights were under $200m a year, how are they going to come anywhere close to breaking even paying another $200m more annually? It must be on the linear TV side. That means NBC picking fights with the cable companies to maintain/raise rates for USA and other cable channels, no doubt trying to use the EPL to justify their commercial position. This means a good chance of one or more providers dropping them entirely for some time. This almost just happened with YTTV. NBC has done about as much as fans can ask to promote the game on the broadcast side…how do they build on that further? Spanish side maybe? I can’t think of anything that gets them close unless SteveK is bang on the money and Comcast/EPL bundled US/UK and so overpaid on the US side to get the rollover in the UK.

    I always said there is a big risk for the EPL going with NBC because if NBC does screw it up, all their competitors are on a cheap and easy to access service most football fans have. After paying this much, I can’t help but feel Comcast is going to lose a boatload of money or they will screw things up further trying to break even. And Comcast isn’t going to lose $200m+ a year without trying something. Where does this leave the EPL in 3-5 years if Peacock is still a dud (highly likely) and cable continues to lose million of subscribers a year (highly likely)?

    Fox should have to bid twice as much to win any football rights at this point, they are awful and not surprising in the least they can offer to pay more and not win. Warner is similar after their UCL stunt, and the company is right in the middle of a merger. EPL would have been dumb to go with that bid even if it was at $3b. But remember all these split bids means half as much of an outlay for each company…did anyone putting in an exclusive Bid close to NBC? If you told me the price and not the winner I would say Amazon because at that price you won’t make money and only Amazon seems able and willing to have loss leaders of that size ($200m a year).

    Garber must be popping champagne right now.

  153. Nosferatu

    November 19, 2021 at 1:40 am

    @Hans, your comment on the growth of viewership being up only 2% last year. That doesn’t seem particularly great, but when you look at the whole landscape of sports broadcasts, correct me if I’m wrong, but simply not being in the red last year seems like a pretty great achievement–and I assume is a signal to the Comcast bigwigs that this might be a rare sport that actually will hold up well in the coming years.

    With that in mind, I would be fairly surprised if they actually do make a net profit on this deal. It seems likely they’ll lose money. I wonder, though, when it comes to Peacock, if they see this as an important investment because the Premier League audience could serve as a strong base for the service, and the sport could continue to serve as a solid selling point for the service. Take away the Premier League and the uphill climb of making Peacock relevant seems even more daunting. I’m not businessman, but I have a feeling there’s a way of viewing this kind of deal as a long-term, multi-faceted investment that’s not purely about the numbers.

  154. Jon

    November 19, 2021 at 1:02 am

    Not unhappy at all about this development. It’s great to have the option of the NBC network broadcast on a Saturday if the World Feed option isn’t palatable.

  155. Hans

    November 19, 2021 at 12:19 am

    @Michael F
    In earlier exchanges I said it may very well be that growing the EPL brand will be more important then the highest bid, to which I believe you agreed, this turned out to be true, but growing the brand is still “All About the Money” in the end. Was that your having fun bit?
    .
    In my comment above yours I made the point that “Streaming Subscriber growth is slowing down”. that is a fact as is the decline in linear TV subscribers, the numbers don’t lie and back that up. The streaming war will have a fall out and will result in either M&A or failed attempts will be picked up by others like Roku and Quibi.
    .
    There must be other reasons that we are not privy of why Comcast was willing to invest that kind of money as they couldn’t care less about the EPL unless there is something in it for them. I truly did not expect them to pay $2.6 billion and the EPL played this one very well to their advantage. We do not know how Comcast will present this in public, to shareholders and how wall street will react to this but the outcome will be fun to watch.
    .
    Finally let me reemphasize “I HAVE NO DOG” in this fight as I am set having 20 cable sports channels streamed free on a P2P site if the games are not on Peacock to which I subscribe. Since this is like any other purchase and Comcast is offering the product and price then it is up to me to decide if I want to buy it and consider it best bang for the buck. As you are very well aware of the fact “In the connected world the tech savvy ones find a way”.

  156. Hans

    November 18, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Comcast has its work cut out to make their numbers work to get a profit from the just concluded deal, otherwise they have a white elephant on their hands.
    .
    On NBC, Premier League matches averaged 879,000 viewers per match for the 2020-21 season, up two per cent from the previous year, and it does seem to be increasing with Manchester City’s 4-1 away win against Liverpool in February attracting an audience of over 1m.
    .
    2% growth in audience from last season. Next season more then double the cost for the same product but with what audience increase? We hardcore EPL fans will be pleased that no one has rocked the boat too much for getting our teams on the screen. Just can’t see how Comcast will make these numbers work unless there is a total restructure of how to pay for the 380 matches. In this new deal each match costs $1.4 million in rights which does not include operating costs. Some of this will be covered by advertising income.
    .
    They did away with the various lucrative sports passes, but then that would not enhance Peacock and certainly it will not work for the USA channel. We as fans just want the matches and shows, they as the providers want a Return of Investment (ROI) can’t see how that will happen with the present setup unless Comcast is willing to incur losses to grow Peacock or will introduce price hikes until their expenses are covered.
    .
    As someone here posted when this was hotly debated “Beware what you wish for”.

  157. MIB Fan

    November 18, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    @Michael F: Hans is the Nick Wright-Stephen A Smith-Skip Bayless of WST. Cherry picking facts for his hot takes.

  158. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    @Hans. If it was all about the money, why didn’t EPL accept the Warner/Fox bid that came with a higher bid as reported by two sources? Of course I am just having fun here, but maybe you are spending too much time reading those financial journals and quoting them here… as they haven’t provided you the answer you expected regarding this particular result… since the other day — you said in so many words “going on a limb that NBC doesn’t have a snowball’s chance to win etc etc” while quoting more endless references.

    I think some are overestimating the pull for streaming subscriptions. Sure, it’s transitioning that way… but not nearly as fast as the cord cutters want, and they will continue to be disappointed by this slow movement to see the cable conglomerates die, if it happens does happen.

    In the meantime, we are sure to hear more endless complaints here over how some EPL matches are being aired live only on the linear network. Yawn. Plenty of soccer everywhere for cord cutters to feast over on several streaming apps. Or pirate them, which for some… they do proudly and good for them.

  159. Mario Garcia

    November 18, 2021 at 10:42 pm

    The second chapter of the rights soap opera has concluded (first chapter La Liga, second chapter EPL). Now will be the turn for the MLS, looking forward to that chapter.

    It’s good the increase in the support/$ is giving Comcast and ESPN to soccer. They really needed it.

  160. 6YdBox

    November 18, 2021 at 10:11 pm

    Great news. Hopefully NBC won’t change too much.

    White & Dixon/Le Saux to often override the world feed. They are a great commentary team.

    No ‘scroll screen’ on the bottom during a game. Pretty sure ESPN TV channels would have had this (like they did for the USA v Mexico game the other night once they finally decided to show it).

    Don’t care too much about the pre/post game stuff. Whatever channel it’s on you’ll get a zillion ‘messages’. Just show the goals/highlights from the other games and all is good. Like NBC does now. Rebecca Lowe is as good as anyone else to hold it all together. She does a good job.

    Yep. Happy NBC keeps it.

  161. MIB Fan

    November 18, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    @Hans: Just waiting for season 15 of Rog and Davo. Have fun with Lalas!

  162. Hans

    November 18, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    So far what I have been reading in financial journals is mostly about “EPL managed to extend its lucrative contract in the … (insert your preferred region)”. No doubt this was to the EPL’s liking, if it is to Comcast’s liking is yet to be seen as this can only be determined with hindsight as too many factors are in play. Whatever this rights deal means to people, it clearly is favored by the hard core fans, but they only pay a small share of the total price.
    .
    Again for those like Most Incredible Boring (MIB) Fan who needs to sign up pronto for Blog Reading & Commenting 101, I have subscribed to Peacock through November 2022, I have no dog in the fight as I am set for ALL my games and many of them for free.
    .
    What is very clear is this, there is a war of the media distribution to the end user and who will come out on top is again something for the future. However, here are some facts from the present that may have influenced this rights deal as well as what can be expected in the future.
    1. Streaming Subscriber growth is slowing down.
    In Disney’s just released fiscal Q4 earning report it indicates a substantial slowing of subscriber growth with only 2.1 million subs added in the quarter, after 12 million were added in the prior quarter.
    2. Netflix is the 500 pound Gorilla in the room.
    The need to ramp up program production spending is inexorable. Spending by Netflix is already approaching an astonishing $20 billion a year, and to keep pace and stay in the game the other streamers have no choice but to spend multiple billions more. All the other networks are trying to cut Netflix’s share of the media consumption pie. $433 million per season is nothing compared to $20 billion Netflix spends per year. Comcast and the others have to keep pace if they want to remain relevant. Will this work with a niche property? That has yet to be seen.
    3. Big decision in 2024 by Comcast.
    What happens to Comcast’s 33% interest in Hulu is another question for 2024, a time when Comcast can require Disney to buy its stake and Disney can require Comcast to sell at a fair value, whatever that is. Comcast may have factored this into their bidding as they will loose any profits from Hulu in 2024.
    .
    Comcast couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the EPL games unless they profit from them. So, the viewpoint of the hardcore fans and other soccer fans are only relevant to Comcast as long as they can present them with a concept that will make those fans part with their cash.
    .
    The UK and Ireland deal for Peacock is for Sky subscribers and they get that for free. Another area Comcast needs to tidy up is monetize Peacock as they are unwilling to give paying subscriber numbers. It is estimated Comcast pays $8 per subscriber as they lost $520 million in the last quarter.
    .
    Comcast is the master of bait and switch and those who are technologically challenged will have to either pay for the new situation or find a different avenue for their sports interest. For hardcore EPL fans the answer is easy, for the rest of the soccer fans not a forgone conclusion. Hardcore fans see no risk in this, but shareholders may.
    .
    Famous saying “It is all about the money, stupid”.

  163. Lou

    November 18, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    Not a surprise and a relief that it’s done with.

  164. Leo

    November 18, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    If currently EPL fans need to pay $470/year. Since next August they will need to pay $1400/year. About a grand more per year to watch the toys of billionaires. That, or Comcast is involved in ugly money laundering schemes.

  165. Ra

    November 18, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    @Chris. Now talking about something more relevant… 🙂 Do you know who holds the 2022 Paulistao (Sao Paulo State championship) broadcasting rights?

  166. Brendan

    November 18, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    A good decision by the EPL . Rebecca Lowe is fantastic hope she sticks around . All that traveling back and forth from west coast to east coast might catch up on her . But she is strong willed woman and she has a young son so that might influence her thinking

  167. SC

    November 18, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    In addition to the NBC-Sky connection, I wonder how much Turner’s decision to abandon the UEFA rights midway through the deal factored into the PL’s decision to accept a lower bid from NBCU.

  168. Ricco Richardson

    November 18, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    Congrats to NBC. some people say they overpaid, Well it was multiple bids from different networks. As far as I see it the EPL got what they want and assuming NBC too.

  169. Adam

    November 18, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    The revenue stream for NBC for the next 6 years is different than it was is 2015. No Peacock until last year and on a cable network that got half of the sub fee of where it will be the next 6 years. They are paying 1.7 billion more but they had to have it to keep Peacock and their USA network strategy viable, Keep in mind too they paid 2 billion on the NHL the last 10 years that is money they obviously put towards EPL. Whether they overpaid is up for discussion, but they did have the money and had to do it.

  170. Christopher Ernest WATSON

    November 18, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    I am quite happy with the rights staying with NBC, even though it means more games ruined by the two robbies and deadly dull lee dixon. However, it is balanced by Rebecca who is first class and mostly I enjoy tim howard. I hope there is a provision to prevent NBC from putting more and more matches on their useless streaming service. They have done well with the fan fests and other forms of promotion. It would be good if they could bring in more former PL stars and not just bloody alan shearer.

  171. Eplnfl

    November 18, 2021 at 6:23 pm

    Well I am happy with the result. NBC needs to work out it’s options especially with a very poor streaming service like Peacock. The NBC crew has made us comfortable with the coverage and it would of been a loss to all the fans if they went away. A split package with the lions share on NBC could of been a benefit but that wasn’t in the cards.

    Chris I think NBC owes you and the WST team a tip for all you have done to promote the league and cover the long battle for tv rights in the USA.

  172. Steven Ogle

    November 18, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Could care less who it is. If I have to subscribe to cable to watch all of Leicester Cities league matches I’m out. Screw Comcast and their fake high speed internet.
    .

  173. SteveK

    November 18, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    I guess I’m a usual apologist since I think Comcast is a horrible cable company but that NBC does by far the best job covering any sport, not just the best job covering a soccer property and I am hardly silent. I’m happy to pay for such great coverage and am glad there are free alternatives for the pirates amongst us unwilling to pay. That’s what I call win-win. I predicted the fix was in for Comcast months ago because they rolled over the UK rights as long as they were willing to pony up to a dollar amount the PL owners would find agreeable. Seems to me that a little of that UK rights rollover went to make up the shortfall between the Comcast bid and the WarnerMedia/FOX bid.

    Comcast is not a former monopolistic cable baron, either, get it right: they still actively embrace monopoly, they wallow in it as often as they can. There are plenty of locales where Comcast is still the only option, I live in one, hence the outrage when Comcast wanted to meter internet use as we rolled into a work at home keep the kids home from school pandemic. But if you think other conglomerates like Amazon or Disney or FOX or WarnerMedia would be any more altruistic I beg to disagree. Anyone winning this package at the price paid would be planning and plotting and figuring out what they could get away with.

    Someone had to win, someone was going to pay a seemingly obscene amount for the crown jewel of the sport. As other rights fees start being disclosed in the next few years we will see just how obscene an overpay this really is. At the moment I’m happy to keep writing the check as long as it is Rebecca Lowe I keep waking up to on Saturday mornings.

  174. Tayo

    November 18, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    Was hoping ESPN got the rights but hey congratulations to NBC Sports. It would be nice if they could probably change a few things you know.
    1. It is 2021, I don’t think you need to be telling me I am watching Premier League, I have my TV guide to do that.
    2. The scoreboard is ugly, and obstructive, change it please!
    3. When there is a red card, you do not need to once again tell me what player got a red card for the rest of the match, put a small red sign at the bottom of the team name.
    4. Your in-game graphics should not be the same for every sport! Please change something, your sister station is Sky Sports, learn from them.
    5. In-game ads could be better perhaps, we understand you need to make your money back. I fear it might even be worse now that you have paid.

  175. Anthony

    November 18, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Sitting back here, I think the pricing here is actually right

    ESPN/CBS bid about $380mn together, which makes sense for them

    NBC bidding about 25% more than that also makes sense because it is more critical for them to retain the rights – they can now say they have the #1 American sport, #1 league in the #1 global sport, #1 international competition (Olympics) and just keep it at that. EPL provides them with the volume of games they needed. ESPN and CBS already kind of have that

    Warner/Amazon/Fox put in intriguing bids that may have been higher than NBC but were ultimately unproven partners

  176. MIB Fan

    November 18, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    Just here to read Hans and Mercator Show complain about NBC.

    Also, SIX YEARS OF MEN IN BLAZERS ON NBC SPORTS! #TakeThatGloria

  177. Mccort912

    November 18, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    NBCs bid wasn’t even the highest bid according to John Ourand who is a real journalist unlike others, so the fact everyone is commenting that they overpaid is weird. Also yes the price of peacock will probably go up, just like ESPN + has, Paramount has already from it’s starting price, it sucks but I think we should stop pretending anything will ever go back to the premier league 2013-2015 time frame where everything was included in your cable package.

  178. Rye Brook

    November 18, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    Diabolical outcome. Arrogant formerly monopolistic cable barons have always worshiped at the altar of providing the absolute minimum and charging exorbitantly.
    The usual apologists are strangely silent as I speed scrolled thru the responses (or they’re pretending to put a pseudo positive passive-aggressive spin on it like “well at least they were forced to overpay.”) Their job is done, and their overlords have told them: “why do we even need to pretend to care about what the plebs think? Jettison the minimum wage trolls.”
    But World Soccer Talk – keep up the great work, super useful site, and a must-listen podcast. We need an independent voice in an otherwise bought ‘n paid for worldwide web. On of the net’s little gems. Happy Thanksgiving.

  179. locofooty

    November 18, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    Mercator, keeping the divide. Only makes sense, they are a cable company after all. It will be interesting to see how the divide will change, because it definitely will some.

  180. SteveK

    November 18, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Latest from Matt Slater of The Athletic is that FuboTV bid $2 billion for the six-year package, that’s $333 million per added to CBS/ESPN at 380 and WarnerMedia & FOX being higher than Comcast and losing…

  181. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    @Ra. I can appreciate the humor. So good one.

    I am not one to complain, life is too short. I happen to be one of the few that is fine with the Peacock app i]as it is right now. Yea, call me simple, whatever. I think Streaming apps in general have plenty of flaws, with content all over the place and limited features.

    Heck, I recently read an article from the Athletic on NHL hockey coverage on ESPN+ and I see comments from many NHL fans hating the ESPN+ app, complaining about its lack of features. It’s all relative, and people love to complain.

  182. Anthony

    November 18, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    1) So multiple US players were willing to spend $350mn or more annually on EPL rights – rights values have seemed to increase further in a streaming world. Pretty incredible

    2) It’s amazing that teams like Norwich, Burnley, Brentford, etc are going to be in a position to earn more TV money than AC Milan, Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, etc.

  183. Ra

    November 18, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    @Michael F. They will probably change the font typeface and charge 2-3 times as much… 🙂

  184. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    As reported numerous times and by numerous sources, Peacock is getting an overhaul by beginning of 2022. Thus it will be interesting to see if it will appeal better to the consumer.

  185. Fechin

    November 18, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    Hmmm Fox and Wartner came in with a higher bid than NBC. Premier league still went with NBC, I’m surprised

  186. Yespage

    November 18, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    It’ll be interesting what Comcast does or doesn’t do differently. With NBCSN gone, they’ll be putting this on USA (others?) as well as some content on Peacock. Definitely agree that I really want restart options on Peacock (not just for EPL). And it’d be good if there was an option to stream all the games through Peacock, even if there is an added premium to do so (granted, people will complain it costs too much… people like complaining).

  187. Mercator

    November 18, 2021 at 5:09 pm

    Already reported by @thegoalkeeper: NBC says Premier League games that are televised on cable will remain exclusive to cable and not be simulcast on Peacock.

  188. SteveK

    November 18, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Latest from John Ourand at SBJ:

    “A surprise in this second round of bidding came from Atlanta, where WarnerMedia put forth a competitive bid. WarnerMedia, whose merger with Discovery is expected to be approved next year, passed on the UEFA Champions League last year. But WarnerMedia Chair Jeff Zucker apparently viewed the EPL as a better TV and streaming property for his company, which put forward an aggressive bid. Jim Miller cited two sources saying that Warner and Fox teamed on a bid that actually was higher than NBC’s. A source told me that Fox was a broadcast component for several bids, including WarnerMedia and Amazon.

    As expected, CBS and ESPN put forth a combined bid that sources said averaged around $370-380M per year with the hopes that the EPL would choose to have two big media companies market its games. But that price fell too far below NBC’s”

    So just how much did Comcast overpay if CBS/ESPN came in at 380 and WarnerMedia & FOX was higher than Comcast according to the very well connected Jim Miller?

  189. Nosferatu

    November 18, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    @SteveK, I agree on the need for Peacock to make some improvements, notably the ability to start in-progress games from the start and then use DVR controls. But that’s something all these services are lacking, including ESPN+, which is particularly infuriating for me as a hockey fan who got used to all the bells and whistles of NHL.tv. I’m paying less now, but I’m also getting less, and I kind of worry that’s the kind of thing that would’ve happened if ESPN got these rights, too. We’re also in a period in the NHL schedule where there isn’t a single game on an ESPN network–just one on ABC–for a two-month period, and the “national broadcasts” on ESPN+ are kind of a mess, from announcers to production. I saw that future for the Premier League and didn’t like it.

    I’d also add that Peacock gets one thing right compared to others: if you’re watching a replay on one device and stop, you can start from right where you left off, from the homepage, with one click on another device. ESPN+ doesn’t offer this, and with Paramount you may think you can do this, but when you click to resume a game from the homepage, it takes you to some other random broadcast from the same competition.

  190. Mercator

    November 18, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    @SteveK – Whether it is exactly true or not, when you pay 3x as much for the same product the economics completely change. Unless NBC was turning north of $300m out of the last rights deal (laughable and factually not the case as it would be reflected in Comcast public filings if they made anywhere close to that) , this new deal is going to be a significant loss leader or Comcast will pull out all the stops to get their money back (I.e overcharging consumers). Because they paid so much, there is no chance all the games will be on Peacock, and in fact I wouldn’t be surprised at all of in a year or two they start putting games on higher-tier cable channels so consumers are forced not just to have cable, but the most expensive bundle to watch all the games. NBC already has a great broadcast and we’re dedicated to the league, there is no benefit to us in them overpaying (at least when ESPN overpays you know they will have to make an effort so there is some upside).

  191. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    @Bill Exactly right about the NHL. It is an awesome sport for the locals but its best served live and there is NOTHING that compares to being their live for a playoff hockey game. There are certain cities, like mine that draw good NHL playoff tv ratings every year even though our team is not in it.

    That said, the sport is generally what you described, not at all a national sport… will always be way behind the big three in tv viewing, and the season is way too long with too many meaningless games and the stupidest win/loss point system ever, all in the name of “parity” (that is, give the illusion that all teams are good and in the race for all 82 games).

    By the time the playoffs start, the warm Spring weather breaks and if you are not a total die-hard hockey fan and your team is not in it, you’re not watching anymore. And those playoffs go well into the month of June.

  192. Ra

    November 18, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Having a laugh here seeing so many fans happy that NBC overpaid. If I watched the EPL, I would be very upset with the outcome – ultimately the fans always end up paying.

    You probably could make a donation to the EPL, glazer family, Abramovich, or Saudi Arabia if you are so inclined and their finances are a matter of great concern to you.

  193. Jasinho

    November 18, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    I was wondering why I’ve read that Peacock will launch in the UK and Ireland next year. I guess this was the reason.

    The downside of paying this much is that I doubt that we will see the club tv channels on Peacock now, or would we?

    Congratulations NBC, sometimes the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t.

  194. SteveK

    November 18, 2021 at 4:40 pm

    Mercator “Comcast is on record stating it was difficult to make money at $150m a year” and what conclusion are you drawing from that? That’s called gamesmanship and brokering a deal, you know my feelings on this, Comcast knew rights were going to be thrown to open bidding but also knew they had the inside track after the Sky rollover of rights, why not make some public pronouncements so your competitors think twice before jumping all in?

    Who bid what and how Comcast ended up with the rights in the end is the most fascinating aspect to this for me right now…

  195. Bill

    November 18, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    It’s silly saying NBC is paying more per year then ESPN and TNT for Hockey. I think its fair to say that Hockey is a city sport not a national sport. Awesome product and great fans but does anyone outside Raleigh NC care about the Hurricanes for example? but people watch the EPL matches and go to bars to watch soccer.. Just seems like the EPL has a national footprint in the USA compared to a more city based NHL.

    I’m glad for NBC and the gang we watch every week other then I have to continue to pay for Sling and the god awful clunky Peacock .

  196. SteveK

    November 18, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    Peacock the streaming service as it exists today will not simulcast all 380 matches, no way in hell. Comcast paid a lot for this and will milk as much as they can out of us by requiring us to keep cable or a cable like service a la Sling Blue. And frankly, I don’t care if they keep us switching back and forth and if peacock continues to have replay delays.

    What we should be hoping for are improvements to the peacock service–specifically the ability for the West coast audience to start games when they get up and not be forced to watch the 7am games on East coast time. That one improvement would mollify so many of the complaints about peacock–just the ability to rewind or restart a game in progress from the beginning. Hopefully now that we know the PL will be a tent pole attraction for peacock for the next 6 years just like golf and the NFL we will see some improvements.

    The other thing I’d like is for Comcast to create some sort of Premier League All Access pass, something that trumps linear and cable and streaming where everything Premier League, all games, all Shy content from the UK, the Premier League channel, everything is live in one place. We’ll have to pay through the nose for that but I would love to see this within peacock. If you don’t want to pay, everything is as it always has been–a few games on NBC and USA, the rest on peacock that you have to watch live and then wait 24 hours to watch on demand–if you do want Premier League All Access you can have it. Basically what I hoped Amazon would offer if they won the rights. Why couldn’t Comcast do it?

  197. Mercator

    November 18, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    It’s not to early to tell at all, and we would all be laughing if ESPN paid that price. Comcast is on record stating it was difficult to make money at $150m a year, and now they are paying 3 times that for the exact same package. It’s 3x the La Liga deal ESPN signed, which we all have pointed out ESPN overpaid for. It’s significantly above most estimates.

    I only say this because we all know Comcast will try to get their money back. It does consumers little good when broadcasters overpay, because they will obviously try to pass that on to the consumer. Fortunately, alternative means are available so those of us who enjoy the EPL are not held hostage to Comcast’s nonsense. Still much better than Fox though … if Fox/Turner really had a higher bid then we all dodged a huge bullet.

  198. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    @SteveK Excellent response and points. The NHL is referred by many (including myself with a local NHL team) as ‘bush league’… and their opportunity for more growth and foothold in the States has run its course. Certainly, the EPL and the most popular sport in the world has greater potential for growth in America.

  199. Fechin Attuah

    November 18, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    Hopefully peacock will simulcast all 380 matches

  200. SteveK

    November 18, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    The did they/didn’t they overpay is already tiresome. We won’t know until we are 3 years into the deal, and those last years may end up being undervalued, we just won’t know for a while. It will be really interesting to get some inside reporting not this, who bid what, was Comcast awarded the rights even though others may have bid more, did ESPN go strong for all 380 games, where was Amazon in all of this? Finding out this dirt will be fascinating.

    Also, I can guarantee you all one thing–you will need to keep linear, keep cable, keep that Sling Blue package for a good number of years to come. That’s how Comcast makes back it’s investment.

    Please stop with the NHL comparisons, Comcast got out of the NHL business, it was their choice, they agreed to submit a perfunctory 100 million dollar a season bid just so ESPN could pay 400 million in a “bidding” war. Comcast realized the NHL wasn’t going anywhere and they had taken it as far as they could. They obviously feel the PL has more room to grow and want to be able to promote it as the crown jewel of global soccer. Whether ESPN has La Liga or paid nothing for Bundesliga is water of their back.

  201. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 4:09 pm

    @Yespage I appreciate your objectivity in your last comment. Really, I do. thanks. Honestly, I think all businesses are evil and will eventually cash in and make the consumer pay. They all do business the same way, when you look at it from the birds eye view. It’s all about profit.

  202. greg

    November 18, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Huh, from the EPL press release:
    “It was announced earlier today that an extra £20million will be paid to EFL League One and League Two clubs this season. A new package of £5million extra will support clubs in the top-three National League divisions until 2025. ”

    Looks like that extra money idea didn’t come from nothing – they knew the size of the TV deal & got ahead of that with the “spread the wealth” announcement. And made sure to remind us in the tv deal press release. I mean, good for them for spreading more money down the pyramid, and I hope they do more. But the timing of the 1st announcement was likely strategic.

  203. Yespage

    November 18, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    @Michael F, make no mistake, Comcast is evil, but I just don’t get why people are invested so heavily against NBC, other than they want EPL in a stream only package for $6 a month.

  204. Ra

    November 18, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    Now that most deals are complete, who do you think will be able to get the biggest ROI?
    To me, it is clearly CBS. They are paying peanuts for UCL/Europa/Conference, got Serie A for a great price and they must have gotten South American leagues for very cheap.
    2nd ESPN – they are getting Bundesliga for free almost, and, even tough they paid substantially for LaLiga, they will get a good payback IF they are able to get Latino audiences to follow it. Latinos far exceed English speaking audience for soccer in this country.

  205. JP

    November 18, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    @MichealF, am on the record as saying I wanted it to stay with NBC or at least away from ESPN/CBS. If ESPN paid that much would be ripping them as well, it’s a massive overpay when they couldn’t profit paying just over 150M a year.

  206. SC

    November 18, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    Maybe NBC didn’t overpay:
    @JimMiller (literally wrote the book on ESPN)
    Two sources: Warner/Fox came in with higher bid for EPL than NBC. #EPL

    If true that’s a bullet dodged

  207. Ricjk

    November 18, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Good news- hopefully more games will be on the NBC network of channels and less on Peacock- USA, CNBC, MSNBC and NBC.

    Last weekend of the season has games on all NBC networks- more access to tv viewers instead of a paywall like Peacock.

    NBC also needs to do a better job promoting the league with more ads.

  208. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    If Disney made this same bid to win the EPL rights, we would hear from all the Comcast haters about how amazingly shrewd this decision was by Disney to get the rights. The subjectivity we get on commentary from this site is simply amazing to me. lol

  209. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    What your not taking into consideration regarding the NHL is that they wanted to expand their footprint beyond one carrier network and did so with ESPN and TNT.

    Anyway, I am sure NBC is not regretting today they they won the bid regardless of how they had to go to get it. That’s how bidding wars go. Why would you be surprised?? I am not.

  210. JP

    November 18, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    Sorry my NHL numbers were low, it’s 625M combined, but ESPN paying 400M for what is considered the A package. So NBC still paying more than that, my argument stands!

  211. Yespage

    November 18, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    *BALLOONS*

  212. Eric T

    November 18, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    Apparently Fox/Warner came in with a higher bid – https://twitter.com/JimMiller/status/1461433733656064006

  213. Ra

    November 18, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    I wonder how much NBC overpaid due to the fact that they couldn’t afford to lose this one. It is always tough to negotiate from a position of weakness…
    I love soccer and don’t watch NHL, but from a business perspective I would buy the US rights to the NHL over EPL any day.

  214. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    @JP Your quote: “ESPN and CBS did a good job helping to bid this up so a desperate NBC payed through the nose.”

    And ESPN and CBS wish they had the most popular domestic euro soccer league in the world. NBC simply paid what is necessary to retain their bread and butter and continue their great relationship with EPL.

  215. Tony

    November 18, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    Excellent news !!!!!!!!!!! Sorry Twellman 🙁

  216. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    @locofooty Whatever. This number they came to is not at all surprising to me. haters willhate and especially those that don’t like this result. haha

  217. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    @JP That is easily the pot shot take on NBC, but NBC already knew that NHL wanted to get back on ESPN and was facing an uphill battle. NBC chose to fight a battle they can win and do so with the EPL. It was the smarter move.

  218. locofooty

    November 18, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    Definitely overpaid just like ESPN and La Liga. Still shocked? smh.

  219. JP

    November 18, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    They’re paying more a year (433M) than ESPN and TNT (425M) are paying for NHL. Hahahahahaha, good luck with that NBC, smarter play would’ve been matching them to retain NHL and jettison EPL. Both are niche sports, but EPL is extremely more niche and match times worse for ratings/advertising dollars.

    ESPN and CBS did a good job helping to bid this up so a desperate NBC payed through the nose.

  220. Ra

    November 18, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    @Michael F. I agree. Competition is good for everyone. And it is good to see different networks focusing on different properties. It improves the quality for everyone and create more jobs. I hope now that ESPN will start broadcasting 2. Bundesliga. 🙂
    Paramount has a lot of work to do on their app also. And the Brasileirao narration in English are beyond horrible and the picture quality stinks. It is the worst from the three services.
    I hope everyone now focuses on the work that needs to get done. 🙂

  221. Mercator

    November 18, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    They massively overpaid and I will be watching alternatively until they sort out Peacock. Great job by the EPL though they really squeezed some value out of this one and kudos to SteveK, it appears he was right on the money.

  222. locofooty

    November 18, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    At the end, the balance is good. The questions now are how many more matches on Peacock, peacock price, or go completely against the tide and offer more on linear? 60 fps? Will they keep blocking Telemundo when the match is on Peacock?

  223. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    @Anthony Why did ESPN over pay and reach for LaLiga when they knew EPL was up for a TV bid just one season later? That’s what I want to know. Messi or no Messi… LaLiga is not EPL when it comes to overall popularity and demand.

  224. Anthony

    November 18, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Massive overpay, but really the only option NBC had after losing NHL. And frankly it is the right decision by the EPL – ESPN just can’t commit to enough television slots, and their lack of a partner in that regard doesn’t help. ESPN losing Euro and now not getting EPL makes me question their soccer strategy a bit

  225. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    @Ra See? It benefits all fans of different domestic leagues.

  226. Ra

    November 18, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Great news! I won’t end up paying for EPL after all!!

  227. Fechin Attuah

    November 18, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    Good news. I wish the EFL league/cup and championship, FA CUP, was part of NBC on weekdays. Imagine NBC tries their luck with MLS. I do not believe this deal is worth 433 million a year though. I see it as maybe 250-300 million a year.

  228. Michael F

    November 18, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    I’m happy with this expected outcome. Now we can all get on with our lives and enjoy the beautiful game.

  229. Dan N.

    November 18, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    Wonderful news to hear. When the details get hashed out, hopefully, there will be ample discussion about making sure all games are on Peacock including the ones that air on linear, which I assume will be USA Network for the foreseeable future.

    Does this mean CBS and ESPN will now aggressively push for MLS?

  230. Sean Johansen

    November 18, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    Excellent news.

  231. Eric T

    November 18, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    Excellent. NBC really proved how much they cared about the EPL and the investment they just made shows that they value the property very highly. 2 billion+ is no joke.

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