US Premier League TV deal: FAQ

US Premier League TV deal

We take a deep dive into the US Premier League TV deal to answer all of the questions you have. And to explain what this means for soccer fans in the United States.

Q: What happened to the Premier League rights?

A: After several months of conversations, negotiations and then bidding, NBC Sports has renewed the Premier League rights for the next six seasons. The new deal starts August 2022 and runs through May 2028.

Q: Who has acquired the Spanish-language rights?

A: Univision wanted the rights, but in the end, Telemundo Deportes was able to renew the rights. In response to the news, here’s what President of Telemundo Deportes Ray Warren said:

“[Telemundo Deportes] are extremely proud to have played a key role in the growth of Premier League in the United States these past nine years. We are incredibly excited to continue showcasing the league’s iconic clubs and top players in the world to our Hispanic audience. We look forward to working closely with NBC Sports to continue delivering the highest quality and most authentic Spanish-language coverage of Premier League for the next six seasons.”

The biggest club soccer TV rights deal in U.S. history

Q: What’s so important about NBC Sports and Telemundo Deportes renewing the rights?

A: Two reasons. Firstly, NBC Sports and Telemundo signed their initial deal with the Premier League in 2012 for the 2013/14 through 2015/16 seasons. They then renewed that for 2016/17 through 2021/22. And now have renewed it again, this time for 2022/23 through 2027/28 seasons. In total, that is fifteen years of soccer coverage, which is unheard of in the United States for a deal of that length.

Secondly, it’s reported that NBCUniversal paid almost $2.6 billion for the rights for 2022/23 through 2027/28. That’s approximately $433 million per year to be the exclusive broadcaster in the United States. That blows away all of the competition.

In comparison, NBC Sports paid $250 million for the rights from 2013/14 through 2015/16. When it renewed its deal for 2016/17 through 2021/22, it paid close to $1 billion. NBC Sports did such a good job of broadcasting the Premier League that it had to agree to $2.6 billion to defeat its rivals for the 2022/23 through 2027/28 rights.

The Premier League was able to more than double the amount of money it received in the last deal. That’s incredible.

How does the US Premier League TV deal compare to other leagues? The top-flight U.S. Major League Soccer’s current deal is for $90 million per season. However, $30 million of that deal per year goes to U.S. Soccer because the rights deal includes both the men and women national teams.

Premier League Rights: Most competitive ever

Q: What happened to the CBS Sports-ESPN combined bid, and why didn’t that one win?

A: Together, the media giants are two of the most powerful in U.S. sports. CBS Sports and ESPN worked extremely hard to present a convincing proposal to the Premier League. Initially, both broadcasters wanted the games for streaming (Paramount+ and ESPN+, respectively). But after hearing that the Premier League wanted more games on TV, both broadcasters came back with a stronger proposal. In short, a guaranteed number of games on television plus the remainder on streaming. If agreed, it would have given the Premier League visibility on ABC and CBS throughout the season. Ultimately, while the proposal was a strong one, the proposal from NBC Sports was for more money.

Q: Is it true that FOX Sports bid more for the rights but still lost?

A: According to a report, FOX Sports made a combined offer with WarnerMedia for the rights to the Premier League that was more than what NBC Sports offered.

Among all of the major broadcasters, FOX Sports has the reputation for the worst coverage of the sport. Ultimately, that may have made a big difference in the minds of the Premier League executives who would not have wanted their brand to be associated with FOX Sports.

When it comes to the US Premier League TV deal, image and reputation to grow not hurt the brand is important.

The value of having one major soccer league

Q: Other than money, what did NBCUniversal’s proposal offer that the others didn’t?

A: “We are the network of the Premier League, not the network of soccer,” NBC Sports Group President of Programming Jon Miller said. “We put them on an equal footing with all our properties.

“When we first acquired the rights, they had been split between three partners: ESPN, Fox and Univision. And while those entities did a great job, [the Premier League] wasn’t made a priority.”

Miller added, “The other thing I know that’s important to the Premier League is that our soccer message is not diluted in any way. That if we’re going to promote the sport, that they’re the ones that will be the beneficiary, and we capitalize on that, and we drove that home in every conversation and every kind of marketing pitch and conversation that we had with them. I think it paid off.”

The NBC Sports Difference

Q: How competitive was the bidding process for the Premier League rights?

A: “We knew it was going to be an incredibly competitive process,” Bevacqua said. “We knew we were going to have to be aggressive strategically and financially. For us, it was an all-or-nothing proposition. But we had a nine-year head start, so of course that helped.”

It’s understood that nine different media companies bid on the rights.

Q: So, does this mean more games on TV or streaming for NBC’s coverage of the Premier League?

A: “We have this platform flexibility which sets us well for the future … but absolutely, our intent is to maintain a strong linear presence on NBC and USA,” said NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua. “I think it’s very important for the Premier League that there was a strong linear presence. That will continue. That’s critical to them. That’s critical to us.”

Miller added, you actually may see an increase in the number of games on NBC.”

Q: How are NBC Sports TV ratings doing currently for the Premier League this season?

A: 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.

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