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Could ESPN, CBS and FOX partner to overthrow NBC’s Premier League bid?

In the NEW episode, number 208, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• Could ESPN, CBS and FOX partner to overthrow NBC’s Premier League rights bid?
• News about ESPN’s interest in acquiring LaLiga rights in U.S.
• NBC confirms the pending shutdown of NBCSN
• Plus letters from you, the listeners, in our mailbag section.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

Launched in 2006, the World Soccer Talk Podcast is the longest running podcast on the planet. Every week, we share the latest news about watching soccer on television and streaming, in addition to discussing what we like and dislike, and featuring your questions and feedback in our Listener Mailbag segment.

HEAR MORE: Listen to our archive featuring hundreds of soccer interviews

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45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. Michael

    March 8, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    @Cpcva. ESPN+ Already has all the out of Market NHL Games. I am in North Carolina and watch Blackhawks on ESPN+. ESPN already completed their deals with NBA, MLB, and NFL. They are currently working on NHL. I believe it will be a Joint venture with FOX. Fox is starting to concentrate on domestic sports. I don’t think Fox will have any soccer except for MLS and World Cup. Those are money makers for them.

  2. Ensar Dervisevic

    March 7, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    ESPN+ would be my favorite because it is only $5 a month

  3. Jesus

    March 7, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    I don’t know how many people are like me but I don’t watch any pre- or post-match shows because i don’t have the time as I try to watch more than one league. The most important factor of where the games are going to be is accessibility and cost. So whether it’s NBC or CBS or ESPN it not as important as whether the company will make available all the games, on which platform and how much will it cost.

  4. Cpcva

    March 7, 2021 at 4:15 am

    No way ESPN gets Nhl. They’re jammed up with NBA and MLB

  5. Ensar Dervisevic

    March 7, 2021 at 12:37 am

    I really hope ESPN+ gets the Premier League, because if they do, I won’t have to pay for Peacock anymore

    I don’t think Fox will get it back because they are slowly leaving soccer by losing the UCL, Bundesliga, Serie A, FA Cup, Premier League and maybe MLS.

    If Fox were to get the Premier League, it would definitely be a joint bid with ESPN because of how Fox Soccer Match Pass shut down a while ago.

    Meaning that we could see Premier League games on ESPN, ABC, Fox, and FS1 on TV and ESPN+ for streaming

    So I would love to see ESPN+ get the Premier League so that I can cancel Peacock

  6. Hans

    February 2, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    @KL Sports Events especially live ones are constantly used as a reason for price increases in Cable TV subs, Streaming and Internet services and especially is that true for popular sports in the US like NBA or NFL. For me I am interested in the REAL football (Soccer) and Rugby fortunately all those events are covered by 3 streaming services Peacock, ESPN+ and Paramount+ for all of that I pay $160 a year and get some decent content on the side. Been re-watching the Original Twilight Zone again on CBS. What excellent episode writing it vanished with Rod Serling’s death.
    If there are games that can’t be found on those services like the Rugby Currie Cup in South Africa (Final was 3 days ago) it is readily available for download if you know where to find it.

  7. KL

    February 2, 2021 at 8:44 am

    Luckily my favorite MLS team is out of market for me so I can watch them on ESPN+ but I wonder how MLS fans could watch their in-market teams next season (ex: Atlanta United on FS Southeast). It doesn’t look like this dispute between Sinclair and the streaming services will end soon.

  8. KL

    February 2, 2021 at 8:32 am

    @Hans I agree that everything should be one portal. For example, ESPN puts all Bundesliga games on ESPN+. Remember the Bayern v Schakle matchup on ESPN? That was also streamed on ESPN+. However, as soccer fans we do have to be thankful. We can watch all our games (Top Five+MLS) for only $40 a month. But if, like me, you are also a basketball fan, access to your games on streaming has been cut and now you need to pay $100+ a month to watch your favorite basketball team. It baffles me people can watch Bundesliga, most of MLS, Serie A, FA Cup, Copa del Rey, and a bunch of niche leagues for only $5 a month but can’t watch our favorite basketball team down the street that doesn’t even have fans in attendance for a reasonable price. I’ve had to resort to questionable methods that I don’t promote to watch NBA.

  9. Hans

    February 2, 2021 at 1:56 am

    I am sure everyone on this site agrees, please give us the EPL on ONE portal for a reasonable price. The way the broadcast business is going at present, TV subscriptions are predicted by business experts because of the pandemic to be in the minority in a year or two and in 5 tears a minority of people will be looking at the TV subscription model with nostalgia. The networks that shell out the cash for the rights know this and to keep these two separate camps happy I can only see one way out, put the games on both platforms. At present Comcast is using the EPL to drive up subscriptions for their Peacock streaming service but that will end.
    This now just leaves the game presentations, pre and post game analysis plus your weekly shows. CBS has done a very clever setup, they have a London studio for the UCL and UEL games which allows them to have as commentators prominent experts during the broadcast, similar to BT and Sky Sports. The games that CBS broadcast so far were very well received by their audience. Thus many here wish CBS would get the EPL rights.
    For me I watch daily the ESPN-FC show and like it very much, today excellent discussion by Sid Lowe regarding the Messi situation, you don’t get that insight perspective from what I gave seen so far from the NBCSN personnel. ESPN-FC covers all major leagues and that is to my liking.
    Whatever transpires the waiting for who will get what rights will soon be revealed, definitely before the next season.

  10. Eric T

    February 2, 2021 at 12:51 am

    I’m hoping NBC retains the Premier League rights. They’ve done a great job with the property and the Peacock doesn’t really bother me. I don’t trust Fox because they are very sloppy with their soccer coverage. ESPN or CBS would be interesting options though

  11. Nosferatu

    February 1, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Jasinho,

    I love the idea of Peacock (or CBS) picking up the club TV channels. They’re still on B/R Live, which I obviously don’t subscribe to anymore, because as much as I enjoyed Arsenal World and Arsenal 360, I’m not about to pay $10 a month for those shows. But it would be a really nice added bit of fan engagement through Peacock, so hopefully those rights are up this year and they can go to Peacock or CBS.

  12. Edward

    February 1, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    have to agree with Jasinho about the Sky Sports simulcast today. I found them to be better connected than the NBC crew. any reviews/comps? did NBC side bring anyone on or did they just discuss amongst themselves?

  13. Adam

    February 1, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Just got a chance to listen to the pod. One area that deserved more discussion was the availability of windows for EPL matches. ESPN, Fox, and CBS have too many college sports rights to give EPL as much time on any of their cable channels as NBC can do on USA even with shutting down NBCSN. Same for over the air, sans CBS had golf some 20 weekends a year and NFL another 18. Only reason NBC loses EPL is if they don’t pony up the cash, because they can still give the league the most exposure and it isn’t really close.

  14. Jasinho

    February 1, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    I know I am in the minority, but I gave a huge round of applause for the Sky Sports News Transfer Deadline day coverage on Peacock. It was literally the only thing I watched all day from 9am to 7pm because I know I wouldn’t get this level of coverage on any of our sports tv this side of the Atlantic.

    Now should NBC retain the PL rights, it would be a real perfect opportunity to have Sky Sports News 24/7 on the Peacock virtual channels as well as the club tv channels like LFC TV, MUTV, CityTV, Arsenal TV, Chelsea TV, Spurs TV, and Everton TV among many others. If they pull this off in the next rights cycle, I’ll become an annual with no-ads subscriber on Peacock.

  15. TheOriginalTom

    February 1, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    Enjoyed the Pod last week guys. And I am liking the Soccer TV app. I’m glad you got the Club World Cup on there! Bummer that it is on Fox 2 and Fox Deportes.

  16. Domenico

    February 1, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    According to an Italian Newspaper CBS and ESPN are fighting for the rights to Serie A, the proposal from both is around 40 million a year source: https://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/diritti-tv-la-serie-a-rischio-300-milioni-ricavi-dall-estero-ADeuBVEB It is an Italian financial newspaper so it should be reliable.

  17. Karl

    February 1, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    What do you guys feel NBC adds for PL coverage that they couldn’t get from just putting their logo on a Sky broadcast? I don’t really understand the point or economics of corporate siblings producing separate broadcasts of different British dudes calling the same matches if Sky is thought to have “better” match broadcasts with “bigger” names calling them. NHL and peacock promos could be displayed on screen without them being talked about on the broadcast.

    Love the podcast, but one piece of criticism: Karthik’s continued Slavic “puli-sitch” pronunciation. Is the podcast more popular in the Balkans than in the US or is he trying to parrot the mispronunciations of foreign commentators?

    • Christopher Harris

      February 1, 2021 at 2:18 pm

      Kartik is trying to up his Slavic game 😉

  18. Yespage

    February 1, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    Fragmentation doesn’t other me. Being asked to pay more for cable/sat channels and then being forced into paying more for the programming that they are paywalling most certainly is.

    EPL rights have gotten dreadfully expensive, and I doubt it’ll be in the consumer’s best interest that these prices continue going higher and higher, as this will ensure paywalling of more EPL games. Currently, the paywall isn’t bad with NBC, other than the inability to pause or restart live sports (this seems to go across the board with Peacock sports programming). But this new contract is probably going to push content from linear to paywall, so again, need to pay twice for what we used to pay only once.

  19. Nosferatu

    February 1, 2021 at 1:10 am

    @Rye Brook, I don’t know–if you’re against fragmentation, would ESPN end up being better than NBC? Maybe there wouldn’t be as much, but I have a hard time imagining them not putting some games on their cable networks that wouldn’t be available through ESPN+.

    I’m not sure if CBS would do the same, but it’s possible, and it would be bad news as CBS Sports Network isn’t in as many homes as NBCSN. I think they’d probably do a good job with the league, but CBS All Access (Paramount+) doesn’t look like a streaming service that’s going to have great broad appeal. At least Peacock has The Office now and a good amount of other popular TV shows plus a few other sports.

  20. Rye Brook

    January 31, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Some great comments including JP’s mentioning people like me who find fragmentation to be, for several reasons, a bane in the ass. That’s one reason I’m not renewing Peacock once my sub expires. Fragmentation is one reason I missed out on the ESPN-FC TV show until mentioned on the WST podcast and sought it out. Who’d have thought it was on a channel that doesn’t even carry the actual matches? Also, the pod has become a favorite of mine too. Thanks to both of yez.
    Another stand-out post was from Mercator even though I don’t agree with all the points, many hit the mark. I’d be quite happy if ESPN got the Prem rights. I don’t have CBS’ CL channel but sounds like they’d do a good job with PL. Just not Comcast/NBC/Peacockup. “Nie wieder.”

  21. PS

    January 31, 2021 at 6:26 am

    @Turfit – beIN Sports wins the Premier League rights in MENA every three years. They don’t tend to go after Premier League rights in other countries where they operate channels as this would lead to higher financial outlay for minimal to no return. If you’re looking for a rank outsider then the focus would be on DAZN. They’ve had financial difficulties but have already gone after the main Serie A rights in Italy – and trying to overthrow Sky Sport in the process – but at worst will end up as the secondary broadcast partner, so there is clearly still money within the operation that can be spent.

    Having said that, I still fully expect Comcast to retain the rights in the US.

  22. rej4sl

    January 30, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Please anyone but BeIN as we don’t get an English version here and I ain’t watching in Spanish. Just leave as is. I get all games with my cable package and I am happy.

  23. Turfit

    January 30, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    I will find it funny if beIN Sports surprise everyone and win the bid for the EPL. They have both English and Spanish channels, they have OTA channel and planning to launch a Spanish OTA this year, they have cable channels and streaming channels. Plus they just renewed their rights with the EPL in Middle East and North Africa. And most of all, taking rights away from Comcast.

  24. Mercator

    January 30, 2021 at 3:52 am

    I’m not sure how so many people can laud NBC and say they care about the commentary, when peacock games have no commentary before or after! I will tolerate this from ESPN because they have a ton of rights and megacast, so there is no need for punditry because there are are rolling games all morning. CBS actually has the pundits on the stream before the game starts. Expect NBC to do away with most of their commentary once they put almost all the games on peacock only, why bother it costs money and you will subscribe to peacock anyway. You guys are confusing the current NBC with the one from 2013-2018 that actually made real efforts to grow the game and put out top market product.

    I hope CBS or ESPN gets it. I don’t think ESPN will go for it if they get the la liga rights, but I also don’t think the PL should underestimate . their reach with young sports fans. I watch MUCH more bundlesliga now that it is on ESPN, and yea the talking heads are annoying but if they are pushing the PL that does more than anything else to grow the game. These guys are talking to millions of 20 yr old sports fans every day. I think CBS could do a really great job as well based on their CL presentation and they have a useless sports channel so I think they are in the best position to commit to having the most games on TV. CBS was putting NWSL games on OTA tv, so I have the most confidence in them masking a proper effort. NBC is no longer doing that.

    I think we can all agree though that anyone is preferable to Fox. I will watch in Chinese before I listen to Alexi Lalas at 7 in the morning.

  25. Chris Guardiano

    January 29, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    @Edwin Thanks for pointing that out to me when it comes to ESPN and MLS. They and Univision have been around since the beginning in 1996 and I don’t see either one of them dumping MLS partially because the MLS rights are tied in with the USMNT/USWNT rights. If ESPN did dump MLS, they would forfeit their right to broadcast those matches. The same applies to Univision and Fox as well Fox even more so since they have the World Cup.

  26. Edwin

    January 29, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    @JP I agree as I’m sure you are aware NBC exec Rick Cordella all but said this “NBC makes no to very little money off EPL rights’ this was said in a article written by Jonathan Tannenwald back in 2017.

    That correlated with NBC moving EPL games behind paywall after they gave EPL that 6yr $1 billion deal. That was the inflection point 2015-2016 the year Leicester won the title viewership peaked and was the EPL NBC highpoint. I agree because of poor ad generated TV time slots. Networks simply can’t generate enough TV revenue to in those time slots to make a profit. So the plan is to generate profits though pay subscription fees. That has always been the limitation caps with European soccer leagues on US TV. You can’t change time.

  27. Edwin

    January 29, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    @Chris Guardiano No way is or would ESPN dump MLS simply because the got all the Euro league because MLS in itself still attracts twice the viewership on average than Bundesliga and Serie A combined when you actually go look at the stats. ESPN also has been a partner from the start with MLS aka they have skin in the game as well as FOX it’s been said they all have a soft spot for MLS and all want to see it succeed.

  28. JP

    January 29, 2021 at 11:44 am

    @Michael F, you can add a 3rd of category fans.

    People who want an end to the fragmentation of coverage.
    If a network provides coverage, allow matches that are only shown online to be available with cable authentication. For those who don’t have cable, allow them to purchase the online matches AND have the matches on TV be available to them online as well (live not 6+ hour later like on Peacock).
    CBS All Access, er, Paramount+ is the only one with this model currently. ESPN+ comes very close, as they show minimal matches on TV.
    As for analysis, studio shows, “deep dives” and the like, I don’t care. So put me in category 1 in that respect. ESPN+ does have the weekly league preview/review shows produced by Serie A. When I used to watch these on beIN they had features on players/clubs outside of the top teams.
    I feel this way for all the sports I follow and not just soccer. Have no use for pregame/postgame, weekly banter. At most just give me league wide highlights following the end of a match day. But these can be found on YouTube in many cases. The app I use to follow the scores/schedules/news has it embedded in the match details soon after it ends. So can watch a 2-5 minute package of event for the matches I didn’t watch, depending on the league. La Liga on the shorter end and Serie A on the longer.

  29. Michael F

    January 29, 2021 at 10:38 am

    @Nosferatu Everything you just said about NBC vs ESPN with regards potential future coverage of the EPL is exactly how I feel and have expressed before.
    There seems to be two types of Euro soccer fans here in the US. and those that follow WST:
    1. There are those that just want as much soccer as possible in one place or at the lowest possible cost (i.e. don’t we all want that?) but are not at all interested as much in the quality of match day coverage and analysis and a deep dive into all the euro league clubs (only interested in top 4 or 6 money teams they root for).
    2. There are those that want to fully absorb themselves into the storylines and analysis of a league they follow and get an in-depth coverage of matches of all the clubs and not just skim the top (i.e. only cover top 4 or 6 clubs).
    Both of these type of viewers have been quite vocal with their opinion on this site. Those that are cord cutters and only care to watch as many matches as possible for a low cost typically want NBC to go away and have one of the other content providers take all of EPL’s matches and put them on a streaming package. I also think that’s wishful and unrealistic thinking and you currently don’t see that today with Serie A and Bundesliga with ESPN, although the majority of matches are on ESPN+.
    Someone else had a great point about a network broadcast that is needed to fully absorb a euro league’s coverage – like NBC does with EPL. Put it on a stream app like ESPN+ and you would never see this kind of in-depth coverage of the EPL. All you have to do is witness now how ESPN FC covers the EPL and the other euro leagues that ESPN+ carries matches for (i.e. Serie A and Bundesliga). ESPN FC only cover analysis of the few top clubs of these leagues. I like that show for what it is, but it is not in-depth coverage of any league. It’s a nice summary of the top clubs though.

  30. Nosferatu

    January 29, 2021 at 2:33 am

    I can certainly understand how NBC has opened themselves up for added criticism this past year, what with moving games to Peacock, but I’m still overall a fan of their coverage of the Premier League. And with what I know about ESPN, I’m going to guess that I wouldn’t like their coverage of the Premier League as much.

    That’s just a guess, but for one, I doubt every game would be on ESPN+; it seems highly likely, in my opinion, that they’d put some on their cable channels. On top of that, I rarely enjoy their coverage of any sport, from the studio analysts to the general approach they have their talking heads take. And if coverage feels limited or disjointed now, I have trouble seeing that improve going forward.

    You never know, though. Thinking recently, I was a big fan of their coverage of the Euros in 2016, so maybe there is hope. As far as other networks, I definitely wouldn’t be happy about Fox, simply considering some of their analysts who surely would stick around, and their streaming apps that make Peacock look like the gold standard. And CBS, with almost everything only on a streaming service that seems to have little broad appeal, might have good coverage, but it would be so far off the radar that I’d feel bad about the potential growth of the sport in this country, if that matters for anything.

  31. William M.

    January 28, 2021 at 11:39 pm

    Some people already pointed it out but…

    Listeners to WST are not the average sports fan, I wonder if they are even the average soccer fan.

    Real Madrid, Barcelona, and EPL top 6 drive the bus and even then, its not a lock that you’d get a million viewers for games featuring ONE of those teams vs. the benches.

    My money is on NBC keeping EPL.

    La Liga to ESPN IS interesting but how simple is it to break contract with Bein Sport? (Also why is this the only place I see this story reported?)

  32. Michael F

    January 28, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    @Hans I am subscribed to the Athletic. Best source for sports journalism out there. I will check that out. Thanks.

  33. Hans

    January 28, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    😆 Michael, Just picked this one up from the Athletic talking about the Peacock channel and they are very objective with all the sports content.
    Does Peacock turn a profit?
    Not yet, which is normal for what’s still a startup industry. Comcast said Thursday that Peacock generated $100 million-plus in revenue last year but EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) losses through 2021 are expected to reach $2 billion.
    Like so many others here I am also after the Holy Grail of Soccer Broadcast. Not on Cable but on not too many divided streaming platforms at a decent price with coverage that can be appreciated.
    At the moment I am paying $160 per year for ESPN+, CBS All Access and Peacock. That is very affordable and the only complaint I have is the navigation and finding content on peacock 🙂
    Even though I received a refund I still have full access to Peacock and I presume that since they have my CC details and a pending renewal in November they might just keep it that way.

  34. Michael F

    January 28, 2021 at 6:13 pm

    @Hans. Glad to hear from you. I would have actually been worried if you didn’t post a counter rebuttal. You are reliable for sure. Good stuff.

  35. Hans

    January 28, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    There is a simple reason for many of us why we want Comcast out of the picture they can’t be trusted and as already stated they want maximize their profits or better but want all the money they can get from you. Here are two different quotes from two different articles to ponder over. The 1st one with their business of cable subscriptions which shines a light on their business practice and the 2nd about their declining assets.
    1. The ever-expanding cable bill.
    The Television Viewer Protection Act finally went into effect last month, so I was curious to see how companies like Comcast and Spectrum are dealing with the billing transparency component in particular. None of these companies are known for being up-front about pricing; would the new law change things?
    Let’s take a look at Comcast’s Xfinity TV sign-up flow. Shop for a bundle of internet and TV, and you’ll get a seemingly attractive offer of $80 per month for 200Mbps internet and more than 130 channels with a two-year agreement. But as we know, that’s not the real price.
    Only on the final order review page does Comcast reveal the true monthly price of $129.34 per month, and—what a surprise—it’s buried halfway down the page in small print. Of course, that’s just a promo rate. After a year, the price rises to $139.34, and it jumps again to $159.34 after two years.
    A cable company that wanted to position itself as customer friendly could ditch the surprise fees and embrace transparency. But even with a new law on the books, some sleazy old marketing habits die hard.
    2. From a June 29, 2020 Deadline article:
    Outplayed by Disney in a bidding war for 21st Century Fox Hollywood assets in 2018, Comcast instead acquired British satellite broadcaster Sky — for $36 billion more than it’s worth today, according to one Wall Street analyst, suggesting the plunging valuation may be less worrisome than the media giant’s lack of strategic vision for the U.K. company.
    This is a declining asset, so I think they may want to recoup some of that money by futzing around with US customers. For me Comcast is a company with a sleazy way of doing business and that will filter into its sports programs.
    I read here all the glowing reports about the detailed analysis if it is on Peacock I can’t find it. Watched the Arsenal v. SHampton and the Everton v. Leicester games. When the game ended that was it just an empty screen. I do watch regularly ESPN+ FC which covers all the leagues. If it is on the cable channels then it really doesn’t fit here as an argument for those that want streaming. And here we are waiting for the fallout from the bidding war and I hope that Comcast gets played out again as they were by Disney in 2018.

  36. Michael F

    January 28, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    @PS I tend to agree with you on some of the editorial here on this web site.
    As an example, I reference the previous editorial on the critical piece of NBC’s sports match day coverage of the Premier League. I thought it was way too subjective and it seemed to have an agenda to tickle the ears of many of this site’s readers that have had a knee jerk reaction to the issues of Comcast’s Peacock roll out, how PL matches are aired etc (i.e. on NBCSN and Peacock). It seems there is this overall slant here to want to see a change to EPL coverage (i.e. away from Comcast) without any substantial evidence yet that it will occur. It seems to just want to get everyone all riled up and file more of the same opinions to take up space!
    Btw… I don’t ever see any editorial critique on ESPN+ or CBS All access match day coverage and analysis and there could be plenty to pick apart if you wanted to.
    Although they deserve some warranted criticism, there is a definite negative bulls eye target on NBC/Comcast (hoping for EPL to be broadcast elsewhere) and the authors of this site seem to be obliged in spinning it to the benefit of the readers here that have had enough of Comcast.
    Like Joe Friday… I just want the facts ma’am. Nothing else.

  37. PS

    January 28, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    I do worry about the editorial direction of this website at times. Why on earth would any of these companies wish to partner on what is, and always will be, an imported European league that does not deliver great viewing numbers in the grand scheme? You are treating this as if a multitude of broadcasters would be willing to join forces and oust the incumbent rights holder at all costs… this is not a domestic US property that broadcasters salivate over.

    Any one of the broadcasters could afford to nab rights exclusively – but whether they’re willing to actually spend big (in terms of European league content) is another matter entirely. The Premier League does not go as cheap as LaLiga, Bundesliga or Serie A rights go for.

    Let’s remain in the real world?

  38. disco george

    January 28, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    In all fairness, I would miss Sky Sports News every morning if the PL left NBC. I’ve gotten really used to watching it while working from home, and it’s been nice to see them even covering the WSL transfer window (as a side note, I’m REALLY going to miss seeing the women’s game live after the URFC implosion this fall).

  39. Brian

    January 28, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    I have mention it in a prior post that a joint bid could get in the way of NBC. However I thought about maybe ESPN and NBC teaming up?

    Side question. When NBC does the fanfest is that NBC money and NBC doing that themselves or is that the EPL paying NBC to do that?

  40. Edward

    January 28, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Watching Bundesliga on Fox Sports intermixed with Fox News ads was awkward. I doubt they go for international football. Perhaps just USWNT/USMNT matches

  41. JP

    January 28, 2021 at 8:58 am

    @The Auditor. I believe the case for partnering is to maximize the number or matches OTA or on cable to make it more attractive to EPL to make the switch. CBS would be free on Saturday mornings in the fall, ABC would be available Sunday. Flip to winter/spring, and ABC would have more windows open Saturday’s with no college football while CBS has their NCAA basketball obligations.
    However, think the networks have seen ample evidence that it’s difficult to impossible to make a profit on these European leagues unless it’s put behind a paywall and make the relatively small (compared to other sports) cadre of dedicated fans fund it.
    So it will likely be an ESPN+ or Paramount+ if it leaves NBC’s universe, which would likely be on Peacock for the majority of matches.

  42. sdf

    January 28, 2021 at 8:39 am

    I’d prefer La Liga and EPL going to ESPN. NBC has really been annoying with their coverage lately with big matches being put behind a paywall at Peacock. Those could have easily been put on NBC (ota) or NBCSN. Seems obvious that they are trying to maximize their profits while angering their users.

  43. The Auditor

    January 28, 2021 at 7:12 am

    Why would they need to partner? Anyone one of them could it on their own with the others. It’s not big $ or a huge lift.

  44. Chris Guardiano

    January 28, 2021 at 2:38 am

    In my view when it comes to the Premier League TV rights beyond next season, I think it will be a 3 horse race between NBC, ESPN and CBS. I do not see FOX getting involved with the Premier League again because as Chris pointed out to me a few weeks ago, their main focus seems to be retaining the rights to MLS, USMNT/USWNT and the World Cup.
    ESPN could drop out of the race for the Premier League if they get the rights to La Liga because I see them heavily promoting ESPN+ subscriptions, El Clasico, and Real Madrid/Barcelona if they get the rights. I also expect to see El Clasico on TV every time it happens in the Spanish domestic season since ESPN have the rights to the Copa del Rey and the Spanish Super Cup.
    This would then leave NBC and CBS. Out of the two, I would prefer CBS get the rights because if they decide to put the majority of matches on Paramount+, the quality of programming on there besides the Premier League and the Champions League is better than what is available on Peacock. Also since Paramount+ will be included in my Amazon Prime Video account, I get to watch for only $4 extra per month to my bill and not have to deal with a separate Paramount+ subscription like I currently do with Peacock. If CBS get the English language rights to the Premier League, I expect Univision to get the Spanish language rights. Lastly I have a question for Chris: With ESPN acquiring the rights to many of the top European leagues in recent years, do you see ESPN saying in the near future “We have the European leagues let’s dump MLS” and if so who do you think would bid for the rights?

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