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First impressions of Peacock streaming big games: World Soccer Talk Podcast

In the NEW episode, number 190, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• The Premier League breaks a record on US TV,
• We reveal which long-time commentator is leaving ESPN,
• Copa Libertadores returns to US television and springs a surprise,
• ESPN announces plans for brand-new Bundesliga season,
• 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

Send in your questions, comments and feedback via e-mail, via Twitter (@worldsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

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  1. Edward

    September 22, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    for all the EPL fans with Twitter handles like Bob2334045945 since 1979 who are threatening to cancel because of Peacock, this is the shape of things to come:

    “Programming once intended only for broadcast or cable may also appear on Peacock, and Peacock original content may find a home on the networks…The future is also dimming for sports networks like the Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network. Hockey and soccer games are likely to appear more frequently on USA Network and Peacock, the people say.”

    • Jesus

      September 23, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      To read the article in the wsj you have to be a subscriber. Better to copy and paste the article if you want people here to read it.

  2. LTx

    September 21, 2020 at 10:41 pm

    If NBC wants to retain my custom they have to allow viewers the ability to start a match from the beginning whenever they choose to watch it. With family commitments and a life that doesn’t revolve around English kick off times it’s impractical to watch matches live consistently. Create a personal watch list that deletes after 24 hrs if total on-demand is not possible. Give your customers options! I am simply not going to continue to pay for something that I can’t reliably watch when I want to and I refuse to reward incompetence in any area of life.
    Also get this on Fire TV now. I have already ditched HBO for their intransigence over this issue. If NBC believes customers will change hardware in order solely to access their app then they are over-estimating their own importance and undermining their own value proposition. I can’t understand how my observations (and those of other commenters on this site) cannot have been foreseen before the launch of what is hardly a ground-breaking product.

    • Steve

      September 22, 2020 at 7:44 pm

      Exactly. In the modern era, I can’t fathom how NBC thought it was okay to both circumvent our paid-for cable and DVRs while moving content over to an antiquated app they can’t approach my 10-year-old TiVo. How NBC execs thought this was okay simply boggles my mind. And btw my kids never were able to watch the Liverpool-Chelsea game, which they were looking forward to, because we couldn’t watch it live (we were at church) and it took forever to post after conclusion, and they had to get to bed early for their school schedule. The depth of this stupidity is hard to fathom.

  3. Scott

    September 21, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    I can’t speak to the app’s performance on other platforms, but I find the app works well on my Apple TV 4K.

  4. JP

    September 21, 2020 at 10:47 am

    For any soccer fans who are neutral when it comes to EPL clubs, you’re better off ignoring the Peacock nonsense and just follow what’s on ESPN+.
    I went into the weekend looking forward to the Serie A return and the Real Sociedad v Real Madrid matches the most. Turned out a couple of Eredivisie matches I decided to check in on between/before matches I planned to follow were my personal favorites of the weekend.
    AZ Alkmaar v PEC Zwolle and Feyenoord v FC Twente. Both draws but thrilling throughout, especially the ending for Feyenoord where they failed to convert three chances to win it almost in succession.
    There were others that were entertaining, Koln v Hoffenheim (admit I didn’t see most of the second half), Villarreal v Eibar, and Celta v Valencia most notably. So if you have ESPN+ or access to beIN very likely there will be a match or two you’ll stumble upon that will entertain you every bit as much as EPL.
    For EPL fans emotionally tied to a particular club this obviously doesn’t apply to you.

  5. John

    September 21, 2020 at 9:01 am

    I pay for a TV subscription already.

  6. Joe

    September 21, 2020 at 12:26 am

    BBC Football asked if this was the most entertaining weekend in premier league history. Eight games with plenty of goals and drama. I only saw two because six were on Peacock. I hope some one else gets the rights soon. My advice is simple: don’t pay for the streaming app. Perhaps that will bring change.

    • MAHLUF

      September 21, 2020 at 9:49 am

      I’m sure they are shaking in the boots…

  7. Ivan

    September 20, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    Resist corporate greed!
    Don’t pay the greedy bastards!
    Them, ESPN Plus, CBS, nope.
    Find other ways.

    • hmmm

      September 21, 2020 at 8:20 am

      And if everybody had that same philosophy around the world? There would be no coverage at all. No subscribers = no money to purchase rights.

      Having an issue with “corporate greed” doesn’t give anybody the right to steal the content.

  8. Rye Brook

    September 20, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    In any other year you’d think “I went to look for a decent match on NBCSN only to find it was on peacock’s garbage service, while NBCSN at the same time was showing a car auction rerun, maybe being watched by a couple thousand from coast to coast” was somebody exaggerating but in 2020 this is actually what’s happening. My personal gripe is the clunky peacock interface and the fragmentation of the premier league so nothing flows any more and you have to poke around hoping to find anything beyond the games themselves.
    Comcast dismantling once-proud NBC is just one element of a wider malaise. The US is turning into a desperate grab for people’s money in a final frenzy of greed. Even bigger affronts lie ahead.

  9. Steve

    September 20, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    I’m pretty livid over what NBC has done to EPL. I pay for NBCSN, pay for DVR service to record the games to watch when conducive to the family schedule, and now NBC demands more money by shifting premier matches to an app that is nothing but a steaming crap sandwich. How surprised was I to find I couldn’t start a live Liverpool game from the beginning, which is a basic function of any modern streaming service. My family schedule simply makes it impossible for us and the kids to catch games live and at the precise starting point. Nor do we have time to sit around waiting for a match to post to peacock 4 hours after the match concluded. At least in the 80s you could record a game on VHS and watch it soon thereafter. Peacock has brought TV backwards like 40 years. It really beggars belief that NBC would foist this garbage and make us pay for it. I pity EPL watchers out on the West Coast. I could see shifting a low traffic match like West brom vs Fulham to a streaming app, but recently I went to look for a decent match on NBCSN only to find it was on peacock’s garbage service, while NBCSN at the same time was showing a car auction rerun, maybe being watched by a couple thousand from coast to coast. As for the service itself, its abominable. Laggy, the audio and visual is often not synced, sometimes a pixelated screen. This is the only streaming service I’ve seen behave like this. I have truly enjoyed NBC’s production of the EPL, which went far beyond the amateur nature of the nonsense during champions league that Fox would attempt. NBC has always produced a quality broadcast, a quality set, with high quality talent. What they are doing to the product with peacock is simply shocking. If this continues I hope they lose the next EPL contract.

    • PJinLA

      September 21, 2020 at 1:11 am

      Yep, I totally agree. Like, what’s the point feckin point of NBCSN anymore?

  10. Roberto

    September 20, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    All this talk about Peacock, sure is boring!!!!

  11. Josh

    September 20, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    Like others, I just can’t believe there isn’t a pause / rewind option and the ability to view an archived game immediately (or within 30 minutes) after it has finished. I had these options with my DVR box from my cable company literally 15 years ago. And I still can’t watch (legally) on my FireStick from my 2nd and 3rd TVs. Why are we going backwards? THAT is what people are upset about.

    • Steve

      September 20, 2020 at 8:19 pm

      That’s exactly what infuriates me the most – that NBC are devolving the TV experience and not evolving it. The fact they could shift high profile matches, which could easily draw a million viewers on NBC, to a junk app not ready for prime time and with antiquated functioning (eg can’t start a match from the beginning) simply beggars belief.

  12. javi_ah

    September 20, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    I will do all I can to stream without paying a cent to these blood suckers.

  13. Eplnfl

    September 20, 2020 at 10:27 am

    Peacock has a lot of flaws. Okay it sucks. I have Comcast and get the service as part of my cable but try to first find the match which often takes some effort since whatever is the first match of the day seems to always be featured. Then when you go to any match your told that you have to wait.
    Then go to the Epl channel stream and your told you can find the match there.

    Now if I download Peacock to my iPad I can’t seem to get the free service which I am entitled to.

  14. Bill

    September 19, 2020 at 6:21 am

    Here it is 6am East Coast USA. Have always had the 1 hour EPL review/preview show on NBCSN before the EPL mornings show.

    No where to be found this morning. Hopefully if they care (they have my 5.99 so probably not, they will get all the content up and running.

    Anyway, TONS of matches all over to watch today so Happy Saturday (even if We have to use a computer to watch the EPL)

  15. Jesus

    September 18, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Peacock is much worse than Gold. The user interface on Peacock is terrible. On Gold it was easy to find matches and programs. Not so on Peacock where there’s so much clutter and programs like the EPL Preview and Review shows are not found or available. Not having it on Roku is also a negative for me as I have to watch it on my computer. I would have to purchase another device, like Apple TV which adds to the cost.

  16. Bill

    September 18, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    wow, I just want to watch the live programming I watched the last few years and have the recorded/streaming replay option to watch things I couldnt watch live.
    If I had to run out early saturday morning for work, missed the morning show. I watch it during the match when I get home .
    lol thats all I want, same service in any form that Ive always had.

    Tomorrow is a perfect example. I have my whole work crew working tomorrow as we recover from the hurricane . I will be out assisting as needed at 6am knowing that when I get home I can catch up on what I missed. But right now if I want to watch the pre match show with Rebecca and the guys or their show in between the matches I cant unless I stay home and watch it on my computer live.

    There in lies the problem with peacock today..

    • Greg C

      September 18, 2020 at 8:42 pm

      I wouldnt worry about the pre or post match mate, they just show pictures of dressed up dogs and babies.
      Good luck with the cleanups

  17. Ed Poon

    September 18, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    I will pay their $5, but that has to be for the same DVR-like functionality as we had on Youtube TV: ability to start any match at any time (whether or not in progress, and before 9pm), pause, fast forward or rewind, watch Goal Zone and other programming, etc. This is a huge step backwards for EPL fans.

  18. Tom3

    September 18, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I’m remarkably close to the point of stopping watching EPL if they don’t get Peacock on Roku in about the next three weeks. And now I’m reading just this morning they’re about to squeeze us again by pulling NBCSN off Roku. I’ve really about had it with the greed.

    • rob

      September 18, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      I agree. I am not sure why worldsoccertalk had posted several articles with a biased opinion on blaming this all on roku and amazon and acting like peacock / nbc have zero blame. Now nbc are going to pull all apps from roku and amazon.

      • Tom3

        September 18, 2020 at 12:56 pm

        I’ve been very disappointed in the view of the WST folks on this screwy stuff NBC is doing. I’ve paid the money for the service and now I still can’t watch it on Roku. I sideloaded Peacock on Amazon and it crashed and never would work. If you’re not going to put it on the major platforms, you’re failing the game and the fans. I cannot imagine how this isn’t violating their broadcast agreements with the EPL. They are strangling the support for soccer nationwide. BTW they had that big number for Liverpool-Leeds last week and now they’ll be lucky to get 15% of that for the games this week.

    • Jim

      September 19, 2020 at 11:24 am

      Roku and NBCUniversal have a deal and Peacock is coming to Roku “in the coming weeks.”

  19. disco george

    September 18, 2020 at 12:26 am

    Just a couple more points to add to the massive heap of Peacock comments…

    You’re right in that it’s not fundamentally a huge deal to pay a few dollars a month for streaming. I’d argue it’s more about the timing than anything. The 19-20 season basically just ended, and nothing has really changed from the consumer’s perspective in the few weeks that have passed since we were getting the ‘big games’ on NBC/NBCSN.

    Combined with the Champions League moving to mostly paid streaming and the Bundesliga moving to paid streaming, it *feels* like we’re getting nickeled and dimed left and right all of a sudden (regardless of the practical reasons for these changes, it feels like a lot all at once). People just really aren’t here for it right now, considering the wider context.

    I wouldn’t be paying extra for it if it didn’t come with Comcast, for the same reason why I’ve never went to any great lengths to get Bein — I’m either still asleep or not home for so many of the matches that it’s not worth the extra expense to me.

    Also, the Premier League TV channel is cool and I’ve enjoyed some of the programming, but it’s been ‘blacked out’ at some odd times beyond when NBCSN is airing Premier League programming. Maybe it was technical difficulties and they just used the same disclaimer? Still weird.

  20. Charles Kerr

    September 17, 2020 at 8:16 pm


    If Peacock execs listen to the WST podcast, please tell them they got 3-weeks to resolve their issues with Amazon and Firestick coverage or I’ll be forced to whack Peacock…


  21. lTX

    September 17, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Whilst I can understand Peacock pushing more games onto their streaming platform and I don’t mind about the cost I have a major issue with the lack of ability to watch on demand. I have a wife and family and a Monday to Friday job. On Saturday morning I can usually catch the early game live but then I have errands to run before I take the kids to soccer practice. I then catch up on the games I miss when I get back home. Now on Peacock I won’t be able to. At the absolute minimum there should be a personal account record function even if complete on demand is not allowed. I can do this with YouTube TV and it is ludicrous that I would get less functionality from a bespoke app which I pay for from a major broadcaster than I get from a general channel carrier.

    In another article I see advice to upgrade to Apple TV to watch Peacock. I thought Peacock was the price of a cup of coffee? Now it’s the price of an Apple TV plus a cup of coffee! I have 3 Amazon TV’s I can use at different times to watch games. Should I get 3 Apple TV’s instead???

    As a Brit who has lived in the US for over a decade if Peacock is prepared to lose my custom due to abysmal product functionality combined with restricted availability then so be it, In that case the Premier League needs a different partner or it will fade out of relevance in the US.

    Peacock – These are solvable problems. Solve them!

  22. FlatBackFour

    September 17, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    The fact that everything but the matches themselves are only live is ridiculous, especially for people on the west coast. I’m not getting up at 3:30 just so I can watch Rebecca and the boys. I used to use my DVR and Gold via Roku and it was fine. Definitely massive steps backwards.

  23. Ritchie

    September 17, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Kartik either doesn’t understand nuance or is clutching at a strawman argument.

    It isn’t about having to buy a $5 a month package to see all of the EPL. It’s mostly that the coverage has regressed.

    -Why isn’t the shoulder programming on-demand?
    -Why do we have to wait until 10pm to get the game replays?
    -Why do they blackout the PL channel while the NBCSN pre-game is on?
    -Why can’t I rewind the games after they’ve started (this was possible on Gold)?
    -Why don’t the games show up with simple keyword searches?
    -Why do we have to endure all of this when the platform was fine before hand?

    Don’t oversimplify it to make it seem as if people are whining about how to spend one-cup-of-coffee money per month for soccer. The implementation is poor, unquestionably.

    • Mercator

      September 17, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      The Spurs/Everton game literally did not work. Is there anyone that watched it clean through without buffering and restarting? This is literally the most basic task – show the game. It’s not about the $5 bucks (many of us get it free with Comcast), or the fact NBC keeps trying to rip us off…it’s that I cannot watch the game anymore, I can’t find any of the studio stuff, I tune into NBCSN and who knows what’s on now!

      Before it was clear, sat/sun morning you can tune in and there is the football. You can hit record and you have everything, you don’t need to switch channels or streams. Now it’s like fishing or nascar or something, and the actual game is on one of these NBC apps which never work. Brilliant. If I have to start changing channels or streams in between games I very well might change it to a La Liga/Ligue 1/Seria A game. I don’t want to see West Bromwich v Crystal Palace that bad, once I start looking around i’d probably rather watch Schalke v. Leipzig.

      I’ll watch the Arsenal on IPTV (can’t trust Peacock not to buffer out like it did last week) and will aim to watch more Bundesliga this year. ESPN+ works and it could be pretty cool with ESPN seeming to make an effort and with the ESPN+ multicast when a few games are going.

    • David the Yank

      September 17, 2020 at 7:19 pm

      Well said Richie.
      Paying not the issue.
      Dramatically worse user experience every single weekend is the issue.
      The best sign nbc has no clue was when I opened peacock last Saturday and the splash screen spoiled the score of the game I wanted to watch! That shows utter cluelessness about your customers

  24. Bill

    September 17, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    listening to the podcast right now, enjoy it as always.
    I have a question about this saturday’s EPL coverage based on how I always watched it, change is painful lol.

    With peacock having the first 2 games saturday morning where will the premier league live morning show with Rebecca and the guys be?

    On NBCSN I’d always record all the EPL programming and watch it live but have it all there to go back to if needed. Is the studio show going to show up on peacock and if I’m not watching live will we be able to watch it “on demand” at some point.

    Between games when they go back to the studio, where is that to watch if you cant watch it live?

    Thank you for all you are doing for us USA football fans

    • Christopher Harris

      September 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Bill, the morning shows will all be on Peacock Premium this weekend. So it’ll be one continuous stream. You should be able to tune in early for the Everton-West Brom game, which will feature the regular pre-game coverage and analysis.

      I don’t believe the MyPLMorning shows will be available on-demand. Live only.

    • Nosferatu

      September 17, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      I agree that it’s a bit disappointing to not have replays of the studio shows available on Peacock. I wouldn’t mind if they just included them at the start or end of the game broadcast, meaning you could just fast-forward if you only wanted to get to the games.

      It’s especially relevant because you don’t always get the starting eleven or subs as part of the game broadcast, so you’re stuck trying to figure things out as you go while watching a replay.

  25. JP

    September 17, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Seeing all the comments on Peacock makes me glad I’m not a die hard EPL fan. Cannot image watching Serie A without the ability to rewind to anything I missed on ESPN+. Even beIN Connect has that functionality and we know that’s not exactly the gold standard for streaming.

    I get your point that people should be expected to pay for soccer coverage, but fans of EPL were once given everything for free (provided you had NBCSN) and are now slowly rolling back the access. Can see how that would upset people. At the same time, they need multiple services to follow the league. It’s like the ESPN model for Serie A on steroids!

    They are going to lose the casual fans they once gained from making the matches ubiquitous on NBC platforms.

    If they lose the NHL after next season (very possible) and have more EPL behind a paywall then NBCSN becaomes just about as useless as CBSSN (pre UCL/EL) and would be interesting how Comcast could justify carrying the channel but not beIN without obviously violating anti trust regulations.

    • Eddie

      September 17, 2020 at 7:08 pm

      I’m not sure if NBC could lose NHL and Premier League after next season. I wonder who will grab the tv rights streaming and tv?

      • Chris Guardiano

        September 20, 2020 at 12:54 pm

        CBS is bidding for both the NHL and Premier League although they are more likely to get the Premier League since they can put it on All Access more easily like they have with the CL/EL and NWSL. With the NHL, the league have told potential bidders that the majority of games need to be on TV and unless CBSSN becomes a basic cable channel like FS1 and NBCSN then I don’t see CBS getting the NHL. It is more likely that CBS will be competing with Turner (which includes TNT or TBS for matches on TV) for the portion of the MLS contract currently held by Fox (which includes MLS Cup in even numbered years) because Fox looks increasingly disinterested in covering soccer outside of the FIFA events which make them the same amount of money in covering a 64 game tournament as they would make in covering an entire NFL season.

        • eddie

          September 23, 2020 at 10:38 am

          Im not sure if Fox Sports can renew the FIFA world cup and other tournaments after the contract expires. I bet 2022 world cup they might sublicense to a different network because fox has a lot sports conflict including NFL and College Football and lot events on Fox Sports. their coverage is airing 64 game tourment on tv but the due conflict on FOX and FS1 there will struggle.

          • Ritchie

            September 23, 2020 at 1:19 pm

            There are only about 6 or seven WC 2022 matches that will take place on a weekend after 12 noon. FOX could move college football games as they see fit for the Saturday games. For the Sunday matches, they could ask the NFL to only schedule them for 4:25 games during those 2-3 Sundays (the WC 2:00 ET game should be over by then).

            For example: when they had the US Open, CBS never showed a 4:00 game the first week of the NFL season because it always televised the men’s final.

    • SC

      September 17, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      NASCAR and the Olympics are still dramatically more valuable properties than anything beIN has even if they lost both the PL and NHL. They reportedly have a right of first refusal on the NHL, and the consensus seems to be that they will keep the bulk of the rights with a package carved out for ESPN.

      • JP

        September 17, 2020 at 9:09 pm

        That’s true, but also true the Olympics are only a few weeks of programming every two years and a lot of the marquee events are on over the air NBC.
        Can’t speak for NASCAR since never a fan, but what is the frequency of races? In any case, it would become a very niche channel in the event they did lose NHL and most of EPL on Peacock.
        Can say they have many Golf events and NFL, but those are never shown on NBCSN

        • SC

          September 17, 2020 at 9:58 pm

          NASCAR is pretty much weekly with NBC holding the rights for the final 20 races. Their second tier Xfinity Series also does strong ratings.

          Realistically though, after possibly a lean year or two, NBC would just spend the NHL money on another large property. Turner’s NBA package? Big Ten? PAC 12? I still doubt Comcast would have anything to worry about from a beIN standpoint..

          • Eddie

            September 17, 2020 at 10:53 pm

            Who are the container of getting tv rights and streaming?

          • Chris Guardiano

            September 20, 2020 at 1:08 pm

            NBA isn’t leaving Turner until 2030 at the earliest and CBS are the leading candidates to get Pac-12 football in 2023 from Fox since the SEC is likely to be staying on ESPN and moving from CBS to Fox. As for the Big Ten, I could see NBC bidding for it because it could be entirely possible that Notre Dame who NBC have a contract with, decides to remain in the ACC after this season and ESPN has total control over the rights and wouldn’t want to share rights with NBC. NBC would most likely get the Fox portion of the Big Ten contract if they decided to bid for the rights.

            • Eddie

              September 20, 2020 at 9:08 pm

              Big ten will likely to be NBC sports if they lose tv rights of properties on there programming.

    • rkujay

      September 23, 2020 at 10:11 am

      Soccer media, since its inception in the 80’s in the US, has demonstrated that it would like a big audience in America, but is unwilling to spend the money to generate interest. When my, now mid 40’s son, started playing, it was said that “soccer is the next big thing”. The way they’ve mistreated US soccer fans demonstrates that they’re waiting for grass roots to promote the game. However the system has developed in such a way that money is the driving force behind youth soccer. I believe it is passing the media by. It will, simultaneously be the beautiful game the world is smitten with, and a niche sport in sports starved America. Perhaps if they gave up the misbegotten use of the current political climate, they’d generate more interest from those who wish to have sports sacrosanct from political discourse?
      Politics and football are inseparable, though. And I’d be naive to suggest otherwise. Remember Generalissimo Franco? When the leader of Spain discovered that Barca signed the Argentine Alfredo DiStefano, he stepped in and halted the sale. Distefano then signed for Franco’s hometown squad. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? Real Madrid.

      end rant

      • rkujay

        September 23, 2020 at 10:14 am

        Real means ‘royal’. Now you get the connection.

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