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Future of NBCSN, MLS TV ratings, changes to Peacock and EPL TV deal: World Soccer Talk Podcast

In the NEW episode, number 203, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• News about the possible final days of our favorite soccer TV channel,
• Peacock tightens the grip on Premier League fans once again,
• We debate how the MLS Cup Final TV ratings did,
• How streaming numbers are going through the roof,
• Possible destination for next Premier League TV deal in USA,
• Perceived London bias against managers David Moyes and Sam Allardyce,
• 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. JP

    December 23, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    I echo Don’s sentiments. During these mostly isolated times it’s nice to commiserate with fans who share the same passion for the game, something hard to find even with face to face contacts most of the time.
    Happy Holiday’s to all. Thanks Chris and Kartik for being part of my Thursday work from home soundtrack and for sometimes featuring some of my long winded comments into the podcast.

  2. Don

    December 23, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Let me just say Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year to all at WST and to all of my fellow readers/commenters. We all might not agree on everything on this website but we all can agree that Football (soccer) is the greatest sport in the world.

    I’d love to hear what New Year’s Resolutions our streaming/tv providers should be thinking about for 2021 and for the years to follow.

  3. PS

    December 23, 2020 at 2:38 am

    @JT – He can’t play until the January transfer window opens because he’s been left out of the squad list. They can add him back onto the list, but only when the window is open.

  4. JT

    December 22, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    I recently found this article ( ). It appears Ozil has struck a nerve. With Arsenal’s form, maybe they should go back to playing him. Your thoughts?

  5. disco george

    December 22, 2020 at 3:21 pm

    I see no blatant bias/hatred against Manchester United. Just an easy topic for argument right now because of some of the bizarre results in the Champions League as compared to their recent form in the league.

    It’s just not that deep, IMO.

  6. Edward

    December 22, 2020 at 10:07 am

    fyi, PL 24/7 channel on Peacock finally showing “What’s Next” in its channel schedule

  7. Hashim Afzal

    December 21, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    Everyone loves ESPN+, but what about their blatant bias/hatred against Manchester United? I love the show but refuse to hear Burley and Nicoll speak about my club because it seems as though they have a burning desire to say something negative or incorrect about the club. This past week they stated that we “don’t win big games” and they’d like to see us win against a club like “Leicester or Wolves” when we did the double on City last season, or bringing up clubs like Leicester or Wolves when we haven’t played either of them yet. Last time we played Leicester we in fact won 3-1. Its just sad that such a good show, which covers so much football has become such a turnoff for me.

  8. Jeri Lee

    December 19, 2020 at 2:07 am

    Earlier this year I had to shed Fubo and I can’t afford ESPN+ and CBS sports, MLS/PL so a yearly Peacock subscription is good for me. I wish that the MLS would strike a deal with CBS/ABC and put more games on.

    It’s slowly getting to be a rich person’s game that they keep trying to get Americans excited about. People who may not be able to afford all these services may not get a chance to be introduced to this game.

  9. Christopher Guardiano

    December 19, 2020 at 1:49 am

    In terms of NBC losing the PL rights after next season there is a good chance of that happening because CBS will be free from broadcasting SEC football after next season (although they are the front runners to get the Pac-12 rights from Fox) and would want something to fill Saturday mornings in the Fall with plus add more content for All Access. I don’t see ESPN getting the PL rights because they have the Bundesliga and are likely to retain Serie A rights. Fox aren’t likely to get the PL back unless they do a swap deal with NBC in which NBC gets the current agreement Fox has with MLS in exchange for NBC giving up the PL to Fox. If such a deal did take place it would benefit MLS because NBC has experience with covering MLS given the fact that they had the rights from 2012-2014 and put more games on network TV than what Fox is currently doing.

  10. JP

    December 18, 2020 at 8:54 am

    To add to my comment about EPL rights, far fetched but sure beIN would love to have those rights. Even if beIN Sports USA are having financial difficulties and distribution issues, they could conceivably get a blank check from the parent company to bid on these if they want to become very relevant again in this market.
    Far fetched, but would be the smart play for beIN. Would have to come with a streaming app (that works with authentication) on Roku/FIRE/Apple etc so the overflow matches for both EPL and La Liga could be watched somewhere other than a phone, PC, or tablet if you don’t have access to the channels like FuboTV does.

  11. JP

    December 18, 2020 at 8:46 am

    NBCSN going away end of 2021 is an interesting development for the NHL rights. This is the last season of the contract with NBC, doubt the NHL would be on board with the majority of their games being on Peacock or shoehorned into USA Channel programming.
    Maybe this means NBC knows they aren’t going to renew?
    As for EPL rights starting 2022/2023 season, despite all the placating by keeping matches on television for now, they can read the same articles and see where it’s heading. If they’re happy to be primarily on a streaming service for the next contract, they’d be better off with ESPN+ which is a better platform. If they want to stay on television, perhaps Fox gets back in the game or CBS swoops in. Don’t think EPL going renewing with NBC is a done deal by any stretch of the imagination.

  12. Rich

    December 18, 2020 at 6:03 am

    @Anthony: the issue of early Peacock games for west coasters has been mentioned quite often…and luckily Peacock has been releasing replays of Peacock games pretty early. Peacock was just holding up replays of NBC /NBCSN games until the late evenings. Now, that’s not even an issue.

    The bait and switch is still shameful though.

  13. Donald SFla

    December 17, 2020 at 11:12 pm


  14. Giovanni

    December 17, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    Don don’t forget Seria A and the FA Cup tv deal is up in 2021 CBS could make a bit for those rights too

  15. Don

    December 17, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Anthony yes NBC right now is the only one with the spot on Saturday available right now. But with CBS losing the SEC games to ABC/ESPN it makes that time slot available for CBS as well.
    CBS could be the biggest Soccer Network in the USA with (Premier League and Champions/Europa League) if the dominos fall there way with bidding.

    Hell for just my own amusement I’d love to see CBS buy out Fanatiz and take all of that Football content too. But that’s to pie In the sky.

  16. David

    December 17, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Rarely mentioned is the impact on West Coast viewers. If we can’t DVR Peacock and replays have been removed, who is going to get up at 4.30am on a Saturday morning to watch? Result: less viewers and certainly less subscribers.

  17. Anthony

    December 17, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    I’m surprised that the podcast hosts are surprised that NBC may be in the lead for the next Premier League contract versus DAZN or Amazon Prime. DAZN and Amazon Prime don’t have one critical thing the Premier League wants – consistent access to TV, particularly broadcast tv. NBC is the only network that has the ability to put games on broadcast TV at 12:30 on Saturdays.

  18. Nosferatu

    December 17, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    @Rich, I agree to some extent (with the caveat that I’m still a cable subscriber).

    The bait-and-switch is pretty messed up. They should have just sucked it up and waited until next season to make this change.

    If this means that replays are up before 9 p.m. for cable subscribers (no reason they shouldn’t be, after all, if you’re paying for cable), then that feels like an appropriate thing for these people who might be at work and can’t watch on cable (or even want to watch somewhere else in their house or on the app if their recording randomly cuts off after half an hour, like mine did yesterday for Liverpool-Tottenham).

    Of course, consistency would also be nice. I found the Liverpool game on the app a couple hours after the game was over, but I’ve also noticed the earlier Arsenal game on NBCSN hasn’t showed up on there or on Peacock. Not like that’s one I want to go back and re-watch, but still, it’s not that hard to get this stuff right.

  19. JN

    December 17, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    How about pause reply live on Peacock? Understood it not being there at launch, but it has been how long? Pox on NBC for the bait and switch.

  20. Brian

    December 17, 2020 at 11:33 am

    It seems to me the EPL deal is just too big for one carrier. As a whole package comes with a hefty price tag. I think it needs split with NBC keeping the Saturday national game and everything else going to ESPN. Or they split the weekend games NBC (Saturday) ESPN (Sunday) since they don’t have football on Sunday and mid week games show on ESPN channels and +.

  21. Rich

    December 17, 2020 at 10:06 am

    Truthfully, I actually don’t mind NBC games being replayed on the NBC sports app. However, those that signed up for a year subscription thinking that they would be able to get all replays are screwed and should be reimbursed.

  22. David

    December 17, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Excellent podcast, gents. Really interesting info and analysis of streaming developments and possible demise of NBCSN. Not sure about your comments re London bias – maybe your Swansea background tinged these a little 🙂 Nevertheless, a good informative listen.

  23. Rich

    December 17, 2020 at 10:01 am

    Great pod.
    So what percentage of games are we talking about for peacock next year? Will there be only one TV/USA game on Saturday, one on Sunday and the rest on the Cock?

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