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NBC agrees $2.7 billion deal to renew Premier League rights

In the NEW episode, number 243, Christopher Harris is joined by co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer to cover the major story:

• NBCUniversal signs a $2.7 billion deal to renew the rights for the Premier League. We cover what it means for soccer fans, MLS and the rival broadcasters who lost out on the bid.
• A new podcast series is coming to Spotify about the last days of Diego Maradona.
• Amazon Prime does one better with a new Maradona series featuring an unlikely cameo.
• We analyze CBS’s coverage of the World Cup Qualifiers.
• Telemundo shares initial plans for their World Cup coverage.
• And we answer your questions in the Listener Mailbag segment.

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 3, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    @Ra, commentator and cameras. But with Covid think some teams don’t have the broadcast travel so calling the game off video and probably using the home teams camera feed.
    ESPN+ can show all the broadcasts unless it’s also being simulcast on NHL Network and of course the national telecasts on TNT

  2. Ra

    December 3, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    @JP A different narration team, or they also do their own video cuts from the dozens of available cameras? Can ESPN air the videos from all potential broadcasters?

  3. JP

    December 3, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    @Ra, those are the out of market telecasts, you have your choice of the home and road broadcasts. For US based teams it’s one of the various RSN’s like Bally, NBC, MSG etc. For Canadien teams it’s TSN or Sports Net

  4. Ra

    December 3, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    @JP You mentioned you watch Hockey, right? I was wondering why each game has 2 broadcasts – example “Jets broadcast” and “Devils broadcast “. Thanks

  5. JP

    December 3, 2021 at 4:52 pm

    @dave, I haven’t found a way to filter the ESPN+ viewing options (More Live option I assume you mean) without having to scroll through countless events I don’t care for.
    Now I just go down to “Ice Hockey” at night at pick the game I want from there instead of going through all the options. But when changing games using More Live, still doesn’t seem smart enough to list those 1st if there’s college basketball/football going on.

  6. JP

    December 3, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    @Ra, thanks. Paramount+ finally getting the full rewind function for live events would solve most of it for my needs. Makes such a huge difference.
    Watched to the Union/Leipzig before the match in Belgium but missed the start, easily caught the 2 goals I missed (what a howler for that tying goal!).
    Later stepped away and heard something happening in the match from Belgium, quickly able to go and see that golazzo that tied it at the time (in pure form, not slow motion, diff angles, etc).
    Come on P+, give us this for Serie A (and all other leagues)

  7. Hans

    December 3, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Possibly a misunderstanding here, I totally agree with you On-demand is how I also watch my content, but to get to this point it was necessary to go through the evolution of Live only TV, to recorded TV, to in cloud DVR and now On-demand, which to me is nothing but recorded programming for the individuals. So I consume my content the same way you do, go to the streaming service and watch live if I am really interested, On-demand for missed matches especially if I agree with the final outcome :lol:. Every now and then I may do a live TV recording but that is very rare.

  8. dave

    December 3, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    @JP, if I understood my back and forth with @Hans, I think Homerun is an option that lets you add DVR capability for OTA channels by way of Roku or Fire or whatever. It looks like @Ra lists other options. I hear you on every now and then wanting to see something again – usually when they are being annoying and talking too much rather than showing a replay
    I think you are an NHL fan. At the risk of derailing, is there a way to filter ESPN+ “view all”? I am following the volleyball tournament, and wow has ESPN+ exploded the amount of content carried on weekday evenings! Another good problem to be sure

  9. Ra

    December 3, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    @JP Tablo or FireTV Recast have superb DVR capabilities. Check out their websites, specs and some videos on YouTube. It might be worth the investment if you miss DVR.

  10. JP

    December 3, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    @dave, the only thing I kind of miss since cutting the chord 4 months ago has been DVR. Don’t watch much OTA anyway, but took a while to get accustomed to not having the ability to go back and see something I missed when stepping away.

    That, along with Paramount+ lacking rewind (works sporadically on Apple TV and only goes back a minute or so when it is working) making me a more attentive viewer, old school haha.

  11. dave

    December 3, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    @Hans, TiVo is a blast from the past! On-demand killed my usage of DVR. I have access to more content than I could consume in 100 lifetimes. I have never cared for delayed sports (maybe an exception for Olympics) – I join in progress or check the score to see who won.
    I think you and I have different ways of getting what we each see as a good entertainment outcome for ourselves. I enjoy the back and forth; always good to hear other perspectives.

  12. Hans

    December 3, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    A few decades ago something happened in the TV consuming market, Tivo was introduced and changed viewing habits forever. You now could watch TV When YOU wanted it and not when the NETWORKS tell you to watch it. Once people experienced this they never went back to watch when the networks put the programs on. This has carried over into our day and age and is at the core of many viewer’s habits. HDHomerun saw an opportunity here and developed it. I remember when they were a small company of entrepreneurs and again in harmony with my principles I rewarded those entrepreneurs financially as I believed in their project. Today they are a major player and with streaming on the ascent are becoming an even bigger player, as now they are adding 14 days of electronic programming guide for free to their DVR solutions.
    I got a help call from a friend who was vacationing in the Caribbeans his home recording in the Upper NY state was no longer accessible remotely. I created an account for him on my server and recorded the requested shows for him auto deleting episodes older then 3. Once he returned home stopped the recording. It does not require anyone to be an Einstein of technology, there are too many YouTube videos that show how to do a certain task.
    As far as OTA channels for free over streaming services ViacomCBS does it. To me it just shows that they are better then Comcast in grasping the new way of media consumption. ViacomCBS decided to make it a feature for their advertisement free package to ALSO offer their channels for free on that streaming service. This was for me an additional factor to opt for the higher priced package and I have 4 additional channels available streaming. Comcast/NBC could do the same with their USA & NBC channel on the Peacock advertisement free package, but they didn’t which shows to me they have not come to grasp with the changing landscape and are hanging on to their business model. They should take a history lesson to what happened to whale oil lamps.

  13. dave

    December 3, 2021 at 11:27 am

    @Mercator, it is estimated that around $12 billion per year is paid to local OTA for retransmission. The business is so lucrative that national broadcast companies charge reverse retransmission fees to affiliates to get in on the gravy train. Much like how Marriott does not own all hotels with their name, NBC does not own all stations with their name. Deals have to be struck with each affiliate, which in many cases are owned by Sinclair.
    The Locast lawsuit (ABC vs. Goodfriend) lays out how important retransmission fees are to local OTA. In their suit, local affiliates more or less claim Locast is a trick funded by Sling et al to help people ditch cable or compliant streamers and consume free OTA without retransmission fees. It is a fun read if you have any cynicism about these things.
    @Hans, thanks for the details about Homerun. I get great OTA reception using $20 indoor antennae from Prime Basics (probably half my viewing is this way). It seems Homerun may help more for situations needing a powerful antenna for channels far away or for integrating OTA to DVR/Roku. I appreciate the education which may come in handy for the future.

  14. Mercator

    December 2, 2021 at 9:50 am

    Of course Comcast marks up the broadcast fee. Comcast, for one, owns NBC, 1/4th of the OTA broadcast market, so they are negotiating against themselves in many cases. They also mark up the remaining fees. My understanding is it costs $2-3 bucks for the OTA channels, so maybe $12 bucks is Comcast’s expense on the $20 fee they charge. It’s a monopoly business and they are well aware 90% of consumers don’t have the ability or willingness to get the OTA channels for free, they will charge you whatever they can.

    I have the same set up as Hans. It’s really not difficult – buy basically any antenna from Amazon and an HDHomerun. Plug in the HD home run to power and the nearest router, plug in antenna to HDHomerun. That’s it. I use Plex to watch but HD homerun has its own app for free on any platform you can use to watch. Really no reason not to do this if you live in an area that gets good OTA signal.

    It’s also not as dumb of a system as it seems. It’s basically just segregated pricing – more expensive for most but can be cheap or free to everyone who makes an effort. I think this helps the big broadcasters make enough money to put actual big events on broadcast TV, while ensuring a good part of the market can watch for free if they really want. If these channels were truly free free nothing good would be on them because they wouldn’t make enough to buy good rights in todays market. Sad to see but even the BBC is now regularly outbid for good content – they barley had the Olympics this year. Hard for “free” broadcasters to compete with the ESPNs and Eurosports of the world all of which get big cable fees. With an Antenna you basically get every major NFL and CFB game – kind of crazy when you consider what UK or other places pay for their top sport (EPL).

  15. Hans

    December 1, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    This is the simplest and easiest solution and here is an introduction to the HDHomerun tuner with or without DVR feature. All you need is an antenna and an Internet connection and you are set, done with it. It doesn’t matter where the device is located as everything is available over WiFi or your network. Think of it as your own entertainment network setup in your home.
    Install their app on a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Win 10 desktop, Apple or Android devices and you have a cable like solution for a one off payment now all you have to decide is how many tuners you want. 4 tuners allows you to view 4 different channels on 4 different devices, plus recording.
    www . silicondust . com

  16. dave

    December 1, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    @Ra, Comcast cannot offer to delete local channels and associated fees at a customer’s request. That is a core point of the 1992 federal telecom law. Comcast can either agree a deal with the OTA and provide it to everyone or they can fail to agree a deal and provide it to nobody (they are in many cases required to offer to carry it at $0 but the OTA need not accept).
    Many people hate this fee. It seems silly to pay for OTA. The primary culprit is an archaic federal law with significant unintended consequences
    I agree all advertising should be the full monthly price customers actually pay. Companies can itemize if they like, but should always prominently disclose all-in totals including all mandatory fees. Many industries fall short on this, and I hope AGs succeed in driving better (and in my opinion more lawful) business practices
    It does seem the goalposts moved. OTA carriage fees are a real business expense enabled by federal law and passed on, probably with a markup, to customers. It is not Comcast (or anyone) adding $20 per month for something that costs them $0, as seemed to underlie the original assertion. If the claim instead is that Comcast should advertise all-in prices prominently and transparently (sum of basic cable, broadcast fee, RSN fee, line fee, etc.), we agree 100%.

  17. Ra

    December 1, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    @dave Or you can do the same by just getting a Tablo or fireTV recast. I can watch my Recast stream from wherever I am, even when traveling overseas.

  18. Ra

    December 1, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    @dave Are you sure you are aligned? Can you opt out of this fee and get the channels through other means instead? I bet the answer is no. If you were aligned, they would be happy to do it.
    But then again, I can’t grasp the whole concept.
    I am definitely not someone who would ever pay $240/yr for something I can get for free.
    I just got a new TV that I really enjoyed; it cost me 2.5 years of this “fee”.
    And they should not call it a fee, the same way that they don’t bill any of their packages as a “fee”.

  19. dave

    December 1, 2021 at 8:07 pm

    @Hans, I enjoy the ingenuity of your self-built bespoke solution. Sounds like you get a very high ratio of content per entertainment dollar.
    I think you may significantly overestimate the number of people with the skills and interest to do the same. Paramount+, Hulu, Roku, and wifi are the only parts of your setup I fully understand.
    Similarly, I could save money by changing my own oil, but at a real risk of amputating my hand, electrocuting myself, destroying the car, etc. It is worth it to me to pay (even significantly overpay sometimes) another entity to do heavy lifting, whether car or home entertainment. I am OK knowing some people get a lot better bang for the buck than I do in those areas.

  20. dave

    December 1, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    @Ra, I am sure there is a mark-up on carriage fees, as is standard for many aspects of a for-profit business. The thrust of the issue is that Comcast, as a matter of federal law, may not transmit the local ABC (or anyone else) to its customers without a negotiated deal. In many cities, the local ABC (and others) is increasing the price of those agreements. In turn, Comcast is charging its customers more (so are Spectrum, Cox, etc.)
    The Minnesota lawsuit you link is similar to the hotel resort fee lawsuits. There is a good argument that state and federal law require price transparency. If Comcast advertise “cable for $50 plus tax” and then bill $100 plus tax, a trier of fact might easily conclude Comcast engaged in deceptive behavior. The same for hotels that advertise $100 rooms then add a $50 COVID fee and $50 resort fee at check-in. The room is $200 per night and should be advertised as such. It is not for customers to figure out or care how a business manages its internal accounting. I support the many AG who are fighting for consumers on many issues like this.

    The issue I took with posts from @Hans and you is the implication that Comcast charges $20 per month for “free” OTA because they assume customers are “morons” and “chumps”. There are plenty of problems with Comcast. On the specific issue of cable prices increasing due to local OTA, Comcast and its customers are much more aligned than not

  21. Hans

    December 1, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    Just to add to this dilemma. I have Paramount+ with no commercials and they have the local CBS station, CBSN Live stream, CBS Sports HQ and ET Live available on this package, so it can be done just not for the exorbitant price Comcast wants to charge, not breaking down the fees and adding equipment fees to this which are most likely hidden or in extreme small print.
    To get around all of these shenanigans, I have installed in my attic a 15 element Long Range Digital OTA Antenna pointing to where the towers are and I am receiving 56 channels in my Maryland area. I am running the antenna feed into SiliconDust’s HDHomerun box which transcodes any MPEG2 signal into h.264. Connected the box to the router and those 56 channels are available on my WiFi network for any portable device or any smart / Roku TV that has their app installed.
    To make it very easy and resemble cable’s Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) my QNAP Network Attached Storage (NAS) device has Emby installed that provides Live TV with the EPG plus the ability to record individual programs as well as any movie, or mark a series or TV show for recording. A onetime expenditure for NAS, HDHomerun box, TV antenna and a lifetime EMBY subscription has served me well for the past almost 10 years.
    Finally, took advantage of BF and subscribed to Hulu for $11.88 for a year and MHZChoice streaming service for 6 months for $24. It is the best of times for streamers, it is the worst of times still to come for cablers 😆

  22. Ra

    December 1, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    @dave I agree that they need to pay a carriage fee to carry those. But when you say “But Xfinity is just the messenger here.” you are implicitly assuming that they are not making a profit on their ‘broadcast “fee” ‘ – if they are (and yes, they are) making a profit, they are not only the messengers here but are using this expedient to confuse and abuse customers. They are being sued in several states for these predatory fees. Here is an example:
    https //

  23. dave

    December 1, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    @Ra and @Hans, the cable side of Comcast is not at fault for the ever-increasing fee for OTA channels on cable. The fee also applies to streaming services that carry local channels, though these do not always break it out as a separate line item (it is one reason some streaming services do not carry some or all local channels)
    Federal law requires any for-profit entity, including cable, to obtain consent from signal owners before retransmitting their signal. Federal law also sort of (it is complicated) requires local OTA channels to be carried by the local cable company and allows each local channel to negotiate a carriage fee with the cable company.
    If you are interested in specific law, it is “Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992”. One relevant component is the requirement of “retransmission consent”.
    Cable companies by and large hate this law and argue they should be allowed to provide free OTA channels to their customers for free. Because you are right – a customer paying $20 per month for something they could get free with a $20 antenna is at best irritated about it. And it can be the last straw that makes them a former customer
    But Xfinity is just the messenger here. The increase is driven by local channels raising prices for retransmission consent, consistent with federal law

  24. Ra

    December 1, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    @Hans Comcast wants to charge cable customers $20/mo for the OTA signal that I get for free with rabbit ears? How funny is that? Their assumption seems to be that their customers are morons. But hey, it seems to be working for them.

  25. Hans

    November 29, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    The first signs on how Comcast is trying to get a return on their 2.6 billion dollar investment into the EPL rights. The quotes were taken from the article found at:
    thestreamable . com /news/comcasts-broadcast-tv-regional-sports-fees-to-increase-20-percent-in-2022-surpass-37-a-month
    “Comcast’s “Broadcast TV Fee” for local channels, that are available for free over-the-air, will now add $19.75 to your bill. While the exact amount differs by market, the Chicago market will see a 20% increase from $16.20 to $19.75 — after increasing from $11.70 in 2019. In fact, that’s a nearly 70% increase in just 2 years from channels that are free over-the-air.
    So if you’re wondering why so many people are getting rid of cable. Start at the fact that it sometimes costs almost $50 a month before you even pick your channel package.”
    How stupid does Comcast think we are? They are insulting our intelligence, taking us for chumps? That in itself deserves push-back whether you like Comcast or not. I am so glad I don’t live in a Comcast ONLY for high speed Internet access area. As mentioned many times until 2024 when Disney can demand Comcast’s share of Hulu, this will be the most interesting times to see some providers squirm. In addition Disney will pour 33 billion dollars next year into content, for some the best of times for others the worst of times.

  26. Jose Hilario

    November 19, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Now that NBC has won, the peacock app needs to be improved. It suffers from poor picture quality & low framerate and looks terrible on my 4k tv compared to the ESPN+ app.

  27. JP

    November 19, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Correction, Leicester was 2015/2016, so that definitely wasn’t a WC related bump.

  28. JP

    November 19, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    I think the aspect of the World Cup in 2026 being a tool to increase interest in EPL (or any other league) is way overblown. Many World Cup cycles (well, two) have come an gone since NBC took over the EPL rights. Was there any noticeable bump because of that? 2014/2015 season maybe, but that was the Leicester miracle that likely caused it.

    Club football fans are going to tune into the WC. Casual fans of sports in general are going to tune into the WC, or at least follow loosely. Those fans aren’t going to become dedicated followers of club football afterwards. I’ve seen it 1st hand with “non soccer” fans I know. They’ll gladly follow a WC and enjoy it, but no interest from approx August through May for domestic leagues. It’s much like the Olympics and how many of us get wrapped up into competitions we care nothing about otherwise,

    So, the justification for overextending themselves for EPL rights just because a US hosted WC is within that rights cycle is quite a reach. I’m in agreement with Kartik here, the amount is too high. Guess that’s the price to pay to keep your streaming service somewhat relevant when there is barely anything else to keep people from dropping it.

  29. José Cerrato

    November 19, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Excelente noticia, NBC seguirá siendo la casa de la Premier League en EE.UU.

  30. Fechin Attuah

    November 19, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    @greg all i see in the schedule is local programming, today and etc and i do not know how well they do ratings wise

  31. greg

    November 19, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    @Fechin – Saturday mornings all the networks have weekend versions of their weekday morning shows (Today, GMA, etc), those likely won’t get replaced as I think they do good numbers & ad sales. Then local affiliates have programming that make them more money than their share of middling EPL matches. No way NBC changes that for EPL.

  32. Matt

    November 19, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    I’ll be honest I’m pleased with this. My one wish for the bud was anything but FOX, so my one requirement was met. I hope peacock sees some improvements (having a small image while scrolling would be great). And please PLEASE nbc put the PL productions version of premier league review either on NBCSN in the middle of the night or actually available to view on demand on peacock. It airs sometime Monday mornings on their PL channel but for some reason it is never on demand and, as fun as the studio show is, I prefer the PL productions way.

    Also, was anyone else having issues with paramount’s feed of the concacaf qualifiers Tuesday? Their USMNT->Canada Mexico all in one stream dropped quite a few times for me on the android tv app.

  33. Fechin Attuah

    November 19, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    I was hoping for the new deal that NBC will simulcast all the 380 matches on peacock. I think for this to grow the game is we need premier league mornings on main NBC network instead of NBCSN with the first match on NBC at 7:30 and 10 and 12:30 on Saturdays so that’s three big matches on NBC. At 10 this is what a call the peacock tv block decided to just peacock and there will be 6 live matches to choose from. Sundays should be dedicated to the USA network, one match at 9:00 then the last one at 11:30.

  34. greg

    November 19, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    My matches to enjoy this weekend & UCL/UEFA match days:
    (all times pacific)
    4:30 Leicester v Chelsea NBCSN
    7:00 Villa v Brighton NBCSN
    8:00 Lazio v Juve Paramount+
    9:20 Union Berlin v Hertha Berlin – ESPN+
    9:30 Liverpool v Arsenal NBC
    11:30 Barca v Espanyol ESPN+

    7:50 Rangers v Hibs Paramount+
    8:30 Spurs v Leeds NBCSN
    8:45 Inter v Napoli CBSSN
    11:30 Lyon v Marseille BeIn

    9:30 Villareal v Man U Paramount+
    Noon Chelsea v Juve Paramount+

    Noon Man City v PSG Paramount+
    Noon Atleti v Milan Paramount+

    Whichever UEFA Cup matches have group implications

  35. greg

    November 19, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    @Christopher – Plenty of good reasons to watch La Liga…Real Sociodad are fun to watch & could pip the title if not a top 4. Sevilla are in a good position to do something similar. Xavi building Barca back to being a better club, more fun to watch, developing Ansu Fati & Gavi, rehabbing Dembele. Vinicius & Benzema make you want to root for Real Madrid. Radamel Falcao & Rayo are a great story (even if the Rayo owner is a Steve Bruce-like nightmare). Real Betis are always entertaining.

  36. Mercator

    November 19, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Great pod! While somewhat connected to the issue of whether NBC overpaid, what do you guys see them doing differently this rights cycle? I think many of us were hoping they would simulcast all games on Peacock, which has already been ruled out. Is there any chance of them including more content from Sky? Do you see them brining any new talent into the studio next season? Maybe including 4K broadcasts on Peacock or NBC Sports? I think the concern among many is that Comcast paid so much for these rights, they will be looking for creative ways to make their $430m a year back, and those methods may not be good for fans of the league and will hinder any improvement in the broadcast or product.

    Also fully agreed on CBS dropping the ball recently on the USMNT games, a real disappointment given their strong start. Did something change? They seem to have just stopped making an effort in many cases. Even the Canada-Mexico broadcast was pretty bad.

    On a more optimistic note, with Fox losing with a higher bid, any chance this leads them to improve their coverage? You have to think its almost cheaper to just properly broadcast the sport than being so bad you need to pay a huge premium to keep any decent rights. Fox can do well when they try (in other sports, verdict still out on football), and they have tons of 4K content. I’m hoping this will have shamed them into putting out something excellent for the upcoming world cup, if only so they don’t have to overpay as much to stay in the football going forward.

  37. Sean Johansen

    November 19, 2021 at 11:32 am

    I hope they don’t introduce an expensive pay streaming option and leave as is on Linear and Peacock. I remember the screw up called NBC Sports Gold. Having all 380 games covered with no extra expense by my cable package is great.

  38. trip

    November 19, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Happy to see this news. The production quality is excellent, it’s easy to find matches, NBCSN or Peacock and I don’t have to worry about other platforms burying the content.

  39. Dan

    November 19, 2021 at 10:03 am

    I guess this means Comcast/NBC will have to come up with some new wheeze to make back the enormous spend. Personally, I’d be happy to spend several hundred dollars a year just to have access to all matches via streaming so I could finally cancel my YouTube TV account. Sure NBC won’t make it that easier and we’ll all end up paying more for the same/worse service as before. Was hoping this would go to ESPN+, just because they have such a superior streaming platform, but premier league only cares about money.

  40. Davido

    November 19, 2021 at 8:52 am

    Very disappointing, While the presenters are superb, comcast is a continuous f#ck up of a company. If something can be screwed up for the viewers, comcast will find it.

  41. jason

    November 19, 2021 at 8:21 am

    I suppose the next big thing in this broadcasting merry-go-round is the English Football League and maybe FA Cup/Community shield next year. I hope it stays with ESPN myself. Between EFL and FA Cup. Your appetite for the English game on ESPN+ alone can still be satisfied pretty darn good.

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