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Paramount+ vs. Peacock vs. ESPN+: World Soccer Talk Podcast

In the NEW episode, number 213, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• Who will win the streaming wars between ESPN+, Paramount+ and Peacock TV
• Can the Bundesliga score a home run on ABC this weekend?
• All the ins and outs of Paramount+
• Which streaming service is looking to acquire sports rights
• 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. Fechin Attuah

    March 11, 2021 at 12:10 am

    Hopefully NASCAR ,INDYCAR and IMSA will go to peacock soon. I like this deal since it gives consumers to either stream or watch it the traditional way of cable. Peacock needs to do that with the premier league. We need 50 matches on main nbc while 245 is on the USA network. That’s 295 out of 380. But here’s the kicker peacock should let their subscribers watch all 380 matches simulcast on nbc, USA and peacock. But the 175 matches should stream exclusively on peacock. So that at the same time more people would have the incentive to subscribe to peacock anyway to stream all the matches. I don’t like that you need NBCSN and peacock to watch all the matches.

  2. Michael F

    March 10, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    @Fechin Attuah. Of course I knew that ESPN+ already streams select NHL games that it simulcasts from other networks carrying their teams games.
    However, I do stand corrected that the complete out-of-market game package currently provided by for an annual fee over $140 a season will now be folded into ESPN+ under their subscription.. That is a fantastic deal!… even if they raised that ESPN+ monthly fee of $6 per month at some point in the near future.

  3. Eric T

    March 10, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    @Rich I’m sure ESPN could still get Serie A and La Liga if they wanted to.

  4. Fechin Attuah

    March 10, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    @Michael F espn plus already streams select nhl games. It will be over 1,100 games streamed on espn+ using the espn+ subscription at no additional cost

  5. Edward

    March 10, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    it’s been widely reported that the only change to the NFL contract is Amazon Prime picking up TNF everything else staying the same, with the contracts being about 10 years in length. NFL released salary caps today, and new league year starts next week. NEws will be out soon.

  6. Michael F

    March 10, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    @Chris Gaurdiano. Where is this definite news that NBC is losing Sunday Night Football and confirmed as losing the NHL? Again, more assumption. See my comment post directly above to Rich. Not of this is confirmed as yet. In fact, it has been reported that NBC is definitely prioritizing NFL Sunday Night Football. NHL is still a question mark… but no confirmation that they lose it. I would say that NBC has a better chance of keeping NHL than FOX getting it. But I could be wrong.

  7. Michael F

    March 10, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    @Rich. Not necessarily at all that ESPN getting NHL increases the chances of NBC getting EPL. you are going on an assumption.

    We still do not know if NHL will stay with NBC or go elsewhere for the other network partner… as it has been made clear — the NHL will be split into two network providers (not just ESPN) starting in 2022.

  8. Michael F

    March 10, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    @JP. It is a pretty significant game changer to have ESPN now exclusively carry

    However, your comment that NBC “would not be able to use Peacock” to carry NHL games via stream (if they continued to contract NHL games beyond this season) is not true. As long as a company network provider like NBC has a contract with a league, they can choose to air the games on any of their outlets (in this case, NBC, USA network or now Peacock streaming).

    The ‘exclusive streaming rights’ by ESPN that you are referencing is obviously the stream —which is an additional premium service for all out-of-market games that will definitely cost extra beyond the ESPN+ subscription to get.

  9. Rich

    March 10, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    ESPN+ getting the NHL has to increase NBC’s chance of getting EPL and decrease ESPN’s capacity to get/keep La Liga and Serie A. Does CBS get Serie A. What happens to La Liga?

  10. Chris Guardiano

    March 10, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    @JP it is likely and right to assume that the NHL will go with Fox as its 2nd TV partner with the majority of their games being on FS1 and the Stanley Cup playoffs. The deal with ESPN has ESPN having exclusive Stanley Cup Final rights for 4 out of the 7 years meaning that Fox will get the remaining 3 years of the Stanley Cup final should they be the 2nd TV partner.
    As for NBC, not only they are losing the NHL, they are also in danger of losing Sunday Night Football and Super Bowl rights in the next NFL TV deal (which starts in 2023) which is their biggest revenue maker behind the Olympics. In order to have the cash necessary to retain those rights, NBC in my view will probably drop the Premier League along with NASCAR and Indycar. This means the Premier League rights battle will be between CBS and ESPN. Now between those two, I am not sure who gets the rights although a lot depends on if CBS can get another conference in college football to replace the SEC which they are losing after the 2022 season. If that happens, the Premier League will be going to ESPN in my view because the Premier League will not want to play “second fiddle” to college football on Saturday mornings and not have games on network TV.

  11. JP

    March 10, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    The more I see regarding the NHL deal with ESPN, the more I like! Yes it appears the service essentially moving to ESPN+ as part of the existing service, just like MLS’ out of market games have been for a few years now.
    This only increases my desire for ESPN to retain Serie A. The two sports remaining that matter most, if at all, to me all on one service (for the most part)….would just need La Liga to move and for UCL we have over the air via TUDN.
    My full support behind ESPN+ winning the streaming war.

  12. JP

    March 10, 2021 at 1:22 pm


    Looks even better, part of ESPN+!! No way that will be part of the $5 a month (currently is about $100 a season), but it it is, wow! Game changer.

  13. Michael F

    March 10, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    @Jp. Not sure if your reference to ‘exclusive streaming rights’ for ESPN means that another network provider that contracts with NHL couldn’t use their own streaming provider to air games.

    Note that The Athletic just posted this news and quoted this: “If NBC joins ESPN as a partner, you’ll see inventory mixed between USA Network, Peacock and NBC.”

  14. JP

    March 10, 2021 at 9:32 am

    It’s been announced ESPN landed part of the NHL contract for the next 7 years, another partner yet to be announced. Could be NBC, Fox, etc.

    Biggest news, they have exclusive streaming rights! That makes me think NBC will be out of the NHL since NBCSN is going away and won’t be able to use Peacock to stream NHL. Likely Fox is the other partner (no stand alone streaming service outside of authenticating FS1/FS2 broadcasts on Fox Sports Go).

    Does this change EPL’s thinking in regards to NBC?

  15. jason

    March 5, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    The question of this topic goes beyond just soccer. People will take into account the best package overall. ESPN+ has great soccer but I take into account that they have the NHL hockey coverage too. I’m into hockey much more than usual this year because I love watching the all-Canadian division they put together…I’m american by the way.
    For auto racing I like IMSA and you can get that on youtube just fine for the most part. So Peacock does not appeal to me at the moment there.

  16. KL

    March 5, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    @disco george yes! I’m also looking forward to that. The north american coverage on the ESPN FC Show is minimal. It’ll be nice to have this show to fill that void.

  17. disco george

    March 5, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    My reactions to the pod:

    I had a similar experience as the viewer who wrote in regarding Xfinity and getting a better deal in-store. I went into exchange a box and ended up getting a way better package than they were offering online.. The rep also mentioned that the contract I was signing was only in regard to having Xfinity service in general — like, even if I just downgraded to the internet service and didn’t have TV anymore, that would be fine. I felt okay with that, since the other internet provider in my area kind of sucks.

    Also, I’m really looking forward to the new show with Herculez Gomez and Seb Salazar on ESPN+. It fills the void left by the old Max & Herc and Two on Tri podcasts about North American soccer in general, and not just league-specific.

    Mercator, your rant about beIN made me laugh.

  18. KL

    March 5, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    Oh and any news about the la liga rights

  19. Mercator

    March 5, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    @Graham Sure NBC does a good job with the PL, but they are also significantly more expensive. Keeping games on NBCSN or USA requires one to pay for a cable subscription, always north of $40 including taxes and including tons of channels that show absolutely no football. If you want to watch the PL legally, it’s going to cost you $50 bucks minimum. Their coverage is not good enough to justify anywhere close to that price, which is 10x what ESPN+ or Paramount+ cost for multiple leagues!

    Paramount+ is 5 bucks a month and gets you every CL AND Europa game (second one may be key for Pool fans next year, Europa is never on cable anyway). It’s a bargain in comparison to whatever NBC is doing. Now the whole Paramount+ launch was an absolute joke and there is nothing new, content or feature wise, but still it’s hard to complain when they at least put everything on one service for a low price (Kartik should still take them to task though, no point to the P+ launch, its the same thing as CBSAA so why all this hype?). Football makes sense for CBS – its relatively cheap compared to other sports and it attracts a young audience, helping shed it’s image as an old person channel. I think CBS presentation of CL is better than what NBC is doing with PL right now.

    Also I should apologise to Bein, I was perhaps a bit harsh on them. They have still done a very very poor job in the last few years and should let La Liga and Ligue 1 go to a better provider, but in those early years they were great, so probably did not deserve comparison to an alcoholic.

  20. KL

    March 5, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Hi! I have two things to say:
    1) How likely do you think it is that River v Boca will be in Paramount+ come March 14th
    2) What’s your opinion on the english language coverage of Liga MX? I turned to them on my weekend nights because there are no MLS games on. My first experience was with TUDNxtra and I didnt like the commetary. It provided little background. However I watched a game on FS2 and I watch very impressed. One major problem is there are no english language online blogs to follow the league. Also I dont like there is no english language coverage of Chivas home games.

  21. Fechin Attuah

    March 5, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    @Chris Guardiano but FOX has a contract with NASCAR until 2024, can they breach/break a contract with sports? Also Indy car will stream practice and qualifying on peacock while the races are on cable, But there contract is up later this year so I assume INDYCAR will split the rights with CBS digital platforms along with peacock or it will exclusively on peacock. NBC sports gold should just shut down and everything should just move to peacock. NASCAR Might do whatever INDYCAR will try to do. CBS looks like they are interested in motorsports since they have Formula E and SRX but I don’t think they want nascar back. Now NHL will go with FOX and NBC along with ESPN+, Peacock. I don’t think NHL will go to ESPN since cable subscriptions are down. NFL is talking about streaming games exclusively Thursday nights on Amazon prime. F1 has a contract with ESPN but I highly doubt they will stay with them since there are talk Amazon is talking with F1. Paramount plus might get Serie a while ESPN+ will get La liga. Ligue 1 I’m not too sure now. With NASCAR I’m just waiting for the next gen car if it’s terrible I’ll stop watching nascar and focus on INDYCAR,IMSA,NHL and soccer. NASCAR problem is they let tv network and cable companies start too late once the race starts so the west coast can also watch the races and it hasn’t been working.

  22. Jasinho

    March 5, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    File this under wishful thinking, but I hope whomever comes out on top with the new Premier League deal would also have the EFL/League Cup and The FA cup to come on alongside, this may be a good opportunity for Peacock to fortify itself with English football. But then again, I’d love to see Kate Abdo cover the Premier League on CBS like she does with the Champions League.

  23. MAHLUF

    March 5, 2021 at 10:15 am

    @Chris G

    I can ASSURE you that the PL doesn’t give two CAHOOTS about what the NHL does.

  24. Chris Guardiano

    March 5, 2021 at 4:27 am

    @FechinAttuah I agree with you about MLS heading to Paramount+ once the current deal is done in 2022 most likely to replace Fox rather than ESPN because unlike Fox, ESPN has been around since the very beginning of MLS and has committed to always broadcasting the league through good times and bad. Fox on the other hand in my view are looking to get out of the soccer business entirely which is precisely what they will do after the 2026 World Cup after they cash in on the US hosting and will focus on what they are good at and care about which is the NFL, College Football and MLB. It is shame because I grew up with Fox Soccer Channel as a kid and learned a lot about the game through it.
    I also agree with you about NASCAR because they have no control over what happens with their TV deal because I have been reading that if Fox gets the NHL, they are dumping NASCAR as soon as they do. This would leave NASCAR with just NBC as a TV partner and who knows what the future is between NASCAR and NBC beyond the 2024 season when the current contract expires. It is going to be a rough few years for NASCAR fans in terms of watching races if any of these things happen. I hope like you they follow Indycar and go to streaming.

  25. Hans

    March 4, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    Hate to tell you this but Sports is going the streaming route because it is very expensive and cable providers hate to increase their packages. Linear TV has taken a huge hit in subscribers last quarter, so more and more networks put sports behind a paywall. Paramount+ former CBS All access shows ALL Liverpool games of the Champions League. Get yourself a Roku install the Paramount+ App on it then pay $60 for 1 year and you are set to watch all Champions & Europa League matches. You just missed the 50% off deal that would have gotten you that package for $30.
    This is new normal, Sports Events are extremely expensive and the networks want to recoup their expenditure and the only way to do that is Advertisements and/or Subscriptions and you can’t charge the same amount for a sports event to a cable customer that you can charge a streaming service customer. End result the cable customer numbers will decrease and the networks move sports events to a streaming service. The networks will have to decide do they want to stick with something that an aged generation likes or something that the younger generation wants..

  26. D

    March 4, 2021 at 10:41 am

    My early guess is NBC keeps EPL. Most games streaming on Peacock Premium, with 2-3 games per week on NBC/USA in preferred time slots (12:30 ET Saturday on NBC, 11:30 ET Sunday on USA and maybe one other window).

    NBC seems likely to keep NHL for Sunday at 12:30 ET on NBC and Wednesday at 7/8 ET on USA, possibly still a doubleheader with west coast games like they do now. Those are the flagship nationally exclusive games.

    It’s the various Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/Thursday night games that NBCSN airs now, some of them non-exclusive (airing on RSNs in the home team markets) that they seem likeliest to lose to FOX or ESPN/ESPN+.

  27. Fechin Attuah

    March 4, 2021 at 5:40 am

    I think NBC will keep the premier league and maybe 200-250 matches will be on peacock in 2022 and the rest should go to NBC and show two live matches every weekend on the main NBC, not the USA or NBCSN network. NHL will split the rights between NBC/Peacock ,FOX and ESPN+, I think NHL will move to streaming/main broadcast since they already started streaming on ESPN+ for two matches a day. MLS will go to paramount plus once the deal expires. INDYCAR I’m waiting to see that hopefully it may move to peacock or just split the streaming rights between paramount and peacock. NASCAR doesn’t know what they are doing. I wish they were streaming races too since I ditched cable but they will do whatever INDYCAR does. Serie a might stick with ESPN+, la liga will go to ESPN+/ABC I believe. Ligue 1 might go to ESPN+ in my opinion.

  28. Graham

    March 4, 2021 at 4:19 am

    Maybe I’m missing something but I find CBS’s play in this market segment the worst for soccer. Not sure where NBC will go in the future but their presentation currently is the most professional and is of high quality if you are watching the premier league. For years now we have been able to watch all the premier league games on both NBCSN and Peacock. Next best is ESPN+ for both games in Europe and general soccer reporting. I’m a Liverpool fan and I can never get the Champions league for most of their games in an English language format and so I watch on the Univison Channels TUDN, Unimas etc in Spanish. CBS’s advertising is almost non existent which indicates how much they know about soccer. I am a Comcast customer with almost every channel you can buy and an ESPN+ customer.. I hope I don’t have to add Paramount to my already expensive monthly packages. Like I said, I maybe missing something but I hope CBS does not win anything in the upcoming bidding war.

  29. Chris Guardiano

    March 4, 2021 at 2:40 am

    Hi guys, another great & informative podcast. When it comes to where Peacock ends up in the streaming wars in my view, a lot depends on if NBC can keep the NHL rights. This is because the Premier League is watching closely what happens with the NHL because if the NHL leaves NBC because the league doesn’t want games on Peacock and NBCSN going away, the Premier League will realize that NBC might not be the TV partner to go with long term. However if NBC says to the Premier League “we will give you more matches on network TV + give you more say on which matches get televised” then I could see the Premier League staying with NBC. Lastly I have a question regarding Parmount+ as it relates to my Amazon Prime video account because that is how I am getting CBS All Access. My question is: Will Paramount + still be available to me via Prime Video when the transition happens on March 4th?

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