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Peacock levels playing field of Premier League popularity: World Soccer Talk Podcast

In the NEW episode, number 191, Christopher Harris and co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer cover a range of topics including:

• How Peacock levels the playing field of Premier League popularity
• Our opinions about opening weekend of Bundesliga & Serie A coverage
• Where to go to get top-level Premier League analysis
• Roku responds to demands by adding Peacock to streaming devices
• 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. Walter

    September 30, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    What happened with the Scottish premiership rights on ESPN+? Many thanks!

    • Christopher Harris

      September 30, 2020 at 8:01 pm

      We’ll discuss it on the next episode of the World Soccer Talk Podcast, coming out on Thursday, October 1. It’s a long story.

  2. DT

    September 28, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    The frames per second issue is unbelievable. The premier league on NBC apps seems to be the only thing they stream at a low FPS. I watched NFL in the old NBC app and it was smooth. In Peacock all the games are jittery and headache inducing. I have a gigabyte connection, Apple TV, and absolutely no problems with NBCSN on YouTube TV, ESPN+, etc. streaming, just Peacock/NBC apps specifically.

    This problem also extends, for some reason, to the weekend review show on the Premier League Channel. I worked out when this was on (despite the incredible omission of a program schedule), turned it on, and it was unwatchable as the fps looked lower than even 30fps. Again, headache inducing and it seems to be the only program on that channel that you get choppy footage for.

    If NBC want to actually charge people more to watch the same games they used to get IN HIGHER QUALITY they need to sort out the streaming issues now. They seemed to do a fake-out last weekend suggesting most games would now be on Peacock, but if most games are still on NBCSN/NBC, etc., I will cancel Peacock – the product is not good enough.

  3. Timm

    September 28, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Has there been any discussion about why Peacock limits the framerate of its stream? With ESPN+ and other services streaming at 60fps, I am perplexed why NBC streams at 30fps (or lower). What’s even more puzzling is NBCSN streams at 60fps on most providers (YouTubeTV, FuboTV, and Sling). NBC Sports Gold did this as well.


  4. Theebrit

    September 26, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Agree with Mercator‘s comments. I am a transplanted Englishman on the West Coast and I’m incensed by NBC’s decision to prevent time shifting opportunities. I already pay for a premium NBC sports service through DIRECTV However, now as an example, the Arsenal Liverpool game on Monday is only available to watch live at 12 noon PST. I guess NBC executives don’t have jobs. I am not adverse to paying for streaming services but this is coercion. . Peacock will be the very last streaming service I ever break down and subscribe to.

  5. Ryan

    September 25, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    It’s Comcast the problem.Peacock is such a inferior stream. After my 2 months free from Google. I am dropping it. Hard to navigate, half the time you can’t even. Load it

  6. Ivan

    September 25, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Peacock is a disgrace, go on FB, there are about 3,000 comments defecating upon the NBC for being disgusting greedy creatures.
    People are finding other ways to watch the games they care to watch.
    BBC for NBC, ESPN and CBS.

  7. Mercator

    September 25, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Why do you guys make so many excuses for Peacock? It’s obvious why people are upset.

    1. The product does not work for most of us. Games buffer regularly to the point of being unwatchable. This never happens with ESPN, CBS, or literally any other bootleg stream. This is priority number 1, if you are going to stream a game then make sure it is watchable! Only Comcast could screw up something this basic.
    2. They removed all VOD services. This is so insane it can’t be an oversight and must be deliberate. Why can we not pause, rewind or fast forward? Why can we not start a game from the beginning when it is in progress? Why can we not record if you won’t make things available on demand? Literally VCR level features here and Peacock doesn’t have them. Even previous NBC apps have these functions. It’s not an accident, they didn’t screw it up, its deliberate probably for their own revenue purposes. Stop making excuses for them, we aren’t talking about FUBO people want the basic functions ESPN and CBS have.
    3. Why is the Peacock not on Roku or Amazon TV? Sure it on Roku now, how many of us missed the Chelsea v Liverpool game last week? Again, it’s a complete middle finger to viewers to force the games on this app before 75% of people in the country can even access the app. And you wonder why people freak out? The whole app is half baked, premier league channel with no guide, literally no profile to indicate your viewing preferences, doesn’t work on anything but apple products it seems. Fine, I get these things take time, but NBC can go to hell for forcing games on this app before it’s ready. The whole be patient things is ridiculous, maybe NBC should be patient and get its service together properly before sticking big games on it.
    4. They ruined the NBC product. Yes we watch the games but Premier League mornings were great. Studio is perfectly fine, we all love it and people tuned it. Now they have basically blown it up, where is the commentary? Not on demand. Why do we not have a single bottom we can click to stream premier league mornings, all the way through? Instead of streaming what was on NBCSN before, they have screwed it all up and half the content is missing or impossible to find.
    5. Unlike CBS or even ESPN, they deliberately put big games on streaming. Fine, this would be acceptable if ALL games were on streaming. But they are not, you now need cable AND a peacock subscription to see the games. Not Burnley v Huddersfield like before with NBC gold, not its some of the biggest games of the season. Outright greed. Put it on TV or put it all on streaming, it’s obnoxious when they deliberately try to do both to wring money out of us. This is why I use pirate streams now, it’s not the 5 bucks it’s the principle.

    NBC thinks they can abuse the passion of soccer fans to milk them for a buck. In fact, they have just pissed off a lot of people and now NBC Execs are having their home addresses spammed on twitter by lunatic scousers. It’s not just soccer fans either, I was at the range and the stall over from me was complaining about US Open and Peacock. Go figure. It’s a trash service and NBC is run by greedy clowns.

    • Edward

      September 28, 2020 at 5:35 pm

      full season streaming packages for North American sports:
      NHL Live: $29.99/month
      NBA League Pass: $39.99/month
      NFL Sunday Ticket: $48.99/month
      MLB.TV: $118.99/season (2019, last full MLB season)

      American international football fans really need to stop complaining about $4.99/month. A full season of EPL is about 2-3 months of NHL/NBA, 1.5 months of NFL and half the price of a full MLB season – plus this is packaged with non-sports content, and it makes the CBS All Access UCL/UEL package appear streets behind, especially since the CBS option is around 4 years old now and has less deep content library than Peacock. You have to wonder how long the ESPN+ pricing will remain, because with all the rights they have, that pricing is really not sustainable, especially if cord cutting continues and subs to ESPN linear channels plummets and ESPN+ revenue becomes the main driver.

      • hank evans

        September 29, 2020 at 7:05 am

        You forget the over $100/month as past of a 2 year commitment Directv for the minimum tier to get NBCSN for the promised “every match,every where on every device’. so it is not $ 5 a month but well over a $100 plus the slap on face $5 more for a crap service. Deceptive Trade practices by Comcast/NBC.

      • Mercator

        September 29, 2020 at 11:06 am

        I would gladly pay for any of those packages if they got me ALL the EPL games and the same level of studio/replay/news coverage those leagues provide on their streaming services. Peacock does not, in fact I have to pay $60 bucks a month for a cable tier of channels I never watch just for NBCSN, and now they are asking for MORE money to watch the same games on a streaming app that hasn’t been able to stream a full game without buffering. So we aren’t complaining about $4.99 a month. I didn’t complain before paying $60 bucks a month because PL Mornings were that good and all the games I wanted to see were on. But to put these games on a service that does not work properly, and then have the nerve to charge more for the inconvenience, it’s ridiculous.

        NBC is really the only one that does this. ESPN does it, but ESPN never shows enough soccer on actual TV for you to miss much. You get 95% of the content with ESPN+. CBS has ALL the champions league games available to stream, I don’t need to pay $60 for cable to get their sports channel. Deliberately splitting it so you need both is offensive and of course there is a reason NBC (owned by Concast) whole hog does this while CBS does not and ESPN does it much less frequently.

        ESPN+ could double in price and I would still think it’s a good value. CBS has been pretty fantastic as well, I wasn’t expecting much better than BR but between NWSL and CL/EL, CBS is the best soccer broadcaster in the country right now. Both are worth paying for. I get peacock free and so none of my complaints are about the money, They are about a trash service that is competing with the handball rule to ruin as many EPL games as possible this year.

        • Edward

          September 30, 2020 at 12:20 am

          NBC was being a loss leader in 2013 increasing the EPL fanbase in the US, and they’ve been monetizing on the newly built in recent years. They’ll ultimately win out, unless EPL rights change hands.

          All in all, the add on price to get access to all games is much smaller than other North American sports leagues, where you pay your cable package just for local teams.

      • Nosferatu

        September 29, 2020 at 4:33 pm

        Not sure where you got these numbers but they’re fully not correct. The package was $24.99 a month this past season, or $144.99 for the entire season. And NBA League Pass is only $28.99 a month as long as you’re okay with the in-game commercials being shown.

        I get the point, but I think it’s more of a question of hassles and changes versus price for many people. And it’s a little different story with other sports; compare it to hockey, for instance. How many people are paying for packages for several different leagues? They’re likely just going for the NHL package, not one for the KHL, Swedish League, British League, etc.

  8. jason

    September 25, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Listening to Derrick Rae in the Bochum vs St Pauli game on ESPN+ was quite something. Derrick loves speaking with a german accent and loves the culture of the Bundesliga right down to the smaller niche following clubs like Bochum which I knew nothing about prior to this match. He spent a lot of the broadcast talking about their chants and songs. It was an impressive commentary. Amazing someone of this stature is willing to commentate on German 2nd division matches.

  9. Rick

    September 25, 2020 at 12:21 am

    Stop praising Peacock – less viewers – soccer belongs on network tv so the sport can grow in popularity. This has destroyed the average viewers access to soccer- many people won’t bother to sign up.

    This is going back to the old days- no soccer on tv except every fours when it’s the World Cup. The only soccer viewers will watch now will be every four years.

    NBC is greedy- charging viewers more in the middle of a pandemic and a recession.

    • Rick

      September 25, 2020 at 12:28 am

      Also difficult to watch Peacock on Samsung tv

    • hmmm

      September 25, 2020 at 3:51 am

      Nothing “belongs” on network TV. I used to agree with the ‘soccer can grow in popularity’ thought but that ended a long time ago. The popularity of soccer in America has now plateaued and won’t increase further, irrespective of how it’s offered.
      NBC is not greedy, it’s just a business doing what business does and OTT is the future of pretty much all broadcasting. The days of mass third-party deals where x or y programming is sold to x or y company look to be rapidly ending. Instead, companies are now looking to self-monetise their product by removing the middle party and retailing it directly.
      I know that pay-TV prices are not cheap but I cannot stress enough how unique the US TV model is when it comes to live sports on TV. In pretty much every other country in the world, there are tiny amounts of sport on OTA because the bulk (if not all of it) is on pay-TV channels. But in the US, sports are considered to be part of cable package channels – this is also not done in other countries around the world. In the whole of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia etc. if you want to watch live sport then you must subscribe to a dedicated sports service – in addition to paying for the cable channels.
      Sky Sports in the UK, beIN Sports in the Middle East, SuperSport in Africa, FOX Sports in Australia – they’re all premium add-on services like HBO or Showtime are in the US.
      I know it can seem like Americans are getting a bad deal but in comparison to other countries, the US model is pretty good and I know I would take it in a heartbeat compared to what I pay.

      • Cpcva

        September 26, 2020 at 11:47 am

        In places like Australia and the UK they have laws that require certain events to be carried on over-the-air television events such as the World Cup or the Olympics in one case even the Masters is required.

        • Me

          September 29, 2020 at 12:20 pm

          The list of protected events in the UK is designed to ensure free to air coverage of events that have “national importance”. There is very, very little live sport available on free TV in the UK.

    • MAHLUF

      September 26, 2020 at 6:12 pm

      Do you have a job? Do you get paid? Are you trying to make money? Then you’re greedy too, by your definition.

  10. Trip Cave

    September 24, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    Just a thought, are broadcasts going to paywall for soccer games, because the soccer games on broadcast tv are not generating enough money?

    • Christopher Harris

      September 24, 2020 at 2:55 pm

      It’s more about the big media companies wanting to have consumers sign up for their OTT (over the top) streaming services that are behind paywalls.

      With broadcast TV, there are a lot of programming commitments that get in the way such as other sports that generate greater viewing numbers, as well as children’s programming that networks have to show, etc.

      • Turfit

        September 25, 2020 at 8:01 am

        At the bottom of this website there is links to 22 different Soccer TV Schedule. What other sport has this much diversity? And there are a lot of leagues available on TV that is not listed below that I can watch: Brasil league 1 and 2, Ecuador league, Colombia League, Africa CAF Champions League, Liga MX Womens league, Guatemala league, Australian league both men and women, Chinese Super League, Indian league, Danish League, Swedish League and I’m sure there is more that I can not think of right now. Would we not have these leagues available to us if it was not for streaming??

  11. jason

    September 24, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Soccer streaming is a big deal for ESPN, NBC, CBS, etc now because the US sports have their own services you can watch major league baseball directly on their service now and by pass the TV channels.
    But who says that one day the Bundelsiga can’t create their own independent streaming service to cover games with English commentary just like, NHL network, etc.

  12. Tom3

    September 24, 2020 at 9:31 am

    GolTV and Fox Soccer Plus are now on the Sports Package on YouTubeTV. Not that I watch them frankly but I thought I’d mention it. The Sports part of Peacock is just to drive subscriptions.

    • Chris Guardiano

      September 25, 2020 at 5:09 am

      And that won’t change anytime soon sadly because NBC is banking on the Premier League having games and content on its platform for as you point out to drive the rate of subscriptions. The only reason why NBC’s two biggest sports properties besides the Premier League, the NFL and NHL aren’t on Peacock yet (but will eventually) in my view is because from the NFL’s perspective, the NFL wants Sunday night games to be shown on primetime network TV for the biggest ratings possible and to beat out competition from Sunday night TV series such as the Simpsons for example. This is the main reason why Sunday Night Football was switched from ESPN to NBC nearly 15 years ago so that more people could watch. Out of the big four US sports leagues in my view, the NFL has been and will continue to be the one least likely to move games to streaming services because with things like NFL Sunday Ticket from DIRECTV, the league is still making a lot of money from cable/satellite subscriptions. I think they will eventually but it will take much more people cutting the cord to do so. As for the NHL, if NBC can keep the rights beyond next season away from ESPN, expect more NHL games including playoff games to be moved to Peacock although the Stanley Cup Final will probably remain on TV

      • MAHLUF

        September 26, 2020 at 6:11 pm

        Peacock has an NFL Wild Card game in January.

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