NBC gets exclusive rights to broadcast Premier League
By The Sports Xchange
|Manchester United's Robin van Persie (R) scores his goal against Chelsea during their English Premier league soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London October 28, 2012 REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
NBC Sports will begin broadcasting up to 380 English Premier League games next season as part of a three-year deal worth an estimated $250 million, according to the New York Times.
The live games will be broadcast on at least four different cable networks and websites affiliated with NBC.
About 200 games will be available on NBC’s networks in six different time periods Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays during the EPL’s season, which lasts 10 months out of the year. The others will be broadcast online or in some other means, likely including pay-per-view.
“There will be live, exclusive games, and we’re not going to tape delay any of them,” said Mark Lazarus, the chairman of the NBC Sports Group. “Multiple games go on at once, and we can’t carry every one on our networks. But we won’t regionalize games.”
NBC does not plan to resell any of the games to another network. Fox Soccer sublicenses about 20 percent of its games to ESPN.
NBC Universal beat out a joint bid from Fox Soccer and ESPN, and another from beIN, a network started by Al Jazeera.
“We think this is a terrific property that we can do a lot with,” Lazarus said, “and the leadership of the Premier League is interested in doing new things in the United States.”
NBC now owns all the U.S. television and digital rights to the EPL.
“This is a product we believe in,” Lazarus said. “The Premier League has struck a chord in the States. We’re already involved with Major League Soccer, we found great success with soccer at the Olympics, and our company made a large investment in the FIFA World Cup for Telemundo.”
NBC Sports Network will be at the center of the league’s coverage. Lazarus thinks viewership will be higher than that of Fox Soccer. Fox’s viewership was at its highest in 2009-10 at 149,000. The average is 136,000 this season.