October 29, 2012

NBC Grabs Premier League for $250 Million: NBC Universal has acquired the U.S. broadcasting rights to all 380 Premier League soccer matches for the next three years, beginning in August, after outbidding a ESPN/FOX joint offer. The reported $250 million bid is considerably larger than the $23 million Fox currently pays. The NBC Sports Network will be the primary channel to watch games, but NBC Chairman Mark Lazarus said every game will be available through an NBC TV or online platform. "FOX Soccer has been the primary US voice of EPL for almost two decades, and has done much over the years to increase its popularity, value and availability," Fox Sports sighed. "We wish them well."

posted by rcade to soccer at 12:25 PM - 8 comments

NBC Chairman Mark Lazarus said every game will be available through an NBC TV or online platform

At no extra charge, unlike the current Fox2Go? IAC, five to six live matches on cable (all channels already HD) will be awesome! Especially for Southampton fans, right Drood?

posted by billsaysthis at 01:32 PM on October 29

Comcast here in Chicago just finally added an HD channel for Fox Soccer (or at least I finally just found it on the dial, so to speak). With the move of the EPL to NBC Sports, though, I will probably drop the sports package next summer (although I just found BeIN this weekend as well, but it seems to be in Spanish only). I think the move to NBC will be good for fans and good for growing the popularity of the sport/league here in the U.S.

posted by holden at 02:13 PM on October 29

Not a soccer guy, but love this move for those of you who are. Bigger contract = more exposure.

posted by wfrazerjr at 02:14 PM on October 29

Fox are taking a kicking. Speed, also owned by Fox, just lost the rights to Formula One to NBC as well. The result is that Speed aren't bothering to send their commentary guys to the upcoming race in Austin. As Speed have lost the rights, they've slashed the budget meaning despite it being a big deal and the first US Grand Prix for a while, the race will be called by guys in a room in Charlotte.

billsaysthis: Unfortunately I'm in Canada so I'll still get crappy TV coverage and it'll make no difference. HOWEVER I use a service to access US content online, and I would imagine, with the EPL moving to NBC, that support for any service will shortly follow so I MIGHT be able to watch Saints online. WOOHOO!

Curious which NBC related entities will broadcast this. I can't see NBC broadcasting games on the main network. At least not in anything approaching a quality suitable for anyone higher up the IQ scale than a concussed wasp.

Just remember what these fuckwads did to the Olympics, and they paid 1.2 billion for them.

posted by Drood at 03:30 PM on October 29

If they keep the promise to show all of the games, that'll be amazing.

Fox Soccer is a great channel. I hope they find some way to survive the loss of this league and the ones that BeIN took from them.

posted by rcade at 04:57 PM on October 29

I assume NBC is going to use the same audio feed as Fox Soccer (I believe it is IMG/Premier League Productions), rather than try to build a stable of commentators (as trying to go it alone presumably would be much more costly). I would hope they could line up a good team for pre- and post-game punditry and half-time analysis, but that seems like a crapshoot -- with a lot depending on the balance of U.S. and British voices and whether truly talented talent is available.

With a World Cup looming that ESPN has the rights to (and presumably contractual commitments), I assume this means Ian Darke will not be doing any matches for NBC until at least 2014. So the concept of having a dedicated team doing a match of the week a la what McManaman and Darke are doing for ESPN now (which I believe is just a sublicense of Fox's rights) is probably not happening, unless NBC wants to find and hire available talent.

posted by holden at 05:51 PM on October 29

just found BeIN this weekend as well, but it seems to be in Spanish only

It's the same on Comcast here, but there's an English-language SAP feed with Ray Hudon, and your cable box should have an option to make that the default option for the channel (or maybe at the box level, I forget how I did it). My only complaint is that the "HD" picture is pretty crappy.

posted by yerfatma at 10:31 AM on October 30

Yerfatma is right, just go in to the Settings and tell it to use the English language channel whenever available.

ESPN is a sub-licensee of Fox but without the $$ from them Fox wouldn't have been able to keep the EPL rights in the last contract.

As for NBC, they've said most games will be on NBC Sports (what used to be Versus) with about 2-3 a month on the main NBC channel. Others (all?) will be available through their website and mobile apps.

Rumor has it they're negotiating with BT, which just bought a chunk of the UK broadcast rights, on a co-production deal.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:45 AM on October 30

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.