NBC Beat Out Fox for Premier League Rights
The Premier League has signed a new three year deal with NBC for the exclusive rights to broadcast games in America.
Fox Soccer still has the rights to broadcast the games this season, the deal will not come into force until the 2013/14 season.
NBC Universal will pay the Premier League $85 million annually. NBC are in a strong position to capitalise on the rights with their successful Spanish language channels; soccer is still the most popular sport among Hispanic-Americans. As well as their main broadcast network and separate sports network.
With an NHL lockout and no rights to broadcast NBA or the NFL (they only have NFL on their broadcast network) NBC were desperate for the rights.
The deal represents a threefold increase on the estimated $80 million Fox paid in total for the current three-year deal.
Of course the $250 million paid by NBC is dwarfed by the £3 billion shelled out for domestic rights, for the same period, by Sky Sports and BT.
NBC beat out a joint bid from ESPN and Fox.
The Premier League released a statement:
"The Premier League is pleased to announce that NBCUniversal via the NBC Sports Group has been awarded the live audio visual broadcast rights for all 380 Barclays Premier League matches per season for seasons 2013-14 to 2015-16 in the USA," the statement read.
"The deal brings the Premier League to one of the largest broadcasters in the world; the NBC Sports Group already televises such major sporting events as the NFL, NHL, the Summer and Winter Olympics, MLS, the US Open [golf] and the Ryder Cup."
Fox Soccer's ratings for live games are down a little this season, falling from an average of 142,000 viewers last year to 136,000 so far this season.
However NBC, including their sports network and Spanish language channels are available in far more U.S. homes than Fox Soccer.
The NBC statement in Full:
NEW YORK – October 28, 2012 – NBCUniversal, via the NBC Sports Group, has acquired the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Premier League through a multi-year agreement that begins with the 2013-14 season, both parties announced today. Per the agreement, NBCUniversal becomes the exclusive English- and Spanish-language media rights holder to all 380 Premier League matches across all platforms and devices in the United States.
“The Barclays Premier League is the preeminent soccer league in the world, and is on the cusp of exponential popularity growth here in the U.S.,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “NBCU will provide the broadest programming and promotional commitment that the league has ever experienced here in the United States. The Premier League provides NBCU with best-in-class content for 10 months of the year across our far-reaching broadcast, cable and digital platforms. This is a perfect match.”
“The NBC Sports Group has an excellent track record in sports broadcasting and will showcase the Barclays Premier League to fans across the USA through its extensive network of channels and high quality production,” said Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore. “We are extremely pleased that NBC has chosen to invest in the Premier League and look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
Each of the 20 Premier League teams plays 38 matches over a 41-week period from August to May. Although specific programming details will be announced at a later date, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and NBCSports.com will all be utilized to present live Premier League coverage, as well as Telemundo and mun2 for Spanish-language coverage.
Additional NBCUniversal platforms and networks will occasionally be scheduled to air Premier League matches, while NBC Sports Live Extra will provide the live streaming platform across web, tablet and mobile devices.
The NBC Sports Group will also produce comprehensive shoulder programming around its live-event coverage of the Premier League, including pre- and post-match shows, as well as highlight and weekly wrap-up programs. It is also developing a package to make sure the most avid fans have access to every Premier League match.
About NBC Sports Group’s Soccer Coverage The NBC Sports Group’s networks and platforms are leading destinations for soccer fans in the U.S. Its soccer portfolio includes Major League Soccer (MLS), U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches, the men’s and women’s Olympic soccer tournaments, and, beginning in August 2013, the Premier League. NBCUniversal, via the NBC Sports Group, will be the home for all 380 Premiere League matches, as well comprehensive shoulder programming. NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and mun2 also provide comprehensive Spanish-language soccer coverage. Both channels will air Premier League matches, as well as serve as the U.S. Spanish-language home for the FIFA World Cup from 2015 through 2022. Online, ProSoccerTalk on
NBCSports.com provides comprehensive coverage of the sport, from the Premier League to MLS to the U.S. National Team and other key international soccer stories.
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