They will show every match from the world’s most popular football league, taking coverage away from Fox and ESPN.
“The Barclays Premier League is the pre-eminent soccer league in the world, and is on the cusp of exponential popularity growth here in the US,” NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said Sunday. The company has shown Major League Soccer since last year and had success with its soccer broadcasts during the London Olympics.
Unlike its criticised tape delay with the Olympics, NBC will show Premier League games live. Lazarus said. English-language broadcasts will primarily be on cable channel NBC Sports Network, with Telemundo and mun2 used for Spanish coverage.
NBC’s English-language networks will televise six live games a week. One or two of the company’s other cable channels will also be used, Lazarus said, but which has not been determined yet as schedules are evaluated. Other games will be streamed live online.
The company has been seeking to expand the audience of NBC Sports Network, which was renamed from Versus after its owner, Comcast, took over NBCUniversal.
The previous three-year EPL deal with Fox, that saw some matches sublicensed to ESPN, was worth about $80 million. NBC Sports Network is in about twice as many homes in the US as Fox Soccer but about 20 percent fewer than ESPN.
“The NBC Sports Group has an excellent track record in sports broadcasting,” EPL chief executive Richard Scudamore said.