NBC announces coverage plans for upcoming EPL season

Manchester United and Manchester City players make their way on to the pitch

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Since winning the American rights package to the English Premier League for 2013-2016 last fall, many people have wondered what direction NBC would take their coverage. On Tuesday morning, the network showed that they were more than serious.

At a press conference in New York City, NBC announced their plans for the upcoming Premier League season, where they’ll be showing all 380 matches live on multiple platforms as well as hiring announcers to broadcast the matches.

The network revealed that broadcaster Arlo White will become the lead play-by-play voice for NBC’s EPL coverage, set to begin this August. The current head broadcaster for MLS on NBC will partner with former England internationals Graeme Le Saux and Lee Dixon in the booth as analysts. The trio will be on-site for every match they broadcast. Gary Lineker will join the coverage team as a special contributor, and will occasionally host on-site coverage of the matches.

For coverage in the U.S., NBC announced that Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle would join host Rebecca Lowe as analysts from the NBC Sports studios in Stamford, Connecticut.

In addition, NBC outlined their coverage of EPL telecasts for the upcoming 2013-2014 season, saying that all 380 games will be live over a number of platforms. 20 matches during the season will be on nationally televised on NBC, 154 will be on NBC Sports Network, and the rest will either be on Spanish-language television channels or Premier League Extra Time, a set of overflow channels that will be available to customers free of cost if they have NBC Sports Network.

Every match will be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra, and on the final match day of the season on May 14, 2014, every game will be shown live on an NBC Universal channel, from NBC to Esquire and Syfy.

Finally, NBC announced that they would present over 600 hours of original and studio programming as part of their coverage. On Saturday following the matches there will be a two-hour show featuring extended highlights called Match of the Day, modeled off the original version from the BBC. On Sunday there will be another 90-minute highlight show, and then on Monday and Tuesday nights, cut-down matches of Manchester City and Manchester United (Mondays) and Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham (Tuesdays) will be shown in a two-hour program.

What do you make of this news? Are you excited about the prospects of every match being shown live on television and online? Do you like the choice of Arlo White as lead voice of the EPL on NBC?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Soccer on TV. Bookmark the permalink.

148 Responses to NBC announces coverage plans for upcoming EPL season

  1. NE Matt says:

    WOW! Sounds amazing! Already head and shoulders above what Fox Soccer has done.

    • Me and my chicken says:

      What the hell are you talking about? I sure hope that was a sarcastic comment.

      • wides says:

        I’ll agree that this sounds awesome, I can’t comment as much on what Fox Soccer has done, as I don’t have FSC.

        I was very very pleasantly surprised when they had games live on Fox, but I don’t think they put anywhere near 20 games televised live on national broadcast TV. I think it was closer to 6-10 games on Fox.

    • Mike says:

      As long as they don’t use JP Della Camera or that dullard Sullivan guy I’m good to go but they should stick with the existing British based announcers..

  2. JP says:

    RIP MLS

    • THomas says:

      This will enhance MLS coverage with many EPL games leading into MLS games. They can give previews of upcoming games and story lines and try to hook people on both products. I for one am one that they can try to entice to watch more MLS.

      • Red says:

        This is good for MLS. Its going to increase soccer exposure and promote our league more. This is only a good thing for MLS.

    • Chance says:

      How does this comment make ANY SENSE. 90% of EPL games occur before 3pm Eastern Time. 90% of MLS games start after 3pm Eastern time. What this is going to do is turn NBCSports into a soccer station on the Weekends (during the EPL/MLS overlap months) and if anything will lead to an increase in MLS Coverage.

      you’re dumb, please stop wasting air that could go to more deserving people.

      • Tony in Quakeland says:

        What Chance said.

        I am a dedicated Gooner. And I also enjoy Serie A (in my peculiar way). And that does nothing to diminish my enjoyment of MLS. I watch at least half of the games every weekend.

        If NBC does this right, they will help build MLS at the same time.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think the two are mutually reinforcing. I tend to focus in on MLS when it starts, then wander back to EPL after MLS Cup.

      I don’t buy that having EPL plus MLS will worsen the snobbery issue any more than it is now. FSC would have already done that in prior years. The attendance trend line is the opposite, because I think outside of a handful of snobs, most people want to see live soccer in their hometown (or at least country) instead of pursue some foreign soccer obsession they can rarely see in person.

      FWIW, NBC is also positioning themselves as the open wheel racing network and acquired F1 to join Indycar. F1 now airs in Spanish and the broadcasts are higher quality than they were with Speed, another Fox product. I think the production values went up when MLS moved to NBC, and I can’t believe the same is not in the offing for EPL. The feed is fine but the studio is cheap. FSC basically puts the least effort into their production values of anyone, NBC, ESPN, the Spanish language channels. Their one boon was they had the largest variety of offerings, but they are steadily losing them.

      No, I’m wondering what FSC will be showing by next year. No Italy, Spain, England, US. No US qualifiers or Mexican or UEFA. About all they have is the CLs. So, more like critical condition FSC than RIP MLS.

      • Tweaked says:

        FSC announced its demise weeks ago.

        Fox is launching Fox Sports 1 which will broadcast a mishmash of college and pro sports.

    • JCC says:

      RIP MLS is a bit much, but I disagree that this will be good for MLS, and the reason is the casual soccer fan in the US will want to see top quality soccer. The difference in quality is there and now more eyes will be able to see the difference. Outside of the hardcore MLS fan, I think once the casual soccer fan watches an EPL game and then watches an MLS game they’ll opt for EPL more often than not. In other words this won’t necessarily hurt MLS, but it might not help it either.

      • KillerInstict says:

        Call me crazy but if weren’t for some Americans in the premier league, I personally would’t be watching it. I think its way over hyped, compared to the Spanish or German. I have seen plenty of games in the premier leaugue that would put me to sleep…at least in the MLS there are no desperity amongst the teams…there is always that intrigue as to how one team is going to fair over the other…its unpredictable.

      • Colin in MT says:

        the flip side of that is that the casual soccer fan will see that the difference in quality isn’t as great as some make it out to be. a casual fan watching stoke v. wigan might then watch an mls game and come away impressed. granted, most casual fans are going to tune in when its man u. v. arsenal.

        i also don’t buy that NBC investing this much in the premiership is bad for MLS. NBC has every incentive for MLS to flourish. they want more people watching MLS because it makes their relatively minor investment more profitable. NBC has shown a willingness to cross promote MLS during the Olympics and NHL coverage. I have no doubt that NBC will use their broadcasts of the Premiership to promote the MLS

        • Hogatroge says:

          +1

          Way to address pretty much all of the “bad for MLS” points and euthanize them.

          • RP says:

            Obviously NBC is investing in the ‘product’. aka soccer. If they are investing they are betting on the entire product rising.

            Fox made a bit of a push late, putting the Champions League Final and some big games on the big channel – but NBC is making a larger more concerted push.

            As well – (If NBC does not have FA or INTL rights), Think of those weekends as the perfect time showcase MLS with a EPL gap to fill that week. MLS could/should capatalize and stagger games starting at high noon east coast time.

  3. THomas says:

    This is awesome! No more paying FoxSoccer $20 a month to watch Fulham games online.

  4. Michael Chapman says:

    so, other than the premier match that weekend will they be using the UK/EPL comms?

    • WG says:

      From Richard Deitsch on SI -

      NBC said it will use the world feed on games not involving its announced staffers.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Presumably, a lead game each day will be done-up like ESPN does with studio and live production on site. Then the other games will be Fox-worthy feeds with presumably a nicer studio.

        The only shame to me will be that McBride and Wynalda do know somethings. But maybe they can be snagged.

  5. Geess says:

    If it’s called Match of the Day, it MUST have the original Match of the Day theme music! Wouldn’t be the same without it!!

    • Al17 says:

      I disagree with you on that one. Why? We’re Americans and should go with our own theme song. Personally, I’d love a nice Hip-Hop track as the lead in. Copying the match of the day music is just wrong. It works with that show and would be WRONG to use it with something that’s not the original. Course if it were FSC they’d copy the original as much as they could.

    • RK says:

      I have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Nick says:

      There’s only one man they can get to write the theme music for the match of the day and his name is John Tesh.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think Premier League Review is fine, concise, one hour, real highlights, get through it, done.

  6. RSL Jeff says:

    Think this is going to kill what is today known as FOX Soccer. I appreciate NBC’s MLS coverage and sounds like they are just bettering that. Excited to not have to find the games broadcast online.

    • scottymac says:

      FSC is already dead. Fox is merging their sports coverages into new channels that launch in August (Fox 1 and Fox 2, or something like that).

      Think they still retain Champions League coverages. Not sure who gets the FA and League Cup matches.

      • STX81 says:

        Fox is starting a new sports network (whick replaces SPEED) called Fox Sports 1. The CL and FA cups games will air there.

        • Chance says:

          Until that contract is up and NBC or bein grab it away. Fox never need justice to the soccer broadcast contracts it had.

      • AshortDeparture says:

        I’m pretty sure that BeIN has Champions league rights– I’ve only seen Europa league matches on FSC.

    • STX81 says:

      Fox Soccer is already dead. It was announced that it will be replace with a new network called FXX in fall 2013.

      link to politico.com

  7. nickp91 says:

    On the final day, all games will be shown an a NBC television property, including the E! Network

  8. Al17 says:

    Excited. Gary Lineker even as a special contributor shows that someone over there knows what the hell they’re doing. One of the few former players currently covering the game who IMO does a hell of a job. The man was the BBC’s lead for the Olympics and he was awesome. The few times that I’ve heard Robbie Earle have been pleasant. I haven’t heard enough of Graeme Le Saux and Lee Dixon in regards to calling matches nor the others but as I stated Gary Lineker alone does it for me.

    Match of the Day modeled after the oldest continuous sports show on the planet is about damn time for this country.

    So far BIG UPS to NBC, not half assing it. If done right then alot of people whom are/were big fans of Fox Soccer Channel will finally get to see what world class produced footy shows are like and I can tell ya they don’t do it at FSC.

    • Joe says:

      Robbie Earle and apparently the new soccer voice of America John Strong (Oregon boy!) have been with the Timbers since the move to MLS and, barring any contractual national team or ESPN responsibilities respectively have not missed a game. Glorious, wonderful tandem of knowledge and passion these guys have and Portland is very lucky to have them.

  9. BiA says:

    No Everton highlights?

  10. JoeL says:

    Personally, I’ll miss the Fox Soccer Channel.

    • pgloerse says:

      I may not miss it but I certainly respect what they have done in the past few years in terms of bringing games to my tv each and every weekend!

    • Jerrod says:

      Me too, but only for sentimental reasons. It played a huge part in developing my love for the game.

      Brief story: I had never played soccer in my life until 2010, I got really into the world cup after I watched the final I went out and played for the first time. After that I was I hooked but I couldn’t see many games. So then I heard about the Thierry Henry mls move and all the hype about his first game with NY so about 10 minutes before the game started, I called up charter and added Fox Soccer. From that point I bet I haven’t watched any other channel half as much.

      The tons and tons of past EPL games they showed that summer helped me pick a team and I’ve watched so many games of all types since. Champions league semi finals to under 17 world cup qualifying to that previous us womens league to the A League final from a couple years ago that is still one of the most exciting games I’ve ever seen.

      I anticipate the improved coverage, but ti’ll be sad for me.

      *single tear

      • Gnarls says:

        Jerrod, your story is my story. Cheers.

      • Joe Dirt says:

        Jerrod,

        You are Soccer Convert, welcome. We shall one day reach the mountain top and see the promised land. Soccer/Football/Futbol shall dominate the North American continent, with liberty and justice for all.

        Amen…

        • Joe says:

          Let me guess Jerrod…you’re a United, Liverpool, Arsenal, or Chelsea fan. Hence, you did not state your club. There is shame from your omission.

          • Jerrod says:

            It didn’t even occur to me point out that I’m an Arsenal fan. No shame here. I watched upwards of 40 games, picked the team whose style I enjoyed and kept going back for more of and I was set.

            I care far more about the enjoyment of actually watching each game than winning. A champions league run does give me more games to watch though.

            I also like whatever team Jozy is on, although looking back, that Hull jersey was not my smartest move.

      • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

        Same hear. I was converted in 2007. Heard about the Beckham thing as a rumor from a friend in December. It was official in January. I watched the USA beat Mexico Dos a Cero in a friendly in February, MLS kicked off a few weeks after, Becks showed up shortly after and then I became a soccer junky.

        I’m having withdrawals from the UCL and CCL as I type this. Need. Fix. NOW!

    • Chupacabra says:

      I will not miss Bobby “Captain Obvious” McMahon and his “insight.”

  11. A.S. says:

    I am sort of surprised SBI hasn’t covered the fact the Fox Soccer Xhannel is going away in a few months. Seems kind of a big deal. It was inevitable once they lost all their programming, but I will also miss it.

    • Luke says:

      Yeah…I’ll also miss those stupid “natural male enhancement” commercials they showed for what seemed like every other commercial.

      Not!

  12. JeffP says:

    FSC had a good run, but it’s time for the broadcast of this sport to evolve. With the introduction of US players overseas and more european players seeing the viability of our market it’s time for it to be taken to the next level. Granted…they could screw it up, but with the expansion of viewing platforms and a truly world-wide viewing audience…it’s time.

  13. Bendover says:

    I like the move by NBC, but don’t understand all the haters of FSC. FOX was broadcasting the MLS and EPL when the other networks would barely acknowledge their existence. Thanks Fox for leading the way.

  14. orga says:

    Capitalism sucks man. Down with GREED

  15. Todd says:

    I still miss Fox Football Fone-In. Even thought the hosts were annoying I loved that show, and wish that a similiar show/format still existed.

    • TomG says:

      Best Soccer Show and Total Soccer Show podcasts and NASN are probably the closest things.

    • Joe Dirt says:

      +1

    • RP says:

      Agreed.

      Those guys are free agents now from what I understand. Maybe NBC Sports brings it back for a 9pm tuesday time slot?

      Btw – Isn’t there a new show on NBC sports with ESPN outcasts.. I wonder what happens to that show when Soccer becomes a large part of their programming..

  16. orga says:

    I pray they rotate Match of the Day guests. Like 1 week it’s Wynalda/McBride, another week it’s Keller/Lalas, another week it’s Bradley/Arena

    • Sebastien L. says:

      If they rotate guests, its not likely you’ll see the guys you mentioned. Wynalda works for Fox, and Keller/Lalas work for ESPN. I don’t think their employers would be too happy with them on a competitor’s channel. As for Arena, he has his own team to worry about on Saturdays (though maybe during the MLS offseason….)

  17. MrTuktoyaktuk says:

    The MOTD type program could be the key item. That may appeal to people who are not totally invested in either one particular team or are hardcore EPL fans who will watch as many games as possible.

  18. AC says:

    GOOD FREAKIN GOSH!….Think I need to sit back and take this all in….Talk about awesome!

  19. Vic says:

    Great news all around except for Arlo White. I guess with any good news there’s always something bad. Even when you win the lottery you still have to pay taxes.

  20. Bac says:

    NO COSTAS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Charles says:

    This brings up more questions than it answers.

    Who is going to replace Arlo to do MLS games ?
    154 games on NBC Sports ?
    Is that going to crowd out MLS coverage ?

    I don’t like the preliminary story. Hopefully it gets better. 154 games ? What are they possibly going to show ? 13th versus 14th in February ? I just can’t imagine anyone watches that.

    It really looks like NBC has chosen their preference when they moved Arlo over. Hopefully I am wrong and it is just an Arlo preference. NBC has done American soccer right so far, I hope this doesn’t change it, but I am nervous is does. ( to all those that think this will get more publicity for soccer and is a good thing for MLS, no one in the average population cares about day to day English soccer and I don’t think they ever will )

    • Vic says:

      EPL is more likely to get an average sports fan into soccer than MLS. Once they become a soccer fans some of them will want to see games live. They will go to MLS games.

      • Charles says:

        I have to disagree.

      • Charles says:

        Look at the Sounders ( which is my perspective ).
        Do you think any of the 40k are watching EPL games every weekend ?
        Maybe a handful.

        • Joe says:

          No, because ALL Sounders fans are bandwagoners!! (insert wanking motion).

          I’m a Timbers fan and while I agree with the sentiment that there were more passionate fans in the USL days, it doesn’t take away from giving kudos to Seattle for making it a great rivalry and presenting a hostile environment.

          But I think a lot of fans have forged a love of soccer through an EPL, Serie A, La Liga or Bundesliga team. And that love carried over when they were able to appreciate the intricacies of soccer from having watched and learned if not merely by playing. It’s a great thing for soccer in America. Hell, basketball is hugely popular and the advent of NBA world broadcasting and availability helped FIBA grow and Greek, Russian, Italian and Spanish teams and players become a viable option for dudes like Brandon Jennings and that kid who was going to go to Seton Hall this coming year.

          Nothing wrong with using EPL to help boost MLS and soccer in general’s popularity in the USA.

      • alabamafutbol says:

        +1. Once people become more accustomed/drawn to the idea of soccer in general (through watching higher quality games in the EPL), they’ll become gradually more amenable toward the idea of watching a little lesser quality, but local, soccer in the MLS.

        Honestly that’s how it happened for me. Hated soccer, played FIFA one fateful day in 2008, started watching Prem and USMNT games, now I love the sport and enjoy watching even MLS games

        • Joe Dirt says:

          Same for me Bama, I was out of work a couple of months back in 2005 and was sick of watching Sportcenter reruns all day, was flipping channels and found FSC, hooked on the beautiful game every since. By broadening soccer’s exposure thru NBCSports and combined coverage of EPL and MLS it will increase the number of “soccer converts” by putting the sport in front of more eyeballs in a top quality HD type production.

      • Travis in Miami says:

        People are sheep…they see a ton of people singing and attending soccer games they’ll go : “hmm…maybe there’s something to this soccer thing”and watch a few games. And their American so the natural instinct is to find your own team to follow. At that point it’s up to MLS to keep them interested.

        it’s like putting a velvet rope in front of some bar or restaurant and creating a crowd before letting people in. It draws attention and curiosity.

        • Jr says:

          but they’d watching EPL games. they would follow an EPL teams

          • Nathan says:

            If you get people interested in any form of soccer, it makes them more likely to appreciate other forms. It is in no way a guarantee, certainly. But getting a wider appreciation for soccer in any form is in incremental step in the right direction.

    • Sebastien L. says:

      I like Arlo, but I’d prefer to have an American calling the play-by-play for our top domestic league. I hope NBC doesn’t force another Brit down our throats for MLS coverage.

    • Chance says:

      As I said up above, 90% of EPL games are done by 3pm Eastern and 90% of MLS games start after 3 pm so the EPL games won’t crowd out MLS. They don’t have much overlap so there isn’t anything to worry about.

  22. David says:

    We’ve gone from famine to feast in record time. I grew up with All-Star Soccer and Soccer Made In Germany on PBS. My son can yell “goooooaaaaal!!” as well as any two year old anywhere now and is starting to say the names of the teams. Amazing.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Yeah, I remember when you used to have to watch soccer on either PBS or Spanish channels, except for the odd US game.

  23. Matt says:

    This is great news! This will make weekends spent at the in-laws even better because they’ll have all of the games on their regular cable package. The streaming feature is a win too though it would be nice if there were an option for streaming not connected to having a cable account.

  24. Althea says:

    It’d be great if Fox got the rights to Bundesliga and started showing those matches. In the US you can only really watch Bundesliga on GolTV, which many of us don’t have access too. Seems this loss of EPL content could be replaced with Bundesliga. I’d love to be able to catch more Dortmund, FCB, Schalke and Leverkusen matches!

  25. Jim says:

    This is remarkable. In fact, it’s unprecedented access. Does any other country in the world get to see this much of the Premier League, this easily?

    NBC Sports Network is FAR more frequently available in a regular cable package than FSC was, never mind the additional monthly charges for Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Soccer 2Go. And 20 games on NBC! That means a game every other week on over-the-air network tv. The exposure will be tremendous for the sport.

    Seriously, just great news. Saves a lot of us a bunch of money, and spreads soccer across the nation in ways we never DREAMED about 20 years ago.

  26. Matty says:

    wow, thats awesome… now I have to wrap my mind around watching a EPL game on SyFy…

    • Chance says:

      They’ll probably put only the really early games on there, like the ones that are on at 7am eastern

      • Matty says:

        Maybe, its not biggie I will watch it regardless. their coverage is well beyond that of fox, ( as everyone probably agrees ).

    • beto says:

      haha yes! Wigan vs. Stoke on SyFi, guest commentary from … Leonard Nimoy?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      The possibilities are endless. Dog Soldiers. Dinocroc, etc. etc.

  27. ChiTown says:

    I. Have. NBC Sports. Oh. My. God. Yes.

  28. Iggy says:

    I hope they somehow keep arlo on key mls games.

    Make a move to NBC seem even smarter now. Imagine if it wa the last thing stuck on fox. I worry that fix won’t do the 2014 World Cup justice. Almost wish NBC had that too.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I thought 2014 was ESPN’s last and then it went to Fox for the 2018 and 2022 tourneys.

  29. Coach K says:

    I love everything I am reading with ONE big caveat. I hope NBC REALLY respects SOCCER or FOOTBALL as we call it and does not pre-emt a game with a few extra innings or a stupid hockey game as they have been knoen to do in the past. Say what you haters will about FSC but they were/ are awesome as true SOCCER supporters. The jury is still out on NBC being fully commited?

    • Jay says:

      Dude all networks do this nobody leaves a live game nobody. Those who can like ESPN switch the upcoming game or sport to a different channel until the live game is over. Quit being so sensitive every sport deals with that grow up. NBC gave MLS a platform when it doesn’t have much to offer so if that isn’t showing good faith in MLS I don’t know what does.

    • Joe says:

      Well, considering hockey starts earliest at 1:00 EST, baseball is nowhere on NBC’s radar and all of this could have been assuaged by a google search, I hope I have allayed your fears Coach K. Unless that was a rat faced Coach K impression, in which case I suck at sarcasm and kudos to you sir.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      It depends what we are talking about. EPL games are traditionally 3pm London time with a few exceptions. Makes it AM here. I can’t believe NBC will endlessly loop games like FSC, it doesn’t even quite make sense in a DVR world.

  30. DC Josh says:

    As long as Bob Costas keeps his grubby hands off my beloved game of soccer then I am a happy camper with this announcement.

    This also leaves Fox Soccer buried in a makeshift grave somewhere in the Sonoran Desert. Long live the days of Bretos and Sullivan. Ah those were the good days…

    • Hunt Daddy says:

      *Bretos and Hopkins. Christopher Sullivan is terrible with his fake Italian/Spanish/whatever accent.

  31. Travis in Miami says:

    So this is what GE is doing with all that money they aren’t paying in taxes. I was upset but now I’m ok with it ;)

  32. beto says:

    sounds good to me. FSC was good and will be missed but EVERY EPL game on TV is amazing! I really hope that BeIn continues to grow too and FOX Sports whatever continues to do well with UCL and UEL.

    My only concern is that nobody will be there to pick up the smaller events like FA Cup, Concacaf Champions League, USA U23/20/17 qualifying tournaments etc.. hopefully ESPN or FOX jump on those..

    • beto says:

      i guess where i hope USA english language broadcasts go:
      NBC/NBCSN: “the Leagues” – MLS, EPL

      BeIn/BeIn Esp: “the International” – NA/SA Qualifiers, UEFA Leagues

      ESPN/ABC: the USA/Mexico games

      FOX/FOXSports: “the Cups” – WC, FA Cup, US Open Cup, CL, EL, CCL, Concacaf U23, 20, 17 Cups

      of course it will more likely become a musical chairs every 4-6 years… but the point is there is plenty of high quality soccer to broadcast across multiple different companies..

  33. Micah says:

    This should have happened a long time ago.

    • Thisten says:

      I agree. In my case this would have been great in the mid-to-late 80′s and 90′s when I had more time, energy, and enthusiasm. Anyone remember TNT’s coverage of Italia ’90? Somewhere I still have my old Adidas Etrusco SG cleats.

  34. WorldCitizen says:

    I absolutely love how NBC is working overtime to help build, and sustain, the American Soccer Nation that all of us (especially those of us who have been huge fans for over 30 years and have been dreaming of such things for ages) richly deserve. Hopefully, there’ll be good synergy with their MLS coverage and we’ll finally see our domestic league’s TV ratings begin to climb out of the sewer in the process.

  35. dan says:

    Arlo White is living the dream, good on him

  36. Joe Dirt says:

    Totally bad azz.

    Basically NBCSports becomes NBC Soccer during the overlap months of March -May and August-October and in the other months we either have MLS or EPL by itself. Soccer, Soccer, Soccer all day long I love it. My tv will be tuned into NBCSports on Saturdays and Sundays for a long time to come.

    This is great for MLS exposure too. You get the 10am (EST) EPL matches leading into a 1pm MLS kickoffs which should boost the tv ratings a good bit. THis means The Don can squeeze more money out of them when the TV contract renews and this means they can increase the cap.

    Thank you NBC for supporting the greatest game on Earth.

  37. bottlcaps says:

    It’s rather clear that NBC has chosen soccer/football as a major product and property for it’s emerging sports network fleet. You only need to look at what ESPN did with NFL football/College Football etc. They not only covered the sports but integrated them into thier programming. Look at ESPN Sportscenter and it;s covered with sports, but look closely and you see not only greater coverage of “their” products, but lots of promo work.

    Unfortunately for the MLS, the investment ESPN/ABC sports made into MLS soccer was so minimal (TV rights, etc) that they could afford to shortchange its coverage at not suffer the consequences. While the MLS trumpeted the fact that ESPN was actually paying for the rights, as opposed to a revenue share of advertising and a token rights fee as before, the dollar amount was miniscule as compared to ESPN’s flagships of NFL.College Football, etc, where serious rights fees into the billions are expected. This is not to say that ESPN is not interested in the MLS or soccer in general, but given the dollar amount ESPN has invested in the traditional US sports, it is hard to make a commitment to a new, emerging one. ESPN is still looking for bargains, When Galavision/Univision moved “most” of its sports programming to it;s new Deported channel, which is a tier two or pay channel,. ESPN jumped at the chance to sign the Liga MX to it’s ESPN2 channel and it’s own ESPN deportes channel.

    NBC say an unexploited market and jumped in with both feet. It;s coverage of the MLS will grow alongside it’s EPL coverage, giving them a double bang for the buck.

    The only way the MLS will step up into the next tier of soccer (buyers, not sellers,foreign coverage, lots more TV coverage and bigger player salaries, etc.) is if they land several big rights fee for the MLS product. Only then can the MLS compete for the best )or most hyped) players, whether they be in the US, Mexico, Asia or Europe.

    Chevrolet made a huge investment in the EPL and Man U by buying the jersey rights for an astronomical sum. So large in fact that the executives at Chevrolet fired the exec that made the deal. The jersey deal was to coincide with a push by Chevrolet to introduce it’s car line to Europe in a bigger way. But that was before the NBC announce its coverage deal. The deal now with Man U makes more sense now for Chevrolet as they expand their coverage in the US market significantly,

    But always looking for a better deal, the Glazers and Man U discovered that they can actually sign a new jersy deal, So they signed AON, their current shirts sponsor, to be the official training jersey, and also gave the naming right to the PRACTICE FACILITY to AON for a pretty penny.

    NBC sports has raised the bar for Soccer coverage in this country, we can now see some serious soccer coverage on tier one cable or satellite. Now the MLS must stand up a work to get more rights fees from a now competitive market, more sponsorship and local coverage contract like what the Galaxy have from Times-Warner.

    Let’s hope this happens sooner rather than later.

    • Joe Dirt says:

      +1000

      Maybe its time The Don to step it up a notch on salary cap and DP rules to get the product on the field even better before the NBC coverage begins in August. This is going to make the summer transfer window that much more interesting in my opinion. I think its time for MLS to splash some major cash on a major marquee player. I know, I know we need spend cap money on better squad depth and blah, blah, blah, blah but marquee players bring eyeballs to TV and that will also hook the casual fan.

      Call me a crazy, but I think its time for us to go out and sign a Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao, Chicaritto, Neymar. I know it sounds ridiculous but so did the idea of David Beckham coming to MLS in 2007 and we know what that did for the league.

    • Jr says:

      MLS can’t compete. MLS is already losing to EPL and LigaMx

      • drew11 says:

        MLS can’t compete with college football. OMG!

        You folks are ignoring the improvements in coverage like post game shows, longer time slot, etc. Why? It’s getting better and the sky isn’t falling on MLS. Relax.

  38. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    MLS benefits from casual fans watching soccer. Thats how I got hooked on MLS.

  39. bottlcaps says:

    sorry for the typos

  40. Victor says:

    Omg, I have NBC Sports this is going to be amazing, all the games.

  41. el paso tx mike says:

    what if MLS switches to the EPL Calendar

  42. scottishkyle says:

    Now if ESPN were to cover La Liga (the best league), ABC the Bundesliga, and ESPN Serie A the same way, we would be in a Euro-centered football paradise. Works for me, even though I do like South American futbal a lot.

  43. robo johnson says:

    fox is totally fine.. the champions league and the usmnt is the most important and prestigious soccer tourney in the united states… plus the fa cup and europa league will soon grow in importance once the europa league winners and runner up get champions league spots.. o and they have the world cup and all usmnt qualifiers that goes with it. the epl is a good investment for nbc.. but fox and fox sports 1 will totally be fine.

    • Transic says:

      I think the next thing to look for is the Bundesliga finally getting out of that ghetto called GolTV. Recently, I switched to FiOS and GolTV is only in SD. They’ve had lost La Liga and only barely renewed the Bundesliga. However, Gol seems to be slowly disappearing from the scene sine BeIN came into the market all gangbusters.

      The Bundesliga would be a big opportunity for Fox Sports to get back much of the content lost from being outbid on the Premier League. NBC, by going all in on the Premier (including the ancillary programming promised in the press conference), have no room for other soccer programming except for MLS in the afternoon and evening hours. They can’t get the World Cup or Gold Cup, either. So it’d be down to between Fox Sports and BeIN in case Gol goes under. BeIN is too committed to the English Championship, La Liga and Serie A to have space for German fussball. With Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2, there should be enough room to air fussball in the morning hours.

  44. Rob L says:

    Just looking back on where we came from. I’m remembering the days back in the 90s when all we had was a hour highlight show with a good chunk of one game. I’m not sure how anyone can complain about the amount and breadth of different leagues we can watch in this country. I think this deal is great.

  45. Michael says:

    I will miss Ian Darke and Macca tremendously.

  46. Rey Pygsterio says:

    Arlo White is brilliant. One of the best in the business. He will be greatly missed on MLS broadcasts.

  47. alan says:

    will be interesting to see how good NBC coverage actually is. i will miss the espn games. i thought they did a REALLY good job. NBC seems an improvement on FOX, but surprised more (any) people are not disappointed about losing ESPN’s weekly game. ian darke and macca were more than decent.

  48. Vic says:

    One concern I have is what happens to the Fox Soccer highlight show that shows highlights from all the leagues?

  49. newenglandcolonies says:

    I’m a huge Barca Fan , la Liga , EPL, bundesliga, and nothing nothing makes me stop watching MLS , GO MLS despite all the haters we keep growing, even when i cant watch a game i watch the highlight on youtube , now this is gonna be soo much better.