After we learned Friday that ESPN and Fox had dropped out of the bidding for the US rights to the English Premier League, NBC makes it official tonight that it will become the new home of the world’s most popular football league.
Overall, NBCUniversal’s properties, NBC, NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, Mun2 and NBCSports.com will be home to most of the EPL’s 380 games a year. Other NBCUniversal properties will air selected games throughout the season (most likely CNBC and Comcast SportsNet). The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobiles and tablets will stream video across various devices. It does not appear that NBC will sublicense any fixtures to other networks as Fox did with ESPN.
As reported on Friday in Sports Business Daily by John Ourand, NBC’s bid is believed to be triple of what Fox/ESPN is currently paying for its contract that ends this season.
This is a huge win for NBC and gives NBC Sports Network content for 10 months of the year. Expect pre and postgame programming in addition to regular highlight shows.
It all begins with the 2013-14 season. We have the official announcement from NBC Sports.
20 Teams, 10 Months, 380 Matches Annually
Multi-Year Partnership Begins in August 2013
Agreement Includes English- and Spanish-Language Media Rights Across All Platforms & Devices in U.S.
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 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 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.
And for more information on NBC’s plans, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus on NBCU’s strategy to secure the EPL and what you’ll see across its platforms.