The Barclays Premier League isn’t going anywhere in America. On the heels of NBC’s best opening day in the three seasons they’ve had the rights to the BPL, the network announced that they have retained the rights to the Premier League in America for another six seasons. It’s a huge commitment to NBC from the EPL as most rights contracts in the past have been for only three years.
NBC Sports Group will continue as the exclusive multi-platform media home of the Premier League in the United States through the 2021-22 season, it was announced today.
As per the agreement, NBC Sports Group will continue to make all 380 Premier League matches available to fans – via NBCUniversal’s NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, TELEMUNDO and NBC UNIVERSO linear channels, plus the Premier League Extra Time TV package – and via live stream on NBC Sports Live Extra, or other platforms.
“We are excited to continue our tremendous partnership with the Premier League, and we look forward to presenting the world’s finest soccer league to Americans for many years to come,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “As sports fans, there’s nothing better than waking up on a weekend morning to live and relevant events, and we at NBC Sports are thrilled to continue to be this outlet for the fast-growing Premier League fan base.”
“NBC Sports has done a fantastic job broadcasting the Barclays Premier League for the last two seasons and we are extremely pleased that they have invested in our U.S. rights for seasons 2016-17 to 2021-22,” said Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore. “Outstanding production, expert analysis, and wide audience reach have all been beyond expectations. First-rate creative marketing and promotional campaigns have driven interest in our clubs, and the competition as a whole, to unprecedented levels. NBC Sports has committed to extend partnership activation and promotion of clubs in future seasons – a significant factor in the awarding of these rights – and we look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with them for the next seven years.”
On the strength of numerous innovations and programming initiatives – including “Tactical Cam,” THE MEN IN BLAZERS SHOW, multiple Breakaway whip-around shows, road trips to the U.K. and NBC’s Super Bowl coverage, and The 2 Robbies “Football” Show — NBC Sports Group in May concluded its second season of Premier League coverage with viewership and consumption milestones.
This is a huge coup for NBC, which was expected to be competing with Fox and ESPN for the rights in the future. NBC was the most logical fit because of Fox and ESPN’s long-term commitments to college football and college basketball, which NBC only dabbles in.
The runner-up to NBC a massive joint bid between Fox, ESPN, Univision, and Discovery, which World Soccer Talk said was “expected to be announced as the winner” and would have done nothing but confused viewers and driven us crazy.
NBC has already been improving their coverage this season, adding an extra 40+ live games to USA Network and adding a tactical cam to their coverage on Live Extra. With the knowledge that the league isn’t going to be seen anywhere else in America for the foreseeable future, NBC can continue to innovate and improve their already sublime broadcasts going forward.