As NBC Sports Group is in the midway point of its three-year contract with the English Premier League, it has some good news as it turns to the second half of the 2014-15 season. To date, the ratings for EPL games at the half of the season is up 15% compared to the same point in 2013-14 averaging 479,000 viewers.

In the all-important 18-49 demographic which advertisers crave, English Premier League games are up 24% or an average of 284,000 per game.

NBC saw the Group’s and the United States largest-ever audience for a live EPL game on November 22 for Manchester United-Arsenal, 1.4 million.

Locally, Washington, DC ranks first among all markets for EPL ratings. In fact, 7 out of the top ten are Eastern time zone markets which is consistent with World Cup ratings last summer. Here is the top 10 markets for the EPL and NBC.

1. Washington DC
2. New York
3. Philadelphia
4. Boston
5. Denver
6. Miami
7. Providence
8. Columbus, OH
9. Albuquerque
10. Dallas

So our takeaway here is that NBC’s gamble to pick up the entire EPL TV contract is working. Fans have liked the way the Peacock is presenting the games since day one and have enjoyed the pregame, the production as well as overall package.

Now the next step for NBC is to keep the games as the Premier League decides on whether to remain with the status quo or to go with ESPN/Fox which is expected to submit a bid when the EPL opens up the bidding for the US contract later this year. Whether the Group can keep what has become a signature property for NBC/NBCSN is unknown at this point, but it has to be considered the heavy favorite as the second half of the TV contract is about to begin.


About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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