The Premier League title is coming down to Championship Sunday, and NBC has big plans for the final day of the season.
On Thursday, NBC announced their broadcast plans for Championship Sunday, and much like the last two years, it’ll be a Peacock-heavy affair.
Like in 2020 and 2021, five matches will be Peacock-exclusive – a change from NBC’s formula during their earlier years of broadcasting the Premier League, when every match aired on cable or broadcast TV (which included weird shit like Crystal Palace-West Brom on Oxygen). But unlike last year, when even the cable and broadcast games were available on Peacock, only nine of the ten matches this year are on Peacock. The potentially crucial Liverpool-Wolves match is available only on USA and in Spanish on Universo.
Here’s the full schedule of matches and their network assignment. Kickoff for all ten matches is 11 AM ET.
- Manchester City vs Aston Villa – NBC, Peacock, Telemundo
- Liverpool vs Wolverhampton Wanderers – USA, Universo
- Arsenal vs Everton – CNBC, Peacock
- Norwich City vs Tottenham Hotspur – SYFY, Peacock
- Burnley vs Newcastle United – GOLF Channel, Peacock
- Brentford vs Leeds United – Peacock
- Brighton & Hove Albion vs West Ham United – Peacock
- Chelsea vs Watford – Peacock
- Crystal Palace vs Manchester United – Peacock
- Leicester City vs Southampton – Peacock
It may be a bit jarring to see clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United only on Peacock, but it makes sense – Chelsea are locked into third in the table (barring an eighteen goal swing between them and Spurs on Sunday), while United will either finish sixth or (hilariously) seventh. The relegation fight is down to Burnley and Leeds following Everton’s dramatic win on Thursday, but only Burnley’s match with Newcastle will be on cable. Arsenal still have a slim chance of leapfrogging Spurs for fourth, and both teams’ matches will air on cable.
Most eyes will be on Manchester City-Aston Villa and Liverpool-Wolves, but Peacock subscribers will only be able to watch the former – throughout the season, only matches airing on the NBC broadcast network have been available on Peacock, with cable matches shut out. NBC lifted that restriction for the other three matches airing on cable, but not this one.
In a bit of good news, Peacock will be streaming Goal Rush on Sunday morning, the Premier League whiparound show they break out from time to time. It’s a fine option for the neutral, or for someone whose club has nothing left to play for on Sunday.
With the title still up for grabs, NBC is also splitting up its studio and broadcast crews. The studio team of Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle, Tim Howard, and Robbie Mustoe will broadcast live from a pitchside desk at Anfield, while the main broadcast team of Arlo White, Lee Dixon, and Graeme Le Saux will call City-Villa. Liverpool-Wolves will be called by the duo of Jim Proudfoot and Andy Townsend.
While I still appreciate NBC’s commitment, I feel like Championship Sunday has been a different beast since the introduction of Peacock. When all of the games aired on various cable and broadcast networks, it was a fun little quirk – you never saw the Premier League on E! Now, with only half of the matches on cable or broadcast and the rest streaming-exclusive (like a fair chunk of NBC’s Premier League schedule), that specialness seems a bit diminished. Yeah, it’s cool that there are ten matches on at the same time, but with five only available on Peacock and one not available on Peacock at all, it makes flipping around a bit more complicated.
But hey, at least the Goal Rush option is there, provided you’re not breathing into a paper bag watching one of the other matches.