After plenty of discussion over the last two months about where the U.S. rights to the Premier League would go (NBC, CBS, ESPN and WarnerMedia were all reportedly interested, with the first three advancing to a second round of bidding) and if the package would be split or not, those rights negotiations concluded by maintaining the status quo in terms of network. The league announced Thursday they’ve reached a six-year extension with current rightsholder NBCUniversal, which covers both English-language and Spanish-language (Telemundo) coverage until 2028. Here are some quotes from that release:
Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to announce our new US broadcast deal with NBC Sports, who have been brilliant partners for the Premier League over the last nine seasons. NBC Sports has significantly strengthened the popularity of the League in the United States in that time through its fantastic coverage and promotion.
“NBC Sports’ Premier League Mornings programming is now a real institution among supporters in America, with fans getting up early to come together and cheer on their favourite club, week in, week out.
“It’s an exciting time for football in the US and we look forward to continuing to work with NBC Sports to bring our competition to even more fans over the next six years.”
Pete Bevacqua, NBC Sports Chairman, said: “We are excited to come to this long-term extension with the Premier League. Our Premier League team, led by Jon Miller, has been incredibly dedicated to growing the Premier League in the United States over the last nine years.
“This new agreement is also a testament to the hard work of production, marketing and other areas of our company, as well as the tremendous partnership that has been established with the leadership and club owners of the Premier League.”
And here’s a statement from Telemundo president Ray Warren:
“We are extremely proud to have played a key role in the growth of Premier League in the United States these past nine years. We are incredibly excited to continue showcasing the league’s iconic clubs and top players in the world to our Hispanic audience. We look forward to working closely with NBC Sports to continue delivering the highest quality and most authentic Spanish-language coverage of Premier League for the next six seasons.”
As per Tariq Panja of The New York Times, this deal wound up being worth around $2.7 billion over the six years, more than the $2 billion many projected initially. (The past deal was around $1 billion for six years.) That’s an incredible amount of money for U.S. rights to a foreign league, with ESPN by contrast paying an estimated $1.4 billion over eight years for rights to Spain’s La Liga this summer. But the Premier League has proven to be quite valuable for NBC, and for their associated cable channels, and for their streaming service Peacock (the latter two of which will only become more important here with the upcoming shuttering of NBCSN on Dec. 31). And this is perhaps an even more important piece of the sports puzzle for NBC now they no longer have the NHL. We’ll see how this deal works out for them.