Major boost for US soccer fans and the league itself.
NBC's networks have stolen the rights to televise the English Premier League under a $250 million, three-year deal that begins next season.
For US soccer fans this is great news because NBC have confirmed that they will show every match from the Barclays Premier League.
Currently English soccer is broadcast by a combination of Fox and ESPN networks.
With global names like Manchester United, FC Chelsea and Arsenal the English premier league needs this change if it is to make inroads into the States.
Reports from the US have confirmed that NBC outbid its rivals to land the deal.
An interesting note is that NBC which was criticized for using tape delay during the London Olympics because of time differences will not do so with Premier League games. A spokesman for the network said English-language broadcasts will primarily be on cable channel NBC Sports Network, with Telemundo and mun2 used for Spanish coverage.
NBC's English-language networks will televise six live games a week and a number of the company's other cable channels will also be used as well. Other games will be streamed live online.
The company has been seeking to expand the audience of NBC Sports Network recently and soccer is seen as a potential area for growth with most sports broadcast rights currently under contract. NBC has also recently signed a deal with the Formula One auto racing series.
The real reason for the move on the English Premier League is that NBC believes it has acquired a set of assets that's very attractive to advertisers and attractive to cable operators.
Last year the company picked up Major League Soccer and found that it achieved a good response with its soccer broadcasts during this year’s London Olympics.
NBC Sports Network's biggest property in the States is the NHL (National Hockey League), whose season coincidentally runs concurrently with English soccer. The plan is to air live soccer games in the morning and afternoon which will compliment its prime-time NHL broadcasts of hockey.
The previous three-year deal with Fox, where some matches were sublicensed to ESPN, was worth about $80 million. However NBC Sports Network is in about twice as many homes in the U.S. as Fox Soccer so the additional exposure of the English Premier league will be a major boost for both American soccer fans and the league itself.
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