There was a press conference last Tuesday in New City at 30 Rockefeller Center (30 Rock), where NBC Sports unveiled their Premier League plans for next season.
Richard Scudamore – as good as it gets
They beat out ESPN (part of ABC – which is part of the Disney Empire) for the right to broadcast the games in a $250M bid, and they see this as a great way to improve their brand worldwide, since the Premier League is broadcast in lots and lots of countries around the world.
Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore attended the announcement, and NBC will show, for the first time ever, all 380 EPL games live next season, and they have hired various English announcers.
NBC Sports are going to have Match of the Day on Saturday nights (sound familiar?), and it will be repeated on Sunday mornings.
There will be a Match of the Week also broadcast on Sunday nights, and it’s a showing of the best game of the Premier League weekend – so we should see Newcastle on that show a lot next season.
Arlo White, formerly of the BBC, is the lead play-by-play commentator, and he will cover over 75 matches during the season.
And former Chelsea and England defender Graeme Le Saux and former Arsenal and England defender Lee Dixon will provide analysis – the color commentary as it’s called over here.
Rebecca Lowe, who is English and used to work at ESPN in the US, will become the NBC Sports’ studio host.
And of course NBC Sports outbid ESPN for the right to broadcast the games in the Premier League for the next three seasons.
England international Gary Lineker is to become a special contributor (whatever that means) and he will continue to be located in England, where he hosts Match of the Day for the BBC.
More money for Gary, but no word on Alan Shearer being part of the NBC package.
This is what Scudamore said at the meeting last week:
“We thought we’d taken this league around the world to some levels, but this is just about as good as it gets,”
“Yes there might be 1.2 billion people in China, there might be 1.3 billion people in India… but nowhere, nowhere, do they consume sports like they do here in the U.S.”
Fox Sports, with former Newcastle right-back Warren Barton as the lead analyst – he’s a great ambassador for Newcastle United over here – will continue to broadcast games for Fox Sports next season.
I’ve already got the NBC Sports channel on my DISH satellite package – so I’m ready and waiting!
Note: We are trying to assist in a study on Newcastle United today – and an online survey is being conducted on Premier League teams for academic research purposes by researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Technical University Munich – it will last approximately 10 minutes. Please take th study if you can – it’s confidential. Here it is.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org