NBC Sports Group Acquires Exclusive U.S. Media Rights to Premier League

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

October 28th, 2012

via press release:


20 Teams, 10 Months, 380 Matches Annually

Multi-Year Partnership Begins in August 2013

Agreement Includes English- and Spanish-Language Media Rights Across All Platforms & Devices in U.S.

NEW YORK – October 28, 2012 – NBCUniversal, via the NBC Sports Group, has acquired the exclusive U.S. media rights to the Premier Leaguethrough a multi-year agreement that begins with the 2013-14 season, both parties announced today. Per the agreement, NBCUniversal becomes the exclusive English- and Spanish-language media rights holder to all 380 Premier League matches across all platforms and devices in the United States.“The Barclays Premier League is the preeminent soccer league in the world, and is on the cusp of exponential popularity growth here in the U.S.,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group. “NBCU will provide the broadest programming and promotional commitment that the league has ever experienced here in the United States. The Premier League provides NBCU with best-in-class content for 10 months of the year across our far-reaching broadcast, cable and digital platforms. This is a perfect match.”

“The NBC Sports Group has an excellent track record in sports broadcasting and will showcase the Barclays Premier League to fans across the USA through its extensive network of channels and high quality production,” said Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Scudamore. “We are extremely pleased that NBC has chosen to invest in the Premier League and look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Each of the 20 Premier League teams plays 38 matches over a 41-week period from August to May. Although specific programming details will be announced at a later date, NBC, NBC Sports Network, and NBCSports.com will all be utilized to present live Premier League coverage, as well as Telemundo and mun2 for Spanish-language coverage. Additional NBCUniversal platforms and networks will occasionally be scheduled to air Premier League matches, while NBC Sports Live Extra will provide the live streaming platform across web, tablet and mobile devices.

The NBC Sports Group will also produce comprehensive shoulder programming around its live-event coverage of the Premier League, including pre- and post-match shows, as well as highlight and weekly wrap-up programs. It is also developing a package to make sure the most avid fans have access to every Premier League match.

About NBC Sports Group’s Soccer Coverage

The NBC Sports Group’s networks and platforms are leading destinations for soccer fans in the U.S. Its soccer portfolio includes Major League Soccer (MLS), U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Team matches, the men’s and women’s Olympic soccer tournaments, and, beginning in August 2013, the Premier League. NBCUniversal, via the NBC Sports Group, will be the home for all 380 Premier League matches, as well comprehensive shoulder programming. NBCUniversal’s Telemundo and mun2 also provide comprehensive Spanish-language soccer coverage. Both channels will air Premier League matches, as well as serve as the U.S. Spanish-language home for the FIFA World Cup from 2015 through 2022. Online, ProSoccerTalk on NBCSports.com provides comprehensive coverage of the sport, from the Premier League to MLS to the U.S. National Team and other key international soccer stories.

About the Barclays Premier League

The Barclays Premier League is the biggest continuous annual global sporting event in the world. Last season more than 13m fans attended matches with average stadium occupancy in excess of 92% for the fourth season in a row. Across nine months of the year 380 matches are viewed in 212 territories worldwide. Coverage of the matches is available in approximately 720m households with an estimated cumulative global audience of 4.7bn.


  • Rabbit

    Congrats to NBC. Now they need to get the NBA rights down the line, since they missed out on the MLB rights.

  • EatMorePez

    What do you bet ESPN stops showing EPL highlights on Sports Center next year?

  • bg

    ESPN is still invested in Soccer…They have World Cup 2014, 2013 Confederation Cup, and 2016 European Championship…They have the US World Cup qualifying, and MLS for one more season…

    ESPN is not going to walk away from Soccer altogether because of Disney (their parent company who caters to Soccer because it appeals to their demographic)…

  • Michael

    I think it’s a horrible idea. Soccer is still not big in America…and NBC (the network itself) will not see good ratings AT ALL for it. I could be wrong, but I see a lot of NBC Sports Network and Telemundo on this one, plus maybe Comcast Sports….(NBC owned by Comcast). But to turn it off from ESPN and FOX…HORRIBLE decision :/

  • Michael

    NBC has hockey….and SNF.
    There not getting Basketball (if anyone does, it’d be CBS/Turner For sure!)
    They could take a run at Baseball…but I don’t see it. FOX treats it like a child and I can’t see them giving that one away.

  • nickp

    FOX now has a Soccer channel with almost no soccer to show

  • Andy

    It’s not soccer, it is football!

  • rashomon

    ” It’s not soccer, it is football! “: The alltime 2nd most stupid comment since the beginning of the Internet.A staple in all soccer related subject comment threads…

  • Ultima

    I think it’s a horrible idea. Soccer is still not big in America…and NBC (the network itself) will not see good ratings AT ALL for it

    Obviously NBC will be broadcasting the games during the daytime on Saturdays and Sundays; they will likely do so in addition to Notre Dame football, NHL hockey, female-oriented NFL counter-programming (gymnastics, ice skating, etc.) and other sports programming.

    It’s not like NBC is getting good ratings from the filler programming that it will be replacing…

  • Anna Clarkwood

    380 matches x 3 years for 41 weeks of programming for what figure I saw posted on twitter about 1/3 a billion dollars for the type of demo it will attract seems relatively low risk.

    I wonder just how much they put on NBC the flagship channel to cover their horrible ratings due to all but Voice doing well for more than half a season.

    NBC needed to do something. This seems like a logical investment, even if it doesn’t take off and ends up only being a 3 year deal. Regular programming costs a lot as well and Sports basically programs itself so the actual crew to produce it is much cheaper.

  • Ultima

    They could take a run at Baseball…but I don’t see it. FOX treats it like a child and I can’t see them giving that one away.

    FOX Sports, Turner Sports and ESPN just entered a new deal with MLB through 2021.

    There not getting Basketball (if anyone does, it’d be CBS/Turner For sure!)

    Turner already has NBA basketball on TNT. The contract is up relatively soon (compared to MLB, NFL and NHL) in 2016, but it’s really hard to see the rights changing hands.

    NASCAR is up for grabs next summer; FOX has already renewed its portion of the season, but I dont’t think it’s unreasonable for NBC to try and reacquire the chase races in the fall (if they’re interested, I have absolutely no idea).

  • The End


    To be fair, there is an audience. For one the ratings for some of the USA teams World Cup matches wern’t that bad, and some of the England ones wern’t either. Seems Nielsen viewers are partial to either team and of course the final.

  • The End

    @Anna Clarkwood

    You need to also consider the time difference, most of these matches are played during the early/late afternoon UK time, which means if they’re not shown live during the morning/early afternoon depending in the United States, they will have to show pre recorded games.

    People who follow these will have to avoid sports websites/spoilers like the plague.

    More sports is always a good thing. I follow quite a few different sports myself.

  • John_M


    NBC just rebranded VS as NBC Sports Channel – they need something to show aside from hunting shows and blank screens where hockey should be.

    People need to stop thinking so provincially – NBC is a global company and this is a global sport

  • bg

    According to the World, they call it Football (The Real Football)…Get over it…

    Soccer ratings keep inching up for major tournaments. English Premier League is one of the hottest Sport properties. NBC is going to air 18-20 games on NBC, and the rest on it’s cable outlets. It is not filler program…You don’t spend $250 million for 3 years just to fill your schedule.

    It also appears that NBC might be making an aggressive bid to keep MLS after 2014. It might be very well become the primary outlet for MLS games. But, ESPN now has a vacuum when it comes to soccer after 2014. I’m betting they will make a good effort to keep MLS, and even add more games.

    Why Soccer is relevant now? Today, you have 3 major English outlets competing for Soccer properties in the US. A few years ago, it was just ABC/ESPN. Now, you have FOX (Spending over $500 million to acquire the English Right for 2018 and 2022 Men’s World Cup, including 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cup, UEFA Champions League), NBC (paying $250 million for EPL, about $30 million to MLS till 2014), and ESPN (Confederation CUP 2013, World Cup 2014, Men’s World Cup qualifying games, MLS till 2014, and Euro 2016).

    Next year (2013-2014 cycle), we are going to see 18-20 EPL games on NBC, 6 MLS Games on NBC (including playoffs), and 2-4 US Soccer games. Beside NBC, FOX will air UEFA Champions League Final on FOX, and one or two more EPL games live on FOX before their contract runs out.

    For the 2014-2015 TV cycle, we are going to see more Soccer/Football games on Broadcast channel than ever. ABC is scheduled to air 10-11 World Cup games, NBC 18-20 EPL games, 6 MLS Games on NBC, and US Soccer games on NBC. FOX will air the UEFA Champions League Final.

    This is not just by accident. It shows the importance and the appeal of the game in the US market.

  • rashomon

    @Anna Clarkwood

    “As part of the new deal, Lazarus said EPL fans can expect a number of games to be broadcast on over-the-air NBC. Those matches will likely air Saturdays and be shown live. Lazarus predicted viewers might see up to 18-20 games on NBC during the season”


  • eridapo


    First BEit took the Spanish and Italian leagues from Gol and ESPN, and now NBC takes it from Fox.

  • eridapo


    Outside the US, the EPL is the biggest sporting league in the world. The global audience of EPL games is in the 100s of millions. If NBC has the rights, it can set itself as a global brand in Sports globally.

  • William Haney

    Congratulations to the peacock gang. What I would give to be part of their negociation team. Even a flunky for them. People have fantasy players and teams, I have fantasy sports networks. I love the be more involved in the sports television field in some compacity.

    It might be a double dose of good news pending on what happens with the Big East Conference since reports have it NBC made a favorable impression and they are going past the ESPN exclusive option periof that expires November 1st. I will be keeping a close eye on that. They desperately need to stock up on the college sports. If not the Big East, some of the Big Ten is around the corner granted FOX appears to be ready to gobble up the entire conference. I would love to see NBCSN pick up Missouri Valley Conference and West Coast Conference basketball games in the next contract. Any chance they could just get some small regular season baseball package say Monday or Friday night games? Knowing they will not get any post season. Take a shot at the rest of the NASCAR package but don’t knock themselves out with it. Definately go after the Indianapolis 500. Sorry to ramble off, the frustrated sports programmer in me.

  • Giorgio S. Germanos

    You all continue to underestimate the power if demographics. They are changing in the US.

    I love American Football. I love baseball. I love Basketball. But following those top three, there is a place for the Association (futbol), and European Soccer can fill that niche.

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