Thanks to its new deal with NBC, the Premier League will be casting out the tyrannical domination of the US airwaves by the likes of the Kardashians, supposedly real housewives, and golf. If only for a couple of hours on a Sunday.
NBC have paid $250 million (just under £164m) to acquire Premier League broadcasting rights and they're going all out to ensure they get their money's worth. In a programming schedule that dwarfs the efforts of previous rights holders Fox and ESPN (and NBC's own MLS coverage), NBC will broadcast all 380 matches next season. And on the final day of the season, all 10 matches will be aired live on 10 different channels, including E!, Golf Channel, Bravo and Syfy.
But the actual matches are only the beginning of NBC's 600 hours of original Premier League programming. They will also attempt their own version of the BBC's Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2, plus a lot more. Here's the lengthy NBC Sports press release that explains everything and might make you feel a bit light-headed by the end of it...
Details of the 2013-2014 NBC Sports Group Premier League programming include:
- All 380 matches presented live on television with studio pre- and post-game coverage;
- All 380 matches streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra;
- Games not aired on a designated NBC Universal channel will be made available to distributors via Premier League Extra Time, a package of overflow television channels available at no extra cost for each of their customers who receives NBC Sports Network;
- Championship Sunday – May 11, 2014, when all 10 Premier League matches will be available live on a different NBC Universal channel;
- 76 Spanish-language telecasts, 10 on Telemundo, 66 on Mun2;
- More than 600 hours of Premier League original programming.
NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA: Every Premier League match will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra, the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktop, mobile and tablets and, in most cases, on the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, telco and other video subscription services. The vast majority of Barclays Premier League matches will be streamed via “TV Everywhere,” available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of these services.
NBC Sports Live Extra provides a primary and second screen experience across mobile, tablet and desktop, delivering high quality video, match/player stats and video highlights while aggregating Premier League content from social media.
PREMIER LEAGUE EXTRA TIME: All games not aired on a designated NBCUniversal channel will be made available to distributors on Premier League Extra Time, a package of overflow television channels available at no extra cost for each of their customers who receives NBC Sports Network.
CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY: The biggest day on the Premier League schedule is the last day of the season when all 20 teams play at the same time. NBC Universal will present each match of Championship Sunday live across a host of NBCU channels, including NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA, MSNBC, E! and more.
STUDIO AND ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING: NBC Sports Network will present more than 600 hours each year of studio and original programming surrounding Premier League. Shows include:
- Premier League Countdown – A preview of the 2013-14 Premier League season;
- Premier League Download – With the help of a number of high-profile celebrity supporters, comedians and journalists, Premier League Download will explore what it is that’s so intensely loved – and loathed – about England’s topflight league. Long-time supporters will enjoy the lively commentary, while new fans will learn the language of the only league that matters;
- Premier League 36 – NBC Sports Network’s acclaimed 36 series that follows athletes for the 36 hours leading up to a game/match/race comes to the Premier League;
- Premier League Goal Zone – A 30-minute program airing after the matches on Sunday with highlights of all the goals scored on Saturday and Sunday;
- Game Cut-Downs – On Monday nights, NBCSN will present a two-hour show featuring cut-down versions of the Manchester United and Manchester City matches. On Tuesdays, a two-hour program will feature the Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham matches;
- Match of the Day – A two-hour show featuring extended highlights with the natural calls of every game on Saturday. This show is modeled after the highly-regarded BBC show of the same name. Match of the Day will re-air on Sunday mornings;
- Match of the Day 2 – A 90-minute show featuring extended highlights with the natural calls of every game on Sunday. This show is modeled after the BBC show of the same name;
- Match of the Week – On Sunday nights, NBCSN will re-air the best match of the weekend in its entirety;
- Premier League World – A weekly magazine show produced by Premier League;
- Premier League Preview – A weekly show produced by Premier League that previews the upcoming week’s matches;
- Premier League Review – A weekly show produced by Premier League that recaps all the matches from the past week.
Arlo White, Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux will serve as NBC's match commentators, while Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle will handle the studio coverage. Gary Lineker will also be a "special contributor."
Yes, this is the United States of the Premier League. It won't be long now until Wayne Rooney's face appears on the $100 bill.