October 29, 2012
By Kaylee Hultgren
NBC Sports has acquired the English and Spanish-language rights to 380 English Premier League games during the 2013-14 season, besting the bid of current rights holder Fox. For years Fox Soccer has been the U.S. hub for Premier League games. But come next season, NBC will have both the English league and Major League Soccer games, which NBCSN acquired in a 3-year deal earlier this year.
When NBC wrested the rights to MLS games from Fox Soccer, Jon Miller, pres Programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network told CableFAX that NBC’s cross-promotion marketing as an advantage, and obviously greater distribution plays a major role in getting into people’s homes. Games will be shown on NBC, NBC Sports Network, NBCSports.com, and for Spanish-language broadcasts Telemundo and mun2 will be used. As it currently does with MLS and the NHL, NBC Sports will produce shoulder programming, highlights, pre- and post-game coverage and wrap ups. More programming details are still to come.
In a statement, Fox Soccer expressed disappointment with the league’s decision to go elsewhere, adding that it “continues to serve as the primary television and digital destination in the US for elite competitions including UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, CONCACAF Gold Cup, and is the future home of FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women's World Cup beginning in 2015.”
The soccer rights market has experienced another shake up of late, when newcomer beIN Sport snagged the rights to Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and the U.S. away games in the World Cup qualifiers—all top competitions for serious soccer fans.