Monday, August 12, 2013

HIO: NBC Ready for English Premier League

On Saturday, the English Premier League kicks off a new season. Aside from the usual managerial changes and player moves in the offseason, soccer fans in the U.S. should be excited for another reason. NBC will be broadcasting every match of the season, either on air or online.

Understanding a vast majority of American sports fans are unfamiliar with the English Premier League, NBC has been promoting educational content as of late. In fact, NBC Sports Network is expected to be airing educational shows and season previews leading up to Saturday.

The NBC Sports website is also housing some interesting content. There are short videos on each team and the ability to select a favorite team. The site also showcases a unique video that has been making its rounds across social media in the past couple weeks and has amassed close to 3.5 million views. Offered below, the video is brilliantly funny and also accomplishes its task of educating non-soccer fans on the basics.

Ultimately, NBC's coverage of every English Premier League game will provide sustenance to avid soccer fans in the U.S. It will be interesting to see if general sports fans watch games.

Also, keep an eye on impact on growth of the MLS. Will the best-in-the-world English Premier League games turn Americans away from the MLS or will more soccer shown in the U.S. from overseas increase fervor of our domestic league? Most likely the latter will occur, but we must wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously NBC Sports is at a huge advantage right now with the rights to all of the EPL games, but I'm really interested to see how they use this as a branding opportunity for the network as a whole. With FS1's launch less than a week away, NBC Sports looks to be headed another slot backwards. They seem to be carving out a major niche with hockey and now soccer, but NBC Sports really needs to use this as a chance to decide whether they are a network for all sports fans all of the time or a niche network. Personally, I don't see one as better or worse than the other. Also, good point on the growth of the MLS. Will be interesting to watch for sure.