Premier League secures major increase in US rights fee
30 Oct 2012
The English Premier League has secured another cash injection with NBC Sports Group landing its exclusive US media rights for a significantly enhanced fee.
The new three-year deal, which takes effect from the 2013-14 season, is reportedly worth US$250 million and sees NBC secure the rights from the League’s incumbent broadcast partners Fox and ESPN. Fox’s current three-year deal, which sees some matches sublicensed to ESPN, was worth around $80 million. The NBCUniversal (NBCU) group will become the exclusive English- and Spanish-language media rights holder to all 380 Premier League matches across all platforms and devices in the United States. Although specific programming details will be announced at a later date, NBC Sports Group said that its main NBC channel, cable channel NBC Sports Network, and NBCSports.com will all be utilised to present live Premier League coverage, as well as Telemundo and mun2 for Spanish-language coverage. Additional NBCU 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.
Premier League programming will compliment NBC Sport Group’s coverage of Major League Soccer after the company struck a three-year rights deal with the United States’ domestic league in August 2011. “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 of 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.”
Meanwhile the Premier League has also struck new deals in the Caribbean and Canada. The League has extended its contract with Caribbean rights-holder International Media Content Ltd. (IMC). IMC, parent company of pay-television broadcaster SportsMax, has been awarded the live broadcast rights for all 380 Premier League matches per season from 2013-14 to 2015-16. In Canada, Bell-owned pay-television broadcaster TSN has significantly enhanced its Premier League portfolio. Beginning in the 2013-14 season, its new three-year agreement gives TSN and French-language broadcaster RDS media rights to half of all Premier League games through to the 2015-2016 season – approximately 190 games per season which more than triples its current package from 50 games per season. Rogers Communications-owned Sportsnet has signed a three-year extension to its own deal, granting it television, online and mobile rights to the other 190 Premier League matches per year through to 2016. English Premier League football has appeared on the network since its inception in 1998.