NBC Sports Announces Ambitious Coverage Plan for English Premier League Starting Next Season

NBC Sports Logo (Wikimedia Commons)

NBC Sports Logo (Wikimedia Commons)

NBC Sports Group revealed its plans for coverage of the English Premier League today, as the network group is set to take charge of covering one of the world’s most popular league’s this summer. This torch will be passed on from Fox and ESPN, who have jointly covered the Premier League in recent years.

Commentary Team

The big announcement included the revealing of who would be calling the matches and providing color commentary and they certainly went the distance with the talent they announced. Largely in the style of BBC’s coverage of the league, NBC is set to bring on Arlo White as lead play-by-play voice, Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux as match analysts and Gary Lineker as a special contributor.

White is a particularly special name stateside, as he came to prominence for the the call on television and on the radio for the Seattle Sounders in 2010. From there, he was picked up by NBC for Major League Soccer and Olympic coverage. For this move though, White will be moving back to his native England and gradually distancing himself from MLS, possibly coming back to do some key games and playoffs later on this year according to Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com.

Dixon, Le Saux and Lineker are all of Premier League fame and each have either worked at BBC or ITV since retiring from soccer. Lee Dixon is one of Arsenal’s famed Old Guard and played for the Gunners from 1988 to 2002. Le Saux played for Chelsea, Blackburn, and Southampton during his playing career. Lineker is one of the more famed English players, having traveled the world from Leicester to Japan in his storied playing career. Lineker even announced his excitement to be brought on board, via Twitter:

This talented team of commentary and analysts will be joined by a studio cast of former Jamaican international, Robbie Earle, former English footballer, Robbie Mustoe, and studio host, Rebecca Lowe.


For the first time, every single match will be televised in the United States, with pre- and post-match coverage, according to the official statement from NBC Sports. This is a huge step for soccer in the United States, as coverage has been generally spread out across three or four channels, depending on the importance of the match. This will provide a central hub to turn to for fans of the Premier League stateside. For those who can’t always get to a television, all 380 matches will also be streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra, which supports desktop, mobile and tablet platforms.

Combined with the complete coverage of every match from around the league, there will also be around 600 hours of additional programming, ranging from weekly highlight shows to an NFL-style Red Zone feature, known as Premier League Goal Zone.

Some other features of interest in NBC’s rather ambitious plan for covering the Premier League include game cut-downs, which will be split over Monday and Tuesday nights. Monday nights will present a two hour, cut-down version of Manchester United and Manchester City matches from the weekend. Tuesday night will feature cut-downs of game from Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham matches. There will also be a program known as Premier League 36, which follows around athletes in the 36 hours leading up to kick-off, seeing what they do to prepare mentally and physically.

This level of coverage, analysis and just sheer size of programming is an exciting promise of the future, where the Premier League will be brought into the homes and living rooms of avid and casual fans, alike. This summer will bring a new chapter to soccer in the United States, where everyone will be able to see every team play and smaller clubs within the league will get the international exposure that has so long alluded them.

2 Comments on "NBC Sports Announces Ambitious Coverage Plan for English Premier League Starting Next Season"

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  1. Steve Bek says:

    How will the average fan with nothing but cable available be able to watch these games?

    Steve Bek

    • Brandon Boyer Brandon Boyer says:

      NBC plans on using their span of networks to cover all games. If you have a digital cable package, they’ll be adding Premier League Extra channels to cover games at no extra cost, as long as you have the NBC Sports package.

      So if you just have basic cable, like I do, you may not be able to see all games on TV, but you’ll be able to see a large chunk of them.

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