news 1 month ago

NBCU’s Peacock to Stream 175-Plus Premier League Soccer Games Exclusively Next Season

Variety — Todd Spangler

Peacock is getting its hands — or, more accurately, feet — on a big batch of the U.K.’s Premier League soccer matches.

NBCUniversal’s Peacock, set to launch nationally July 15, will be the exclusive U.S. home for more than 175 Premier League matches during the 2020-21 season, available only to subscribers of the Peacock Premium tier. All told, Peacock Premium will present more than 1,500 hours of Premier League live games and related programming, including full-event on-demand replays for all 380 of the league’s matches (after 9 p.m. ET on the day of the games).

With the move, the media company is killing off NBC Sports Gold’s Premier League Pass subscription service, which had previously carried a slew of the soccer league’s games in the U.S. NBCU is putting its shoulder into Peacock as its key strategic streaming destination for a broad range of programming, including sports, news, late-night and comedy content, library TV content and movies, and a slate of originals.

Premier League soccer will still air on NBC broadcast and NBCSN cable networks, with plans for “extensive” live match coverage, according to NBCU. The Premier League games on NBC and NBCSN will be streamed on nbcsports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Upcoming live sports scheduled to be on Peacock include a new primetime Sunday NFL Wild Card playoff game in January 2021; the postponed Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics; U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and Ryder Cup golf; and the recently announced Peacock original series “Lost Speedways,” hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr., and “In Deep” with Ryan Lochte.

On July 15, to promote Peacock’s national launch, the service will exclusively stream four Premier League matches — available for free to everyone. Those are Manchester City v. Bournemouth; Burnley v. Wolverhampton; Newcastle v. Tottenham; and Arsenal v. Liverpool.

As yet, the Premier League has not announced a schedule for the 2020-21 season. More info about which games will stream on Peacock will be available closer to the September 2020 start of the next season.

“This exclusive Premier League programming is an exciting addition to our live sports content on Peacock Premium, and we are thrilled to continue delivering our best-in-class Premier League coverage to NBCUniversal linear television customers as well as new Peacock subscribers,” Peacock EVP and chief revenue officer Rick Cordella said in a statement. He was formerly head of digital media for NBC Sports Group.

Separately, soccer is also in play for ViacomCBS, which will get exclusive U.S. rights to UEFA Champions League games starting this August and plans to stream all UEFA club competition matches on its CBS All Access subscription service.

Peacock Premium with ads is currently available at no additional cost to Comcast’s Xfinity X1 video and broadband customers, and starting July 15 will also be available to Cox Communications subscribers. The cable operators’ customers can pay an additional $5 monthly for an ad-free version of Peacock Premium.

For next week’s national launch, Peacock will offer a free, ad-supported tier with over 7,500 hours of movies, shows, and live and on-demand programming across news, sports, reality TV and late night. Peacock Premium will cost $4.99 per month (with ads) or $9.99 per month (with no ads) with nearly 20,000 hours of content.

Note that Peacock does not have distribution agreements at this point with Roku or Amazon Fire TV, two of the biggest connected-TV streaming platforms. HBO Max, launched in late May, also remains unavailable on Roku and Fire TV.

Pictured above: Premier League’s Manchester City vs. Newcastle United match on July 8.

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