NBC Sports Wins U.S. Premier League Rights

    • ESPN reportedly presented the biggest challenge to NBC.
    • The rights are expected to reach around $2 billion over six years.

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NBC Sports will retain the U.S. rights to Premier League broadcasts, albeit at around double what it was paying previously.

Final bids for U.S. Premier League rights were due Thursday, with ESPN presenting the biggest challenge to NBC. CBS was previously reported to be in the running, as well.

The deal is reportedly worth $2.7 billion over six years — more than double the $1.1 billion Comcast-owned NBC paid for the six years from 2015. NBC’s current deal runs through the 2021-2022 season.

  • The deal is largest U.S. soccer rights deal to date, eclipsing ESPN’s eight-year, $1.4 billion pact for La Liga’s U.S. rights, signed in May.
  • In May, the league rolled over its existing domestic broadcast contracts with Sky, BT, and Amazon instead of initiating an auction process. Those deals, which run from 2022-2025, are worth a combined $7 billion.

Premier League viewership has been trending upward in the U.S. NBC’s broadcasts averaged 462,000 viewers during the 2019-2020 season, and 414,000 during the pandemic-affected 2020-2021 season.

U.S.-based Major League Soccer, by comparison, averaged 384,000 viewers during the 2021 season on Disney-owned ESPN and ABC.

The Premier League also announced $33.7 million in funding support for its clubs on Thursday, the first installment in a $134.8 million relief plan.