When Comcast paid $950 million to own the rights to air English Premier League games in the United States, they surely could not have envisioned a 150% increase in US audience size.
However, that’s exactly what the American multinational mass media company has seen happen, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report, just three months after announcing their new deal in August, with their programming division NBC Sports the beneficiaries of growing cross-pond appeal for the beautiful game.
The investment now looks to be a bargain for Comcast and their entertainment company NBCUniversal – a concept which is almost unheard of in the red-hot current market for sports rights.
As claimed in the report, the US audience size for ‘EPL’ games on US television via NBC Sports has grown by 150% on average, in comparison to three years ago when the league’s matches games were under FOX Sports and ESPN’s ownership.
While FOX Sports competed with NBC in the most recent bidding process, ESPN did not and they are sure to be ruing that decision given the recent statistics.
Indeed, the English top-division’s games are practically the sole major sports property in North America showing significant, and long-term, growth in audiences.
This rise is no doubt helped by increasing awareness of the game in the US, given the country’s exciting, and thus widely-reported, World Cup campaign in Brazil last year, and the improvement of the country’s own league – Major League Soccer.
Until now in the current campaign, Premier League matches on NBC Sports are averaging 563,000 viewers in total, working out as a 19% increase over last year.
But more staggeringly, viewers have streamed 139m live minutes of NBC Sports digital coverage this term – 44% more than was recorded up until this point in the season in 2014.
And what could be driving this growth is one of the youngest audiences in major televised sports, with the league’s followers on average 38 years old.
NBC Sports’ six-year contract with the Premier League seems to be an extremely lucrative one.
Read more at the Daily Mail which is where this article was originally published
Cris Collinsworth Wonders If Tom Brady Knows Broadcasting Is a Hard Job
“It’s a seven day a week job. For somebody that has reached where he’s reached in the NFL and made that kind of money, I’m honestly really surprised.”
Many in the sports media industry were surprised by the news that Tom Brady will join FOX Sports as the lead NFL analyst when he eventually decides to end his playing career. That includes the current lead analyst of NBC’s Sunday Night Football telecasts, Cris Collinsworth.
“I’m a little surprised,” he said on the latest episode of The Cris Collinsworth Podcast. “There’s no amount of money they could throw at him that would have influenced him. He’s going to still be working weekends for half the year no matter what it is.”
Collinsworth mentioned that he hears from most people and they ask him what the TV life is like when they are thinking about getting into the industry. Tom Brady was not one of those people. He hopes the GOAT knows what he is in for.
“It’s hard. I’m working on the airplane when I’m flying home from the other game. I’m working on the next game. It’s a seven day a week job. For somebody that has reached where he’s reached in the NFL and made that kind of money, I’m honestly really surprised. I guess the money now has gotten to the point where it’s of interest to everybody.”
While some might be unsure about how Brady will do in the FOX NFL booth with Kevin Burkhardt, count Collinsworth in as one of those people who think Brady will do a great job.
“I think he’ll be fantastic. Every conversation I have ever had with him about the game of football, you always go oh, I didn’t know. He’s always been pretty open and honest with us. He has a real personal side to the game…He’s got it all, but I’ve got to say I am surprised.”
Sunday Night Baseball Viewership Up On ESPN
“Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers.”
The first month of the 2022 MLB regular season has concluded and ESPN is celebrating an uptick in viewership for Sunday Night Baseball.
The network announced on Tuesday that viewership for Sunday Night Baseball is up 4% compared to this time last year. In addition to that, compared to the 2020 full season average, ratings are up 40%.
Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers. The Dodgers/Cubs game on May 8 averaged 1.781 million and peaked at over 2.1 million viewers during the 8-8:15 p.m. window.
Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and David Cone comprise the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth, with Buster Olney contributing reports.
Nickelodeon Gets Christmas Day NFL Game
“This will be the network’s first regular season game.”
The NFL’s Christmas triple header will include a little slime this year. The afternoon game between the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos will be simulcast on CBS and Nickelodeon.
Nickelodeon has ramped up its NFL presence each year since 2020. The network has aired a kid-friendly broadcast of a Wild Card Round playoff game each of the last two seasons. Last year’s tile between the 49ers and Cowboys drew an audience of 41 million.
Before the start of last season, the studio show NFL Slimetime debuted. This will be the network’s first regular season game.
Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm Eastern on Christmas Day. No details of what Nickelodeon’s coverage may include are available yet. Nate Burleson, Noah Eagle and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green have been on the call of the network’s previous NFL broadcasts.