This weekend, the landscape of not just televised soccer in America, but the cable sports landscape itself changed dramatically when NBC made a stunning bid to win comprehensive, exclusive rights to the English Premier League. NBC's three year deal starts next year with the 2013-14 season and runs through the 2015-16 season.
First, the staggering numbers. NBC's financial commitment, estimated at $83 million dollars per year, (or about $250 million over the course of the three year contract) is more than TRIPLE what Fox has paid for EPL rights in their most recent agreement. Stunning. Sports rights fees are going up everywhere because sports is one of the last things in the DVR world you have to watch live... but a 300% plus increase for soccer from England is something only the most optimistic of soccer fanatics or British culture enthusiasts could have ever imagined.
NBC will have the rights to all 380 English Premier League games each year, which means other contenders like Fox Soccer, ESPN, and the upstart beIn Sport are all left out in the cold.