NBC brings soccerball to the States
The beautiful game took another step closer to complete world domination this week, as one of the United States’ major TV networks unveiled their grand plan for coverage of the Premier League in the American market.
April 17th, 2013
Chief executive Richard Scudamore was on hand in NBC Studios along with the network’s top brass to discuss plans for their $250m rights package: which will centre around 20 live games on its main channel throughout the season, as well as an end-of-season blitz across all its channels; people tuning into glorified celeb gossip channel E! on the final day of the season, for example, will probably see live coverage of whichever fixture contains the best-looking players wearing expensive hair products rather than the usual Hollywood fluff they expected.
Such an invasion of sport into cross-platform mainstream media is unprecedented; anyone hitherto wishing to catch up with the latest from the English top flight would have had to get up pretty early on Saturday morning and turn on their niche subscription channel in order to see a match, such is their dedication to such a universally unpopular pastime. Our English equivalent would be the mystified look we give a friend who turns down another drink on Friday night because they need to be up early for the Hollyoaks omnibus.
And a few of our own sporting authorities will also be on the scene to provide the coverage – Gary Lineker for one will be taking his own brand Stateside as a “special contributor” and occasional online expert for selected games. This link-up will certainly lend an air of authenticity to proceedings – as long as you can forgive the other commentators’ American accents as they try to properly use our terminology.
For the Premier League, an even further financial boost for the coffers – as long as the game does remain one of two halves rather than four quarters.
And, just for the hell of it, here’s what happened the last time the USA tried to boss football. And YES, that IS Diana Ross.