August 27, 2013
No, NBC’s Premier League Deal Doesn’t Mean America Loves Soccer Now

Last weekend, on August 17, NBC launched its new coverage of the English Premier League, after paying $250 million for the television rights to every soccer match played in the EPL over the next three years. Fox had been paying a third of that price to air a much smaller slate of games than NBC will. NBC’s execs seemed to have made a big gamble, betting that flooding the American market with English soccer would draw casual viewers in, boost NBC’s ratings, and increase the sport’s exposure in the U.S. The reward was the highest overnight rating in U.S. history for a Premier League season opener.
"Highest rating ever" may sound pretty impressive, and with last week’s talk about record viewing numbers, making history, and “new milestones,” you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a new era for soccer and America. Indeed, some commentators expect this new coverage to send it hurtling past America’s big four sports — football, basketball, baseball and hockey — to claim the top perch. Brian Ross at Huffington Post predicts that within 10 years “the NFL will be the No. 2 league in American sports.”
Don’t start trading in your Peyton Manning jerseys for Wayne Rooney ones yet, though.
Read more. [Image: AP/Lefteris Pitarakis]

No, NBC’s Premier League Deal Doesn’t Mean America Loves Soccer Now

Last weekend, on August 17, NBC launched its new coverage of the English Premier League, after paying $250 million for the television rights to every soccer match played in the EPL over the next three years. Fox had been paying a third of that price to air a much smaller slate of games than NBC will. NBC’s execs seemed to have made a big gamble, betting that flooding the American market with English soccer would draw casual viewers in, boost NBC’s ratings, and increase the sport’s exposure in the U.S. The reward was the highest overnight rating in U.S. history for a Premier League season opener.

"Highest rating ever" may sound pretty impressive, and with last week’s talk about record viewing numbers, making history, and “new milestones,” you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a new era for soccer and America. Indeed, some commentators expect this new coverage to send it hurtling past America’s big four sports — football, basketball, baseball and hockey — to claim the top perch. Brian Ross at Huffington Post predicts that within 10 years “the NFL will be the No. 2 league in American sports.”

Don’t start trading in your Peyton Manning jerseys for Wayne Rooney ones yet, though.

Read more. [Image: AP/Lefteris Pitarakis]

  1. anindiscriminatecollection reblogged this from theatlantic
  2. sportsstudiesbucks reblogged this from theatlantic
  3. twopointoh2 reblogged this from theatlantic
  4. unstableandfloating reblogged this from theatlantic
  5. kingskeepmarching said: The last thing sports needs is for soccer hooliganism to blossom in America.
  6. pop-arcana reblogged this from theatlantic
  7. huzai479 reblogged this from theatlantic
  8. texnessa reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    But some of us already do and what this deal means for me is that I will watch at least twice as much football as I did...
  9. thepandabaker reblogged this from theatlantic
  10. cisarovna reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. constantbeta reblogged this from arkapsengupta
  12. arkapsengupta reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    NBC is continuing its bet on second tier sports leagues that it started with its NHL deal. Even if you add in $25...
  13. illustratedexample reblogged this from sliu and added:
    “Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs. Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I’m just hoping we can win a game, another game.”...
  14. jarsa69 reblogged this from theatlantic
  15. gunhillsunny reblogged this from theatlantic
  16. sliu reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Please don’t tell me the EPL is boring because there aren’t playoffs. Just. Ugh. Stop it.
  17. sportsinternational reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    No, NBC’s Premier League Deal Doesn’t Mean America Loves Soccer Now Last weekend, on August 17, NBC launched its new...
  18. iknowhowyoufeelman reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Linkbait title, shit article.
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  21. theatlantic posted this