Going into this season, there was a spectre looming over viewers in the United States. NBC, who has done a spectacular job handling the broadcasts of the Premier League, had just one season left on its deal. Bidding opened up not long ago, and it was reported that several major players would be involved, including ESPN, FOX Sports, and BeIN Sports. There was great concern that NBC would lose out to one of the other broadcasting giants.
Today, those fears were quashed. NBC has won the bidding war and has added on six years to the broadcasting deal, extending through the 2021-2022 Premier League season.
Richard Sandomir, who writes for the New York Times as a TV Sports columnist, confirmed earlier today via Twitter.
More to come on NBC-EPL renewal once i learn of winning bid. Gotta be a big increase over the current 3-year, $250M deal— Richard Sandomir (@RichSandomir) August 10, 2015
Sandomir mentions what everyone wants to know in this tweet confirming: How much did NBC shell out?
Well, we don't really know that, but his assumption has to be correct. The initial deal was very friendly for NBC and have obviously impressed the Premier League overlords.
So who else bid? Surprisingly, ESPN did not put in a formal bid, according to Sandomir:
ESPN did not actually bid on Premier League package. Too many college football commitments— Richard Sandomir (@RichSandomir) August 10, 2015
Apparently, ESPN was looking to do some type of a joint bid because of their commitments, but the Premier League had zero interest in allowing for a dual-network bid. Thus, the "worldwide leader" was left out in the cold. There's also zero information about how much FOX, who recently secured the rights for the next three World Cups and all major international competitions in between, wanted to add the Premier League. For those who were concerned about having to hear Eric Wynalda and...perhaps our worst nightmare...Joe Buck calling Premier League, those fears are now dead.
NBC has reportedly been holding back on adding features given that their initial deal was only for three years, so perhaps we'll see an impressive display get some fine tuning. Perhaps a online subscription for streaming? Getting rid of the one minute delay on Live Extra?
Who knows, but we know that NBC is here for the long haul, and that's reason to celebrate.