If the success of FuboTV is any indication, there are a lot of people interested in streaming international soccer matches. Perhaps that’s why NBC announced today that they’re launching a new paid streaming service dedicated to English Premier League games. NBC has already been streaming these matches through a streaming platform for their subscribers, but now they’re opening it up to everyone.
The package will reportedly cost about $49.99 for the season, and will include 130 matches. NBC Sports Gold will be the host platform, one that already shows cycling, track and field, and rugby.
NBC’s decision to move in this direction really isn’t a surprise. Companies have been moving away from the cable/satellite TV subscription model in the past few years, and NBC themselves hinted at the possibility of this happening when they signed a six year contract with the EPL back in 2015.
NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus said they paid for the rights to explore opportunities just like this. “Whether it’s digital, whether it’s television, whether it’s a pay-for situation, or whether it’s free over the air, we will have the ability – as long as we work within certain parameters that we have committed to – we will work on our programming plan each year with the Premier League,” he said. “No matter what technologies get invented between now and over the next seven years, we paid for the right to try to monetize this product against whatever form of viewership consumers are using. As media evolves, we will be in a position to evolve with it, and that’s what this complete set of rights allows us.”
In addition, NBC will be showing replays of “most” matches on the service, along with original content, live studio shows, and highlight clips.
What’s interesting about this deal is that is further solidifies the fact that it’s easier to watch EPL games in the US than it is in Europe, since every 3 p.m. kickoff is banned from airing on TV.