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Premier League boosted by foreign TV cash

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David Bond | 15:19 UK time, Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Even as the Mark Clattenburg controversy was building up a head of steam and threatening to mire the Premier League in another poisonous race row, the competition's cash registers were ringing to the sound of yet more foreign television cash.

A day after announcing a ground-breaking deal with American broadcaster NBC Sports Group, chief executive Richard Scudamore was in Beijing on Tuesday morning to reveal a six-year extension to its current deal with Chinese TV partner Super Sport.

Having secured a staggering £3bn for the League's domestic TV rights for the three years between 2013 and 2016, Scudamore is now seeking to beat the existing overseas rights deal, which is worth another £1bn. He told me from China that although the League has only concluded one fifth of its new overseas deals, he is confident of raising more income this time around.

Rather than turning foreign broadcasters off, the unseemly soap opera which provides a backdrop to football in this country just seems to add to the attraction.

Scudamore says the League is now moving into a whole new phase in its global development. Having historically looked for the best offer - often from new pay TV operators around the world - the competition is now looking for greater reach and bigger audiences.

Hence the deal with Super Sport which gives the League and its 20 clubs access to 21 different TV stations across the world's most populous nation.

Manchester United will be one of the clubs to benefit from the new deal. Photo: Getty

But the agreement with NBC Universal does take the League into new territory. While a number of big Asian countries bought into the Premier League a decade ago, America has been a far slower burn, a niche offering in a nation still consumed by the big four of American Football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey.

By winning the support of one of the country's biggest broadcasters the League now has a chance of raising its profile. The agreement also represents a threefold increase on the value of the current deal with ESPN and Fox.

"For me this is right up there with a lot of the other big moments in the League's development," Scudamore told me. "The market in the US has become much more competitive and this is a statement from NBC that they believe the Premier League can become one of the mainstream sports."

While that might be pushing it a bit there is no question that NBC Universal, the American rights holders for the Olympic Games, will take the League to another level in the States. They have bought 380 live games a season and are committed to showing six live games a week. Exact details have not been released to the public or the clubs yet (Scudamore is holding that back until a meeting of the teams on 16 November) but while the vast majority will be shown on NBC's dedicated sports channel which is carried on cable in the States, some will go out on network television.

That potentially means access to more than 80m homes across America - a very big deal for English football. To put that into context, the average weekly audience for live Premier League matches with exisiting broadcasters Fox and ESPN is around 140,000.

Now, none of this means the Premier League is about to conquer America - a country which loves playing football but is still not convinced about watching it. Just look at the difference in fees raised by the Premier League and American Football.

The NFL signed a record-breaking nine-year deal last December with CBS, NBC and Fox worth $28bn (£17.4bn) - a 63% increase on their previous contract. Just compare that to the $250m (£155m) NBC have paid the Premier League for their rights. As one media expert put it to me, the Premier League now has a really good shot at becoming a "middle ranking" sport in America.

Having said all that there can be no doubting the continued popularity of the Premier League both here and around the world. While media markets become more fragmented live football still offers a way of driving subscriptions and TV audiences. As long as that continues then the controversy surrounding the League will do little to harm its financial power.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Rather than turning foreign broadcasters off, the unseemly soap opera which provides a backdrop to football in this country just seems to add to the attraction.
    ______________________________

    Indeed. Controversy seems to only add to the popularity of the Premier League.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    This money will simply enlarge the already vast gulf between the haves and the have nots. Yet more money = yet more coverage for PL sides = yet more fans for the big boys = yet more smaller clubs going to the wall.

    I cannot believe this is what has become of a working class sport.

  • Comment number 4.

    Us football fans are a right bunch of moaners, but let's face it, it's blooming great sport to follow isn't it? The controversy just seems to draw more people in, and it just seems to get a bigger and bigger worldwide gathering.

    The Man utd Chelsea game had everything for the neutral - Two great teams giving it a right good crack, great goals, controversy, what more could you want??

  • Comment number 5.

    'unseemly soap opera'

    That will be David Bond's own reporting in relation to Ye Shiwen back in the summer.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 8.

    While that might be pushing it a bit there is no question that NBC Universal, the American rights holders for the Olympic Games, will take the League to another level in the States. They have bought 380 live games a season and are committed to showing six live games a week

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So, that's more games shown live here? SkySports, who charge an arm and a leg, don't show more than that during the week. In fact, if you include ESPN into this, we don't see that many games here more often than not. It's not only TV, but radio as well - you cant even listen to your team play. Furthermore, if you tune into foreign broadcasters, you're able to watch every game live; they're just blocked in the UK.

    For pity's sake, you can't even watch the highlights of your team if you miss MOTD live on TV. We have the biggest audience for the sport here, and we are left in the dark by contrast to other nations. Add this to the increasingly unrealistic ticket prices, the Premier League risks undermining its future if it limits the growth/popularity of the sport to its own home fans.

    Pretty sad all around

  • Comment number 9.

    Another step on the road to making football completely inaccessible to the public.

  • Comment number 10.

    Let's face it, our league is the most interesting, exciting, pulsating league in the world. Other league's may exhibit more technique, as players have the time to play that way. In this country, it is 'blood & guts' and that it what makes it what it is!! Even the foreign players that play here, buy into it after a while!! I wouldn't change it for any other league!! Long may it continue!!

  • Comment number 11.

    NO 3..... you end your comment with the word...... sport..... it is no longer that, it is a business and MONEY for the few but when you have football fans who will jump when told to jump (changing replica kits, tv subs, crazy kick off times, foreign owners etc) and yet then have the audacity to whinge but do nothing about same, why wouldnt the businessmen continue down this route and milk them for all they can.

    Football may be more popular now but its now entertainment filled with actors not footballers,

    How many high class young english players has the Premier League produced over the last 20 years ?
    How does the FA think budding new english talent is going to come through from Burton and be put into first teams when the consequences of dropping out of the cashcow will preclude clubs from using English youngsters. Look at our European Champions ? How many of their youth team are pushing for a 1st team place, Arsenal, City, the list goes on.
    How many clubs in our national game (and forgive me is football now just the preserve of 20 clubs ?) , how many clubs are struggling to survive.
    Yes, football the business is thriving FOR THE FEW, football the sport at that level died 20 years ago.
    RIP

  • Comment number 12.

    11

    And I thought I couldn't feel anymore pessimistic about the state of the game :(

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    David - "... unseemly soap opera ..."

    With the 'goings-on' at Chelsea this weekend, I think this maybe something of an understatement! All we need now in a true 'soap opera saga', is for it to turn out that a certain Chelsea player and QPR player are infact related (13th cousins, twice removed!!) that Torres will be repesenting Spain in the High Diving at the next Olympics, that Mario Balotelli is nominated for player of the year ........ oh .... whats that... ...., its already happened??... well whada know!

  • Comment number 15.

    @10

    Totally agree - can't understand all the whingers, I want to be entertained, and the Premiership certainly delivers.

    Well, apart from Stoke that is.

  • Comment number 16.

    Well we could all nod along with David Bond the dynamic sports editor and agree that a few more people watching English football from America is great news because of the extra cash......but.....for fans hopeful of a strong English team it's more bad news.

    The clubs will spend instead of develop and starting line ups will become even more diluted with foreign talent. The need to keep putting on the best show and living up to the nauseating title "best league in the world" every 10 seconds will see the league become more detached from it's domestic market.

    If the growth of TV audiences around the world actually had some kind of positive impact on domestic fans through subsidising ticket prices then it might be a price worth paying. Instead the impact on domestic fans will be more sporadic kick off times to accompany our regressing national side.

  • Comment number 17.

    Seriously Dave, what were you thinking with that picture??

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Just wondering as the games will be shown live , and the Yanks I know like to be tucked up in bed at about 2300pm

    The west coast of the states is 8 hours behind us does that mean the kick off times will be here in the U.K. ?

    Also mid week games will be a problem , cant see many people wanting to watch an EPL game in L. A. starting at 0400am

  • Comment number 20.

    Against Mod€rn Footba££

  • Comment number 21.

    To the people that have Sky Sports- how many Premier League games do they show a week?
    By my calculations, the maximum is 4? One Saturday midday game, two on Sunday and another on Monday. And even that might go down to 2 a week.

    ESPN offers another game (Saturday tea time) but does that cost more on top of the Sky Sports subscription?

    So begs the question, what exactly does that leave for us domestic viewers when the vast majority of Premier League games are not televised in the UK? And granted the big teams are less likely to not be televised in the UK (more due to European midweek commitments) but it does happen time to time. Imagine if Man Utd for example have their own rights to show live Premier League games for Saturday 3pm KOs, considering that this game wouldn't be shown anywhere in the UK, well, not legally anyway.

  • Comment number 22.

    @17 It's brooding, like his surname's gone to his head.

    Good article though - I hope football doesn't take off in America, because Fox at least don't know how to cover it properly. Their half-time coverage is excruciating.

  • Comment number 23.

    If the 'unseemly soap opera' does indeed excite the US market, maybe we can export the Ferdinand brothers and their 'I-can-throw-my-toys-further-out-the-pram-than-you-can' act. Can't be less unpopular in America than it has been with genuine football fans over her.

  • Comment number 24.

    "I cannot believe this is what has become of a working class sport."

    This is largely a myth when you think about it. It did become a sport appealing to the masses, but association football, like other ball sports, had been codified by the public school system for educational purposes in the 19th century. Ergo it is in a very real and historical sense an upper-middle class institution and occupation.

    The possibility that it might alienate ordinary people in the future due to its newly found wealth and lucrative deals merely symbolises its coming full circle. It really shouldn't surprise us though as football's origins were never really 'working' class in the first place.

  • Comment number 25.

    Ultimately the Premier League is a cash-cow; its an organisation which exists to make money; it's a business. It doesn't care in the slightest about UK-based fans, let alone the increasing rarity which is loyal fans who live in the city or town their club is based. They ignore the rich history of league history in this country - as far as they're concerned, football was invented in 1992. An example of their attitude was the awful plan to have a "39th game" played to exploit world markets in Asia, China and the USA.

    It's all built on the highly subjective premise that the Premier League is the "best in the world". It's a premise that can't really be proved one way or the other. But I'm increasingly thinking it's not an accurate claim.

    Skill-wise, yes the league is getting better - games are good to watch. And the League is still capable of great drama, last season's title-race a classic example.

    But has anyone else noticed how predictable the league is becoming?

    Look at the teams in the top THREE over the past ten seasons: -

    2002-2003: MAN UTD / Arsenal / Newcastle
    2003-2004: ARSENAL / Chelsea / Man Utd
    2004-2005: CHELSEA / Arsenal / Man Utd
    2005-2006: CHELSEA / Man Utd / Liverpool
    2006-2007: MAN UTD / Chelsea / Liverpool
    2007-2008: MAN UTD / Chelsea / Arsenal
    2008-2009: MAN UTD / Liverpool / Chelsea
    2009-2010: CHELSEA / Man Utd / Arsenal
    2010-2011: MAN UTD / Chelsea / Man City
    2011-2012: MAN CITY / Man Utd / Arsenal

    Just six teams filling the top three places across ten seasons. And most of the variety was provided in the first few of those seasons. Look at the pattern emerging - it's Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea who will be contesting the title race season after season for some time to come.

    Individual games may be interesting, players may be very skillful, but ultimately, the league is increasingly predictable. Big-money teams finish at the top.

  • Comment number 26.

    20.At 18:02 30th Oct 2012, No Na SLB wrote:
    ___________________________

    Is that user name "No name boys" from Benfica ?

  • Comment number 27.

    19.At 17:56 30th Oct 2012, You wrote:
    The west coast of the states is 8 hours behind us does that mean the kick off times will be here in the U.K. ?
    _____________________________

    Should read "will be MOVED here in the UK"

    Sorry :)

  • Comment number 28.

    @19... I suggest you think again about the time difference between the UK and the US. As you say, the West Coast is 8 hours BEHIND the UK, so it's lunchtime in the US, west coast, for a mid week game, not 4 am! Mind you, who is going to take a day off work to watch QPR v Stoke on a Wednesday!

  • Comment number 29.

    Im quite surprised that the premier league is going for that much money since there is so much dross in the league

  • Comment number 30.

    28.At 18:14 30th Oct 2012, Liam wrote:
    ______________________

    Ha Ha
    My mistake :)

    Still a 3pm kick over here on a Saturday will be 0700am , so maybe we will see kick off´s on a Saturday moved to 1800 pm or later ?

  • Comment number 31.

    The question is, has the money flooding the English game improved it? Has it created better quality of football? Has it resulted in more intelligent and decent men? The answer is a resounding no.

    There are big differences between all world faiths but regardless of which religion you follow or belief you hold, all have one thing in common - greed corrupts. If ever there was a good example of this, the English Premier League is it.

    But hey, it's entertaining.

  • Comment number 32.

    I can see a football financial crisis in the near future if football continues to be heavily unsustainable.

  • Comment number 33.

    @19 - repo - you're going the wrong way! A midweek game in the UK is 12 noon in LA. not 4am

  • Comment number 34.

    Brilliant blog Scott Clarke, could not agree more, surprised it got past the moderater. As you say what as this got to do with Black Lawyers, Ferdinand as also been on twitter sticking is ore in, he should just keep it shut.

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    The half time coverage will be poor and there is always the question of how to work in the commercials.Finally more US players will be involved to attract the North American audience.TV recorders may need to be used more if start times are changed and of course this extra revenue will not translate into lower ticket prices.

  • Comment number 37.

    33.At 18:25 30th Oct 2012, King Eric the Red wrote:
    ____________________________

    I know , my mistake , read post 30

  • Comment number 38.

    Some are asking why the US channel NBC Universal paid so much when the live games will be broadcast mornings and early afternoons US time given the time difference with the UK. The answer is the Matrix.

    You've all seen the film where the world's population are fooled into believing the world they live in is real and not a computer generated falsification using 1's and 0's.

    The US is so insular, NBC will make the people believe that the game at 8pm on Saturday is actually happening live. The tv production will be designed in such a way as to make the viewer believe it's live. Can't fool the majority? Yes you can. Ask any of the fools who pay over the odds to attend games in the Premier League to watch substandard football and those that pay 50 quid a month for Sky.

    Businesses will pay large sums as long as they know there are enough idiots who will pay them more.

  • Comment number 39.

    @repo it could be :)

  • Comment number 40.

    Re: TC-Eastwood. Thanks for your comment. I am also somewhat surprised, although I think that I have tried to put my perceived anger across in an objective manner. There are serious issues at stake, which are much bigger than the individual stories. I feel that, if the powers-that-be do not get a grip of these issues, and restate the boundaries, then the potential for a serious breakdown in our society is very realistic! That is not a future that anyone can want, surely?

  • Comment number 41.

    Wait for the announcement of PL games being played in the US, as per NFL here,and more crazy kick off times driven by US audience and not by " police requirement ".
    Yet more money to go in wages for players .

  • Comment number 42.

    39.At 18:40 30th Oct 2012, No Na SLB wrote:
    @repo it could be :)
    ______________________

    My mother in law is a Benficista , she even cries when they lose :)

    I go to the Estadio da Luz a few times a season ( not the classicos ) with my boy.

  • Comment number 43.

    working class sport?

  • Comment number 44.

    40.At 18:41 30th Oct 2012, Scott Clarke wrote:
    _________________________________

    Quite spirited posts , probably speaking for the silent majority I would guess.

    I worked in africa for 6 months so I take these football related rascist accusations with a pinch of salt.
    In my experience black middle/upper class Africans treat the the poorer black Africans worse than the white poulation.

  • Comment number 45.

    @repo you have a great mother in law then! (thats a first?!)
    I do too go to the Luz for a few games, but also all the away European ones too.

  • Comment number 46.

    34. If you're going to drop your h's, at least be consistent... Mind you, if you are from Eastwood, then everything in your post makes more sense in that context.

    19. and others - I'm pretty sure the match times won’t change at all. For example, China are in front of us, so they would get midweek games at stupid o’clock a.m. whilst they were on in the middle of the day in the US. Can't please everyone.

    Plus when you start to think about European games, they have co-ordinated start times (with the exception of ex-USSR nations where weather is a big consideration) which quite nicely suit GMT when in reality you would think the more sensible approach would be to draw a line down the middle of Europe, and co-ordinate start times around that particular time zone (CET?).

    Although it feels sometimes like they have no regard whatsoever for football fans in this country, there would be pressure from other groups (police, public transport, entertainment industry [pubs], as well as Joe Public that would need to take time off work to attend games) to ensure that we would never end up having games at times to suit anyone else other than those in this country. It could be argued by any of these groups that it just wouldn't be safe, never mind feasible.

    In terms of selling the rights, good luck to the EPL if they get the buyers. Although their priority will always be on 1. making profit and then 2. ensuring that their product is as good quality as possible (i.e. keep all the money in the league), it would be nice if there was a higher percentage cascade down the divisions, as half a million goes a lot further than a months wages for a top-4 benchwarmer. Taking some pressure off some of the clubs further down the ladder may lead to more youngsters getting chances, a bit more investment in trying to get a few better youngsters and, although highly unlikely, may mean that football at that level is slightly more affordable than the £18 to watch Chesterfield v Barnet I spent the other day - one of the least inspiring, horrifically poor games of football I have ever seen, but eminently more affordable and accessible than an EPL game.

  • Comment number 47.

    Re:25.
    I agree totally that the PL and other European Leagues are dominated by the same clubs year after year. Mostly they are the G14 group who set up the Champions League, after threatening to break away if they didn't get a larger share of the cake.
    FFP will ensure that this domination continues in Europe and the PL will introduce a version of FFP to protect the status quo here. As much as the money that has been poured into Chelsea & Man City is obscene no other club will be allowed to benefit from a 'fairy godfather' deciding to back them, supposedly for their own protection. The protection is for the clubs who have dominated , through the CL gravy train, for the last 10 years.

  • Comment number 48.

    Sorry if somebody else has spotted this but doesnt 380 games a season mean 10 games a week i.e. EVERY Premier League game beingshown live on TV everywhere OTHER than England/Great Britain! Surely there is something wrong when somebody in Outer MOngolia can watch a game that isnt legally available in the UK!

  • Comment number 49.

    I'm one of those 140,000 Yanks that watches the EPL every week. Nothing changes for the USA with this NBC deal. We have been getting 4 to 6 live EPL games per week for years now. The only change is the channel from Fox Soccer over to NBC Sports.

    The kickoff times are great. There is no risk of that changing for the small number of Americans that watch. In fact, the early morning kick-offs are perfect for US television. There are no other live sports to compete with so advertisers are easier to find.

    And it's not bad for viewers either. I follow the BBC live text for the weekday games and record the games to watch after work. On Saturdays and Sundays I get live EPL games for breakfast, usually 2 each on Saturday and Sunday (plus one on ESPN). I'm 7 hours behind, so the first game is mighty early but I'll set the alarm for a big match.

    We American fans are more worried than you. We had a good thing with Fox Soccer broadcasting the EPL. We're worried that NBC will not cover the sport as well. Fox Soccer is all football, all the time, and now the EPL is moving to a channel that's best known for NHL hockey, the Tour de France, and hunting/fishing shows. We don't know if we will get highlight shows, football talk shows, or any other football coverage other than the live games. NBC might be available to more people than Fox Soccer, but NBC is well known for tape delaying and editing sports to fit their own agenda (re: Olympics, Tour de France). It wouldn't surprise me at all if they took a commercial break in the middle of a match.

  • Comment number 50.

    "Man Utd will be one of the clubs to benefit from the new deal."

    Not more benefits for them! They are already sponsored by the FA who wont allow criticism from other managers like Martinez who stated the obvious after the recent visit to Old Trafford fining him 10 grand for saying preferential treatment isn't fair.

    Its also becoming embarrassing with referees who award more than merely dubious penalties in their favour,send opposing players off and send an extra player off when things arent quite going their way against a dominant 10 man team.
    And when it comes down to the nitty gritty, refs actually (allegedly) abuse Man Utd's opponents which is indicative of the apparent bias (my own view) shown towards Ferguson's team.

  • Comment number 51.

    With a bit of luck this means that eventually the owners will move their franchises abroad (when the UK fans can no longer afford the entry prices) and football will get back to its roots in this country . . . . .

  • Comment number 52.

    As one media expert put it to me, the Premier League now has a really good shot at becoming a "middle ranking" sport in America.


    That one sentence sums it up.

    The premier league is not a sport.

    Football did sell itself to the devil and what was once a great game, has now become a modern day WWF.

  • Comment number 53.

    @50

    Not to mention the BBC's love in with all things Man Utd lead by Phil McNulty.
    Is this linked to the BBC's move to Manchester?
    BBCMUTV? I'm starting to wonder if a merger has taken place!

  • Comment number 54.

    How do you get money for whinging, If i knew this time next year, i would be a millionaire.

  • Comment number 55.

    @3 Working class sport? how old are you? I remember the dark days of the 70's watching poor quality kick and run 1st division football played out on mud-patch pitches in ramshackle corrugated-iron and asbestos death-trap grounds that ultimately lead to the tragedies at Ibrox, Bradford and Hillsborough. Thats where the "working-class" game ended mate and I for one would not turn the clock back. There's alot wrong with the modern cash-rich Premier League but its still light years ahead of what went before..

  • Comment number 56.

    I got polish tv something like sky but less money to pay and i can watched 3 games on sat 2 sun and mon and tue or wed to so sky are crap

  • Comment number 57.

    @52 Londoner

    It is unlikely to stop you going or commenting for some while yet though.

  • Comment number 58.

    Shame we can't give the money to our Olympians, once every 4 years of true sportsmanship is far better than a weekly diet of cheats masquerading as Footballers.

  • Comment number 59.

    Although this is excellent news for the Premier League, I hope that the money filters down to grass roots, especially for the sake of English football and young English footballers (and other British footballers in general). Invest a good percentage of that money into youth facilities, coaching, refereeing and Clubs being run at grassroots levels, instead of allowing the Premier League giants to just add another £20,000 + to their top players wages....

  • Comment number 60.

    I'm sure the fact that NBC is betting on the PL is a sign of the potential. Regular Americans won't ever watch it. But there are a lot of recent immigrants from all over the world that are already paying extra on cable channels to watch it. I am one of them. So it is great news all these viewers will be able to watch games on American open television. The US World Cup was a success because of the same immigrants that went to wath their national teams. Now most of them follow the PL.

  • Comment number 61.

    I stopped following the EPL when it became too obvious the media sadly overplay the significance of it at the expense of other sports. Can't say I've missed it or the over dramatised dialogue that goes with any tiny referee's mistake, and I cannot see technology ever being introduced to remove them because the reduction in hysteria will simply remove the opportunity to bully other sports off our screens and the back pages. Richard scudamore, FIFA, UEFA, et all, are too savy to allow that to happen.

  • Comment number 62.

    @58 I kind of agree with you but I reckon cheating and greed are a human condition, not necessarily confined to footballers. If you start giving Olympians masses of money they'll likely start looking for performance enhancement substances again.
    Good that the EPL is getting more money, should improve the football even more. Just hope it's not at the expense of other lower league clubs and that it doesn't reduce the number of home grown talent still further.

  • Comment number 63.

    As an American who gets up early on Saturday & Sunday to watch the Fox Soccer & Fox Soccer Plus I am excited about the move to NBC.

    I really don't understand all this moaning about how "it's all about the money" - that ship sailed the first time somebody got paid to kick the ball around.

    Of course it is all about the money - If you want to see world-class players, guess what, you got to pay world-class players world-class money. If you aren't willing to work for a pittance, why would you expect players to. The owners of the EPL teams do not have an obligation to go broke to provide you entertainment.

    If you can't afford to go to the games in the EPL, there are other leagues available. You lot are lucky - the nearest professional football team is almost 700 miles from where I live. And they are horrible (FC Dallas).

  • Comment number 64.

    I'm in St Louis, originally from Manchester, one of the reasons there are more games shown live is because they can show the Saturday 3pm games which Sky can't, Fox Soccer + can show one as well as regular Fox Soccer. The timings (I'm 6 hours behind) works well for US TV as it doesn't clash with Baseball, NFL etc.

    FS also shows complete games after the fact, so on Sat and Sun you can watch pretty much wall-to-wall coverage and switch to ESPN when need be

    Must admit, having seen NBC's coverage of the Olympics makes me kind of agree with #49!

    Let's hope they don't employ the FS pundits, Warren Barton et-al make Shearer and the rest of the MOTD team look like geniuses!

  • Comment number 65.

    I am one of those viewers in North America that the NBC broadcasing of EPL is tageted to. I did not need NBC, or Fox/ESPN to get my regular live games, which I have been watching for the past 20 years.

    One thing dinstinguises the EPL from the other competetive leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany: Speed of the game, Power of the players resulting in high ball turnover, which results wads of goals, saves, post hits and upsets . Add to that the colorful and insightful commentary provided by English media personalities. The English language is by far the most spoken second language of any person around the world. So, most fans like to watch an EPL game and listen to an English play by paly commentator. It adds to the quality of entertainment.

    Finally, the EPL is by far the most competetive professional football league in the world. Any given year, you can have any one of top four or five teams with a good chance to win the BEPL cup. Spain, the least competetive is the domain of two teams, Italy three teams. Bundesliga is boring. You might as well watch paint while drying.

    Regardless of the protestations of Messers Ferdinand et al about the Kick it Out program's ineffectiveness, England's other institutions ( the FA, security and judicial bodies) have shown serious leadership in stamping out hooliganism and racism from English football. And that is evident in the weeding out of hooliganism and the severity of punishment handed out to racist rougues like Suarez and Terry.

    Casting a clean cut image and rooting out racist thugs from its football is good business for England. I see better days ahead for the EPL as it will continue to be a bastion of world football, where talent of different race and nationality will converge to create the most exciting football in the world. And that my friend is good for England's economy.

    Now, if you ever wondered why Emirates and Russian money has poured big time in to the EPL, wonder no more.

  • Comment number 66.

    @ 49 VillaYank

    Thanks for your post. Nice to read some balanced, joined-up thinking, since it's normally in short supply here; in this respect football (soccer) is still very much a "working class" sport.

    I'm pleased that you are able to enjoy watching the EPL on your side of the pond. It's great entertainment, the occasional dull 0-0 excepted, and I speak from more than 50 years experience of football watching. Do you know that it was once famously described as being "a gentlemens' game played by louts", with rugby being described as "a louts' game played by gentlemen", because the latter game tended to be the preserve of "posh", upper class, English public school types.

    Ignore the pessimistic whingers who abound on these pages and join me in looking forward to an era of positive change for the beautiful game.

  • Comment number 67.

    18 Scott Clarke.

    I thought Enoch Powell had died years ago !

  • Comment number 68.

    Great! more revenue going straight out the door to fund even more ridiculously inflated player wages, attracting even more foreign players to all leagues and strangling opportunities for home nation players.

    And as for the controversy argument it certainly keeps me watching every week as I dont want to miss the time when a poor refereeing decision actually goes against Man U ;)

  • Comment number 69.

    @68 if anything, top players are underpaid in relation to the income they bring to the club. World class professionals in other fields earn considerably more than top footballers. It's all obscene of course but needs to be put into context. As for United getting any refereeing bias, I'm not sure, but as a Man Utd fan I wouldn't want them to get favouritism and wish someone would actually come up with some facts to prove this bias actually exists, rather than just bringing it up as and when a decision goes in United's favour.

  • Comment number 70.

    I love the anti-Man United contingent, they're such a bitter bunch.
    I suppose none of you know about the formation of the PFA, do you?

  • Comment number 71.

    @Scott Clarke 35

    "End of!!"

    Perhaps you should have taken your own advice at that point.

  • Comment number 72.

    @65

    You work in sky marketing, don't you?

  • Comment number 73.

    65.At 20:32 30th Oct 2012, OilBurns wrote:
    One thing dinstinguises the EPL from the other competetive leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany: Speed of the game, Power of the players resulting in high ball turnover, which results wads of goals, saves, post hits and upsets . Add to that the colorful and insightful commentary provided by English media personalities.

    Finally, the EPL is by far the most competetive professional football league in the world. Any given year, you can have any one of top four or five teams with a good chance to win the BEPL cup.

    England's other institutions ( the FA, security and judicial bodies) have shown serious leadership in stamping out hooliganism and racism from English football.
    __________________________________________

    High ball turnover is due to the players being unable to control a football , unlike our European friends.

    Colourful insightful commentary ?..........You must be joking !

    4 or 5 teams in with a shout of the EPL every year ?...... 2 would be more accurate.

    Finally the FA as an instutution is a joke !

  • Comment number 74.

    Serbia are bringing criminal charges against 2 of the England U21 squad !!!

  • Comment number 75.

    72.At 21:25 30th Oct 2012, Frank Black wrote:
    @65

    You work in sky marketing, don't you?
    ____________________________________

    You could be right Frank :)

  • Comment number 76.

    @21 - on average there are 4 live games each weekend round and 2 live games on a midweek but that changes when it's Christmas etc. We currently get a total of 138 live matches each season but that goes up to 154 from next August... there are a total of 380 matches in a season.

    ESPN costs about a tenner more per month on top of the Sky Sports subscription.

    The UK not getting to see all 380 matches live is a never ending debate. The Saturday blackout is in place for a good reason to protect attendance's at lower league levels... but in this day and age with streaming, the question is it the practice now outdated? You could find any of the weekends 10 fixtures online to watch live whereas if somebody was to just rely on the UK TV option they'd have a maximum choice of 4.

  • Comment number 77.

    Yes the premier league is driven by money. yes none of us can afford to watch it any more, but the fact is all of this money is going on PLAYER WAGES and PLAYER RECRUITMENT. there are not hundreds of fat cats in suits pocketing the cash and stealing the game from us. running a football club is massively expensive and this extra tv money is likely to be spent on transfer fees, agents fees and wages. unless youre man united, real madrid, barcelona or most of the german teams the fat cats will put more in than they take out. in a global economy where teams are owned by governments this is not going to change. and the ticket prices will keep going up

  • Comment number 78.

    @ 35

    You started off OK and then just made yourself sound like what you say you are not. You are correct that the word 'black', in itself, is not racist. But when coupled with an insult it becomes so. If you want to insult someone you are free to do so. However, when you couple the colour of their skin with said insult you are belittling them based on that skin colour.

  • Comment number 79.

    What models are out there for this type of syndication going bust, or just losing its appeal? Not wishing to appear a doom-mungerer but I worry about the reliance on TV money being distributed unfairly to the bigger clubs. If all clubs were allocated roughly the same e.g. only small increments more for placing higher in the League/winning cup matches, the gulf wouldn't appear so big. Roughly the same money should go to lower league clubs to bring them up a notch or two and hence underpin feeding the EPL with new talent. There's no God given right for the current 20 teams in the PL and 24 in the Championship to remain where they sit at the moment, or that TV audiences should pay ever-inflatory salaries. But there is a very strong moral argument that TV should increase and sustain TV revenue given over to League 1 and 2 clubs to enable their push into the higher leagues - unless the top 2 tiers think of themselves as a Cartel. And YES I understand the EPL is the product overseas TV money is buying and not the lower leagues - but just like a sell-on clause applies to lower league teams for transfer revenues generated by a former player, so should TV revenue be distributed on a similar basis. I'd love to see the Aldershot, Rotherham, Carlisle, Rochdales of our world benefiting from TV revenue managed by a fans Trust, whilst owners concentrate on generating income and growing the club in other ways.

  • Comment number 80.

    Ever more TV money flows in and yet the price of a ticket goes up, the standards of behaviour on and off the pitch keep going down, and the bulk of the clubs still can't turn a profit. The PL is the sporting equivalent of Northern Rock and one day their 'business model' will blow up in their faces and probably take most of the clubs with it.

  • Comment number 81.

    So all this extra money and we still have to pay stupid amounts to go and see our teams play live or pay Sky stupid amounts to watch them on TV, what about reducing these costs now you've got so much extra cash.....

    No, put the prices up even more...

    Money is the root of all evil, just look at the ones whose pockets are bulging, do they look like they care about the supporters?

  • Comment number 82.

    Never understood the concept of the televisions rights. In England a 3:00pm KO on Saturdays are never televised in the UK yet if you have the Spanish or Italian version of Sky you can watch near enough every game.

    But in England we get to see every Real Madrid and Barcelona game live. Surely it would make more sense to offer the English 3:00pm KO games to the UK audience. Even if they charged for each game, they are being recorded and commentated on anyway!

  • Comment number 83.

    @69.

    As for decisions going in uniteds favour .... I wish someone would look into it too, but at least it provides a point of contention and "discussion"

    But looking at this season alone I can think of quite a few decisions that have favoured united ... not least the reason why roberto martinez faced an F.A. charge for a utd dive with no player near and a sending off that didnt happen, as well as others (about 10 or so in their favour that were debatable)

    Can you think of around 10 big decisions that were at least 50/50 that didnt?

    Just as a point of interest thats all. If its true it would be nice to be acknowledged?

  • Comment number 84.

    Living on the west coast of the USA and with a pretty complete satellite TV package I can watch most BPL matches, Scottish, Italian, French and Spanish leagues each week, plus some 'Championship' games, FA Cup, FA League Cup (justed watched Arenal win 7-5) and Internationals as well as North South American games etc.(Yes, usually starting at 4.30 am on the weekends). It is already too much and I am not sure what an NBC deal will add.

  • Comment number 85.

    @85

    1: This blog has nothing to do with United
    2: Why does everyone mention the Welbeck dive so much, the penalty was missed and United won the match 4-0, hardly a major turning point in game.
    3: United have road their luck a lot this season but has been mentioned so many times ABU's only noticed decisions for United, if it goes the other way it is just classed as funny or 'evening out' the decisions.

  • Comment number 86.

    I've always thought it's ridiculous that football matches are not played on the BBC in this country. I know it's about whichever tv company pays the most money but if we want to inspire the next generation of players to get a successful England team, matches should be available for kids and everyone to watch every weekend on the bbc and itv. how else do kids watch these teams and players without spending vast amounts going to games or getting subscriptions to sky, they need to watch their role models to get inspired and keep them interested in football

  • Comment number 87.

    Ha ha, that Reading v Arsenal game is exactly what this blog is all about.

    As Mourinho once said, "If you want to see high scoring games, go watch basketball."

  • Comment number 88.

    78. At 21:55 30th oct 2012, MarcoH wrote:
    re: @ 35 - You are correct that the word 'black', in itself, is not racist.

    65. At 20:32 30th oct 2012, OilBurns wrote: -
    racist rougues like Suarez

    n.b. , Luis Suarez (who is part black himself) spoke in Spanish and used the word 'negrito', which is NOT racist in Spanish; on the contrary in Uruguay it is a friendly term, a bit like 'bro' or 'mate'. Unfortunately it has racist overtones when translated into English for non-Spanish speakers.
    (Also note that he speaks Uruguayan Spanish, not the Castilian Spanish Evra 'repeated'). Sorry to be pedantic pointing out the facts.

  • Comment number 89.

    The final day of last season was fantastic viewing and must have added a few billion into Scudamores pockets alone from around the world.

    But why do ticket prices keep going up as more money comes in?

  • Comment number 90.

    @83. Try debatabledecisions.com. Prior to the Chelsea game Man United had 1 net debatable decision in their favour. Which is somewhat less than 10, but then people who bang on about United always getting the decisions do tend to conveniently forget any decisions that went against them.

    @88. Seriously? You're still running with the whole "Suarez was only being friendly to Evra" BS? I thought only Keegan still believed that. It's nice though that there's no racism in Spanish football, as Luis Aragones proved.

  • Comment number 91.

    Phew, what fantastic news. I was JUST thinking that what the Premier League needs is more money, otherwise how else can it possibly break away from those pesky other three divisions? I mean, it's bad enough it still has to endure this whole relegation thing every season, and risk letting even more of those grotty poor clubs in.

    And don't even mention Stoke or Norwich- if we don't think about them, maybe we can pretend they're not there.

    Sigh.

    - Gillingham fan.

  • Comment number 92.

    @ 89 Sams Town

    It is quite simple really. Football is becoming more like on-line shopping.

    If they could only get rid of those pesky stadiums and all the unnecessary expense entailed.

  • Comment number 93.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 94.

    Well it looks like Nick Griffin has sent one of his henchos on to the footy blogs in an effort to recruit the disillusioned.

  • Comment number 95.

    @ 86

    While I agree with the reasoning, do you really think that the next generation should be learning from players that have been convicted of racially aggravated offences as well as all of the other negative incidents like simulation?

    I think maybe they're better off learning from better qualified coaches and their parents.

  • Comment number 96.

    @ 88 - re - n.b. , Luis Suarez (who is part black himself) spoke in Spanish and used the word 'negrito', which is NOT racist in Spanish; on the contrary in Uruguay it is a friendly term, a bit like 'bro' or 'mate'. Unfortunately it has racist overtones when translated into English for non-Spanish speakers.
    (Also note that he speaks Uruguayan Spanish, not the Castilian Spanish Evra 'repeated'). Sorry to be pedantic pointing out the facts.

    Well he didn't say it in Spain or Uruguay to a Spaniard or Uruguayan. He said it in England to a Frenchman. The 'I didn't know' defence doesn't wash. That is like an Indian driving through a red light and saying 'well we don't bother with them in India.'
    Also the notion that it is a 'friendly' term could be questioned. Do both sides think it is friendly? Or does one think it is friendly and one find it patronising but due to a pre-historic attitude to equal rights in the country in question it is tolerated.

  • Comment number 97.

    Re: Frank Black - For your information, I have absolutely NO interest in Nick Griffin or the BNP. They do not represent my views in any way, shape or form! Again, it just goes to show that 'other' groups are allowed to sprout their c**p, but the indigenous population are not allowed to say anything at all. Like I have said previously, we will only take so much c**p before we take matters into our own hands! I will ask you a direct question, Frank. Do you think that it is wrong for there to be a 'Society of Black Lawyers'? Simple 'Yes' or 'No' answer, please! I DO!!!! It should be deemed to be unlawful and forced to disband. It makes me puke!!! It would be the same if there was a 'Society of White Lawyers'!! Totally, utterly wrong!! These idiots are doing their level best to help to drive a wedge through every organisation that is trying to eradicate true racism!! Whilst people like that exist, all the real efforts to eradicate racism from our society will be hugely undermined!! Disagree with that and you must be an idiot!!

    As for the Moderators, you have really proved yourselves to be weak, yellow-bellied, excuses for human beings, haven't you? Like I said in my last post, it's all a bit hypocritical with all the goings on at Television Centre, isn't it? 40 years of turning a blind eye to the most disgusting, depraved, prolific paedophile ever??!! If it is true, then the BBC should be closed down and everyone who played a part, and there will be many, no matter how small, should be prosecuted as they have been complicit!! Disgusting!! As I said, toilets will be flushing all over Television Centre!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    @98

    First off, I didn't have your post modded.

    I agree with some of your issues but your rhetoric suggested a less tolerant view.

    As for your attack on the beeb, shouldn't some of your ire also be directed at the police, hospitals and other institutions who appear to have turned a blind eye?

    And if you had your wish, for the beeb to be shut down, then that would afford you one less platform to air some of your more unsavoury opinions.

  • Comment number 99.

    ^^^^^^

    oops @97

  • Comment number 100.

    I agree with your point about the other organisations too. However, the BBC would, at first glance, appear to have a bigger part to play in the whole, unsavoury, episode!!!
    Also, at no point did I accuse you of having my posting modded, nor would I care if you had!
    Whatever others may think, my views represent what the majority of the indigenous population think. If people don't like it, tough!!
    If the BBC closed down, it would make no difference to me at all, as there are more than enough forums out there. I don't usually post on them, although I do read a fair few. However, this is an issue that stirs up strong feelings and I am not one to hide my feelings. I prefer to say what I think and people can choose to interpret them in their own way. I have no control over the way that someone wishes to interpret my posts. I will just say that I do not tolerate ANY form of oppression and I will never be told what to say or do, within reason of course. I have a right to say that I do not want to lose my national identity and I have a right to say that if anyone doesn't like the way we do things in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales, they should toddle off somewhere else!! We tolerate far too much here and we should have the 'balls' to stand up and say our piece, as we are supposed to be a democratic society!! We are told this, but it is becoming more autocratic each day.

    Anyway, my good man, what is your answer to my question from my previous posting? I await your response with anticipation!!
    Also, what opinion is 'unsavoury'? My opinions are true!

 

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