The English Premier League is officially headed to NBC Sports.
NBC Sports Group has agreed to a three-year deal to televise English Premier League matches, it was announced Sunday. Under the deal, which begins with the 2013-14 season, NBC will hold the rights to all 380 Premier League matches in a given season.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus went into greater detail. The 200 matches that count toward Premier League standings will air on an NBC television outlet, with the remaining 180 available either digitally or through other means.
EPL matches will air on NBC Sports Network and the NBC broadcast network, as well as Spanish-language channels Telemundo and mun2. Matches will also be streamed on nbcsports.com.
As would be expected, Lazarus said most of the matches will air on the NBC Sports Network. In a surprise move, however, the NBC broadcast network could also televise a significant number of matches.
Lazarus suggested to SI that NBC could air between 18 and 20 matches per year — more than the NBA on ABC (15 regular season games) and Major League Baseball on FOX (12 regular season windows starting in 2014). By comparison, NBC airs six matches per year under a contract with Major League Soccer.
Sports Business Daily first reported the NBC-EPL deal on Friday. According to both Sports Business Daily and Sports Illustrated, NBC will pay $83 million per year for EPL rights.
(Sunday’s news from NBC Universal Media Village, Sports Illustrated)