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NBC Sports to Launch Premier League Soccer Internet-Video Service

Variety logo Variety 6/27/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

NBC Sports will stream 130 Premier League soccer games exclusively to paying subscribers next season online — but the programmer says it isn’t decreasing coverage of the league on TV.

The NBC Sports Gold direct-to-consumer live streaming service is launching Premier League Pass for the 2017-18 season, for $50, starting in August. At least three matches per Premier League club will be available as a live stream exclusively on Premier League Pass.

In addition, subscribers will be able to access replays of most matches — including those not offered live on NBC Sports Gold — plus highlight clips and original content from Premier League Productions and NBC Sports. The lineup will include NBC and NBCSN Premier League series such as “Premier League Download,” “The Men in Blazers Show” and “Behind the Badge.”

All told, Premier League Pass subscribers will be able to watch approximately 20 weekly hours of live matches, studio shows, highlights and replays, according to Rick Cordella, EVP and GM of digital media for NBC Sports Group. “NBC Sports Gold has experienced tremendous growth since its launch last year and we look forward to providing Premier League viewers with this rich content-fueled experience,” he said.

While it’s taking Premier League soccer over-the-top for American audiences, NBC Sports Group says there will be no decrease in the number of matches telecast on NBC and NBCSN compared to prior seasons. Next season the broadcast schedule will encompass up to 250 Premier League matches, including at least one match in each Premier League match time window, across NBC, NBCSN and CNBC, as well as online on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app for mobile, tablets and connected-TV devices.

Meanwhile, matches such as the Manchester Derby, North London Derby, and Merseyside Derby will remain on TV, carried on NBC and NBCSN in single-game windows. The overflow matches included in the NBC Sports Gold package were previously part of the linear Extra Time packages available through some pay-TV providers as well as on NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports app.

NBC Sports Gold launched last year with a Cycling Pass, which included the 2016 Tour de France, Vuelta a España, Monument Classics such as the Paris Roubaix, and more. Earlier this year, NBC Sports Gold expanded to include a Track and Field Pass, which offers access to more than 25 major events, a Rugby Pass, which includes access to every Aviva Premiership Rugby match from Round 19 through the 2016-17 season final, and a Pro Motocross Pass, featuring the entire 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship season.

NBC Sports Gold is available on Apple iOS and Apple TV, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast devices, and on the web at NBCSportsGold.com. The service is powered by Playmaker Media, NBC Sports Digital’s technology service division.

Pictured above: Eden Hazard of Chelsea scores during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland played at Stamford Bridge, London, on May 21.

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