Last year, NBC secured the rights to broadcast Premier League games from this coming season, and they said we in the States would be able to see every game. We've all been sorta wondering how that would play out - even though NBC has a whole family of networks (NBC itself, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, Bravo, and Telemundo, among others), it wasn't quite clear how the actual broadcasts would be distributed across all NBC's various networks.
Now, though, we do - NBC just released their schedule through December 1, and it's impressive. It breaks down thusly:
- A live game every Saturday at 4.45AM PT/7.45AM ET, on NBCSN
- A TBD game based on...factors on Saturday at 7AM PT/10AM ET (think of this as "which non-Manchester team is hot this week?"), also on NBCSN
- A game a week on NBC itself at 9.45AM PT/12.45PM ET
- Premier League Extra Time, a cable TV package similar to MLB Extra Innings or NFL Sunday ticket, showing all the games. It's carried by all the major cable providers, except Verizon FiOS
- An online app called TV Everywhere, the NBC Sports Live Extra app. This is available to all cable subscribers, even Verizon FiOS.
It's a bit bewildering to unpack, but it's basically three games a week on the (basic cable) TV box, the rest on a paid package service, and all of them available online as well. The best thing about the paid package service? No blackouts! If you want every game, you get every game, and you don't have to worry that it's not being shown in your market.
Arsenal's first NBCSN game is on Aug 24 against Fulham; the Stoke game on Sep. 22 is on CNBC, and their first appearance on NBC itself is Sept. 28 against Swansea.
I just want to reiterate that, although there is no amount of money you could pay me to watch Stoke v. Hull, it's amazingly cool that it's an option for me to do so if I suddenly decide I'd rather not expend the energy to repeatedly hit myself over the head with a sheet of plywood. I don't know if this has registered with you yet, but we now have the ability to watch more Premier League soccer on TV than people in England do. That's pretty cool.
Here's how the schedule until December 1 breaks down: