English Premier League on NBC Opening Weekend Coverage Hits Historic Viewership Marks

By Phil Naegely
Arlo White on NBC
Gary A. Vasquez-USA Today Sports

Many new eras started when the 2013-14 English Premiere League season kicked off including a new television provider. After being shown on ESPN and FOX, EPL awarded the rights to NBC this season with games being shown on NBC and NBCSN. Through one weekend, the coverage hit multiple viewership records. If EPL on NBC’s opening weekend is any indication, then the rest of the coverage will be even better.

If you have any experience in business or trying to sell a product, then you know that marketing your product is crucial to the business’ success. Well, NBC’s marketing of EPL soccer before the season paid off as their opening weekend coverage impressed many and set many new viewership records.

Courtesy of NBC’s press release, three viewership-related statistics stuck out to me. To begin with, Saturday’s Swansea CityManchester United on NBC drew a record 792,000 average viewers, which is now the most-watched Premier League opening weekend in the United States.

Secondly, the five games on NBC and NBCSN drew an average of 443,000 viewers. If you compare this to last year’s opening weekend coverage on ESPN and FOX, this is a 78% increase.

In case the last two statistics didn’t impress you, this past weekend was the best EPL Opening Weekend on cable in U.S. History. To clarify, NBC is an over-the-air channel, while NBCSN is a cable channel. NBCSN had four weekend games, which drew an average of 365,000 viewers. This is a 43% increase compared to last year’s games on ESPN and FOX Soccer. Interestingly enough, there were five games compared to four games on cable this year.

In addition to games on NBC and NBCSN, every EPL game is being shown on NBC Sports Live Extra and streaming via computers, tablets, and smartphones. A whooping 5.7 minutes were streamed at no extra charge as long as you have a cable package with NBCSN. That is a first for EPL coverage.

In closing, NBC set many viewership EPL Opening Weekend viewership records, and don’t be surprised if they break more records this season. NBC’s EPL coverage started off with a bang and exceeded many people’s expectations including my own.

Phil Naegely is a writer for RantSports.com. Like him on Facebook, follow on Twitter @PnaegelyRS, and on Google.

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