NBC Sports, the Comcast-owned US broadcaster, has launched an over-the-top (OTT) service dedicated to commercial establishments which includes an expansive live Premier League offering.
The streaming platform, called NBC Sports Pub Pass, has been built in collaboration with live sports and entertainment company AEG, and has been designed for the US bar and restaurant industry.
A first of its kind, the service will give commercial subscribers access to the 140 live matches from English soccer’s top flight not offered on linear TV, as well as Grand Tour cycling, including the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
The platform will also show live European rugby union including Test match rugby from the annual Six Nations tournament, as well as the Champions Cup and the Premiership, Europe’s and England’s respective top-tier club competitions. The Rugby World Cup is available as a top-up.
Dan Lyle, director of AEG Rugby, said: “We are thrilled to expand our relationship with NBC Sports to bring the most popular and requested international sports to American audiences in their preferred neighbourhood locations.
“There is no substitute for the incredible atmosphere that is created when passionate fans get together in a pub or restaurant to watch their favourite sports and favourite teams.
“With NBC Sports Pub Pass, there will never again be a blackout or any other barrier preventing sports fans from gathering to celebrate the most important matches and sporting events from Europe and around the world.”
Services providing weekly premium sports content for retail establishments are common in most international markets, with premises paying for access to premium content for consumers to watch in pubs. The new service does not require an entrance fee or cover charge to patrons at the door for any matches, as other providers of international sport have previously required.
NBC’s new offering appears to replace its NBC Sports Gold Premier League Pass service from last season as the route for commercial establishments to offer live Premier League. The Pub Pass is activated via Amazon Fire Stick technology and comes with marketing assistance, as well as customer support. NBC has not detailed a price plan for the product, likely assessing subscription price on per-establishment basis.
Portia Archer, NBC Sports’ vice president of direct-to-consumer services, said: “We understand the importance and excitement of fans watching their favourite sports together. NBC Sports Pub Pass will support the traditions and strong communities within Premier League soccer, rugby and cycling, to make it easier for fans to watch together live or via replay on demand.”