OTT focus for Premier League as Peacock gets bulk of live games

NBC scraps Premier League Pass for expanded streaming service offer.

by Steven Impey

OTT focus for Premier League as Peacock gets bulk of live games
  • 35m active Peacock users is NBC's target by 2024
  • Linear Premier League Pass scrapped as 175 matches move to Peacock Premium
  • Xfinity customers get free access to OTT service's paid tier

US media giant NBCUniversal has realigned its live Premier League content distribution by putting the majority of top-flight English soccer matches on the premium tier of its new Peacock streaming platform.

During the 2020/21 season, more than 175 Premier League fixtures will be made available to the service’s paying subscribers when Peacock goes live on 15th July. The premium tier costs US$4.99 per month, with NBC hoping that will combine with the free service to accrue close to 35 million active accounts by 2024.

Peacock's premium subscribers will gain access to more than 1,500 hours of live and shoulder content from English soccer’s top flight, as well as full-match replays from all 380 Premier League matches next season, available on-demand after 9pm (ET).

The move will also see NBC Sports Gold Premier League Pass content shift exclusively to Peacock, effectively bringing an end to the linear broadcast subscription.

Premier League matches will continue to be aired on the media giant’s NBC linear cable networks, as well as the NBC Sports web platform and mobile app. As it stands, the Premier League has yet to announce its schedule for the 2020/21 season, though it is hoped that the season will be able to get underway by September.

“This exclusive Premier League programming is an exciting addition to our live sports content on Peacock Premium, and we are thrilled to continue delivering our best-in-class Premier League coverage to NBCUniversal linear television customers as well as new Peacock subscribers,” said Rick Cordella, Peacock’s chief revenue officer.

The Comcast-owned media giant first live streamed Premier League matches on its Peacock Premium tier during the soccer league’s resumption last month, after rolling out a beta version of the entertainment service in April for select Comcast Xfinity customers. Peacock Premium will come as part of Xfinity at no additional cost, expanding the distribution for NBC's Premier League content.

As part of Peacock’s nationwide launch, NBCUniversal will also be making all of its Premier League coverage on 15th July free to access via the streaming platform and will form part of a promotional offer to attract new subscribers.

Live matches available include Arsenal v Liverpool, Manchester City v Bournemouth, Burnley v Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur.

In addition to the Premier League, the Peacock service will showcase Sunday primetime National Football League (NFL) wildcard playoff games, as well as NBC's Olympic and Paralympic Games coverage. The platform will also offer live marquee golf events such as the men's and women's US Open, as well as the Ryder Cup.