NBC Sports’ EPL coverage to feature World Cup stars
The World Cup concludes Sunday with a Croatia vs. France final — but many of the tournament’s protagonists will be back on the pitch in a few weeks.
Stamford-based NBC Sports Group announced this week it would carry every game of the first two months of the upcoming English Premier League season, which kicks off Aug. 10. Forty-one players in the World Cup semifinalists’ squads — England and Belgium were the other countries to make the final four — played last season for 11 league clubs.
NBC Sports will lead off its coverage Aug. 10, as last season’s runner-up, Manchester United, hosts Leicester City at Old Trafford stadium.
United’s squad includes seven players in semifinalist teams; Leicester has two. United midfielder Paul Pogba is set to start for France on Sunday.
On Aug. 12, defending league champion Manchester City visits last year’s sixth-place team, London-based Arsenal. Seven City players featured in semifinal squads; Arsenal had one.
On Aug. 18, Arsenal will visit another London team, Chelsea, which finished fifth last season. Seven Chelsea players went to the semifinals. Midfielder N’Golo Kante and striker Olivier Giroud are in line for starts for France on Sunday.
On Aug. 27, Manchester United will host London-based Tottenham, which finished third last season. Nine Tottenham players featured in semifinalist squads, the most for any league club. Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will likely start for France on Sunday.
On Sept. 15, Tottenham will host Liverpool, which finished fourth last season and sent four players to the semifinals. Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren will likely start for Croatia on Sunday.
The Tottenham-Liverppol match is expected to open Tottenham’s new 62,000-seat stadium in north London.
The networks of NBCUniversal, NBC Sports’ parent company, would carry at least five games each week in the season’s first two months across NBC, NBCSN, and CNBC. All games would be preceded and followed by shows filmed at NBC Sports’ headquarters at 1 Blachley Road, on Stamford’s East Side.
NBC Sports’ Premier League on-air team features studio host Rebecca Lowe, analysts Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe and play-by-play announcer Arlo White.
Games on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC would also be streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
In addition, matches would be telecast in Spanish each week by Telemundo and its sister cable channel, Universo, and also streamed on Telemundo’s En Vivo app.
All remaining games would be available on the subscription-based digital service NBC Sports Gold.
“The No. 1 goal we have is to grow the game of soccer in the United States,” Pierre Moossa, NBC Sports’ Premier League coordinating producer, said in an interview before the start of last season. “Making sure people learn to appreciate and love the game is our mission. And that comes along with helping them to appreciate what makes the Premier League so special.”
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