October 12, 2013
WAIT'LL THEY SEE HOW WELL THE USMNT DOES IN BRAZIL:
Premier League scores in the US as NBC coverage finds growing audience : Clever marketing and an aggressive commercial strategy result in sports-mad Americans taking to the English game (James Riach, 10/12/13, The Observer)
[S]atirical humour has played just a small part in NBC's success. A vast marketing operation - which included Premier League advertisements in Times Square, individual club badges wrapped around the New York subway and British taxis decked in club colours- plus an aggressive commercial strategy have ensured the Premier League's popularity has surged across the United States.All 380 Premier League matches are available to NBC viewers this season, across various platforms, the majority on NBC Sports Network, which was established in January 2012 and costs viewers a subscription of $0.31 (19p) a month.Ratings are steadily growing as the season develops, with Everton's home match against Chelsea in September, broadcast across the whole NBC network, pulling in an average audience of 917,000. Highlights are shown and matches previewed on Sundays during live coverage of the NFL, something Miller describes as unprecedented, and 12 million people have tuned in - a significant increase on the 5.5m managed by ESPN and Fox Soccer this time last year. "We expected it to do well - it's lived up to our expectations and, in a lot of cases, exceeded them," says Miller. "What is surprising is how many people have jumped on this bandwagon so quickly and have fallen in love with it."There have always been a lot of people in this country who have loved soccer, but I don't think as many people really embraced the Premier League as they have now. It has become part of the daily conversation in this country, much more relevant and important."It's rapidly overtaking other sports in terms of attention and social conversation, coverage in print and broadcast news. You're seeing a real growth, while sports like baseball have levelled off a little bit. Fringe college football has been marginalised, so some of those properties have taken a hit."
They've made one weakness out of what should have been a strength by not going all in on their version of Match of the Day and by not exploiting America's superior sports analytics. Rather than a couple ex-soccer players their studio analysts should be more along the lines of Bill James, John Madden, Pete Carrill, Billy Beane, etc. It is we who should be explaining the game to the rest of the world, not vice versa.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 12, 2013 6:03 PM