LONDON – For the third straight year, NBC’s Premier League broadcast crew will be in England for the start of the season.
The network announced plans Wednesday for the opening weekend for its seventh season, featuring on-site coverage from three stadiums from Aug. 9-11 as well as showing off its synergy with Britain’s Sky Sports News.
“You want to start the season on the road because you want to be at the biggest events. Our job is to give the viewers the best seat in the house,” Pierre Moossa, NBC’s coordinating producer for Premier League coverage, said in a phone interview.
The studio crew of Rebecca Lowe, Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe will visit training sites for two teams, including Champions League winner Liverpool, and visit the Premier League’s VAR match center in London. NBC’s coverage begins on Aug. 8 with a transfer day deadline show in London before heading to Liverpool for the Aug. 9 opener against Norwich City.
The coverage on Aug. 10 will come from Tottenham’s new stadium in London and wrap up the following day from Old Trafford in Manchester. The Manchester United-Chelsea match could mark the Premier League debut for 20-year-old American midfielder Christian Pulisic, acquired by Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund.
Lowe said coverage of the opening weekend is the most enjoyable of the season.
“For me personally I love it because I’m going home to these stadiums where I have spent my entire career,” she said. “The greatest thing about football in August is that there is hope. No one is about to get relegated or lose the league.”
One of the biggest noticeable changes with NBC’s coverage this season will be the increased use of Sky. Comcast Corp., the parent company of NBCUniversal, bought Sky Ltd. last fall from 21st Century Fox Inc. With the sharing of resources, NBC’s and SSN’s graphics will have the same look and presentation.
The first look at the combined resources will be during Thursday’s transfer day deadline show, which will be from SSN’s London studios.
“American viewers will get the best of both worlds,” Moossa said. “We already got the resources and support of Premier League productions but now we get the best of having the host broadcaster in England that has access to the first pick of games.”
NBCSN will air the transfer day deadline show, Norwich City vs. Liverpool and Chelsea vs. Manchester United. NBC has the Aston Villa vs. Tottenham match on Aug. 10. Arlo White, Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux return as NBC’s main broadcast team.