NBC Sports ‘push’ for 39th Premier League game in USA with Masters and Co. ‘very open’

Lewis Oldham
Premier League
NBC push for Premier League games in the USA.

NBC Sports are in talks to host Premier League games in the United States, with Richard Masters and Co. said to be “very receptive” to the idea.

Back in 2008, the Premier League attempted to introduce a 39th round of fixtures. These games would have been played across the world but they were forced to scrap these plans amid huge backlash.

Yet, according to NBC Sports’ president of acquisitions and partnerships – Jon Millar – these plans are now back on the table.

Premier League chief Richard Masters caused a stir last month when admitting that “the door looks ajar for matches abroad” and in an interview with The Athletic, Millar has discussed these proposals in detail.

NBC has been working with the Premier League since 2013 and they are one of the division’s leading partners as they contribute huge funds to contribute to the growth of the division.

“They’ve been very open and receptive to listening to me…”

When asked whether he would be keen to hold Premier League games in the United States, Millar answered:  “Very much so. And this is a point that we’ve had conversations with the Premier League and they’ve been very open and receptive to listening to me.”

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“We did the Premier League Summer Series (in pre-season) last year where we had six teams come over; Fulham, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Chelsea, Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford. We had nine games in seven days in five cities around America (and 265,000 fans were in attendance). It was great.

“All the teams that came over did really well, had a great experience, and really were able to interact with the fan base. And the Premier League saw that it was very successful.

“At some point in the future, I would love to see a couple of Premier League games open the season here in big stadiums on our opening weekend.

“And I know that’s something that we’ll continue to push for because I think that there’s an American audience here that would like to see regular season games but in the meantime, we’ll continue to work with the Premier League to do everything we can to make the games available to as many people as possible.”

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Discussing changes he would like to make to Premier League coverage, Millar revealed that he is looking to offer an improved insight into how managers communicate with their players during matches.

“There are two things that really bring the viewer and the fan closer to the action: access and audio. So whenever you can increase your access and build your stars up, that’s great. And people love to hear what Jurgen Klopp is saying to his team or what he’s saying on the sidelines,” Millar added.

“We realise there’s got to be some protection against that. But we think that those are the kind of things that we’re continuing to push the envelope on. And the Premier League is responsive. They’re really good when we come to them with ideas. Far be it for me to try to tell the Premier League what makes a good product. Their product is spectacular.

“But much like we do with the NFL, and golf, we constantly have conversations with our partners and brainstorm on things that we can do to make the games better and more appealing to try to grow our audience.”

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Millar was also asked about the Premier League’s handling of Profit and Sustainability breaches this season.

“It doesn’t question the value at all,” Miller insists. “What it says to me is that the people who are leading the Premier League are hands-on and going to enforce their rules.

“It’s important that the league has has gotten their hands around this, and they’re not afraid to impose discipline where they think it’s needed.

“I actually applaud them for the stance that they’re taking, even if it might move a team into a relegation zone or out of a Champions League or Europa League place. I would rather make sure that the league is run on a fair basis, that everybody plays by the same rules.”