NBCU Scores on Premier League Deal

By Steven Perlberg


HAT TRICK: NBCUniversal’s $950 million extension agreement to air English Premier League soccer through the 2021-2022 season is starting to look like one of the shrewdest deals in media. The Wall Street Journal reports that NBCU didn’t think the agreement would necessarily make money, but rather help round out its stable of sports media properties. But Premier League matches are about the only major sports property in the U.S. showing long-term growth prospects, with matches experiencing a 19% viewership increase over last season thus far (and a 150% increase compared with three years ago). As it happens, the Premier League audience is also one of the youngest among sports properties.


NEW LOGO: Speaking of sports, how long before U.S. athletes have the names of big brands splashed on their jerseys as they do in European soccer leagues? Maybe sooner than you think. WSJ reports that the NBA is planning to put a patch with the Kia logo on the upper left chest of players at All-Star games this year and next. It seems like a small promotion, sure, but it marks the first time that a “big four” American league will display a non-apparel logo during a game on a jersey, a space long thought of as sacrosanct.