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NBC secures English Premier League soccer rights

Associated Press Modified: October 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm •  Published: October 28, 2012

LONDON (AP) — NBC's networks will televise the English Premier League under a $250 million, three-year deal that begins next season.

They will show every match from the world's most popular soccer league, taking coverage away from Fox and ESPN.

"The Barclays Premier League is the pre-eminent soccer league in the world, and is on the cusp of exponential popularity growth here in the U.S.," NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said Sunday.

The company picked up Major League Soccer last year and had success with its soccer broadcasts during the London Olympics.

Criticized for using tape delay with the Olympics because of time differences, NBC will not do so with Premier League games, Lazarus said. English-language broadcasts will primarily be on cable channel NBC Sports Network, with Telemundo and mun2 used for Spanish coverage.

NBC's English-language networks will televise six live games a week. One or two of the company's other cable channels will also be used, Lazarus said, but which has not been determined yet as schedules are evaluated. Other games will be streamed live online.

The company has been seeking to expand the audience of NBC Sports Network, which was renamed from Versus after its owner, Comcast, took over NBCUniversal.

"We think we're acquiring a set of assets that has unique affluent male appeal that's very attractive to advertisers and attractive to cable operators," Lazarus said.

And soccer is a potential area for growth with most sports broadcast rights currently under contract, though NBC recently signed a deal with the Formula One auto racing series.

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