US broadcast channel NBC has revealed that viewership of the English Premier League has declined to 10.3% after the channel’s latest breakdown of coverage for the 2020/21 season. NBC will enter the final year of the contract worth $1 billion with the Premier League. The broadcaster endured a difficult 2020/21 seasons as they had the lowest viewers per match, which recorded an average of 414,000. It is the lowest since the broadcaster acquired the rights in 2015.
However, the figure doesn’t add the viewership figure of the newly launched Peacock digital platform and other Spanish- language channels. NBC also intends to transfer the Premier League content to the Peacock digital transform and also to the USA network after the shutting down of NBCSN pay-TV platform.
The fall in viewership is largely due to an increased match window as the need for the premier league to air almost every fixture in time slots for UK audience. Since there was a game in different time slots, it was an early morning kick-off for the US audience. Around 314 matches of 2020-21 were covered by the broadcaster which also includes 914 hours of the live match and studio coverage. Both signify the broadcast coverage of Premier League this season in the States.
Even though the viewership has decreased to a certain extent but the total audience delivery (TAD) for games on the network has recorded 879,000 viewership, a year-on-year increase of 2%. The network also secured the second-highest audience for Premier League match on pay-TV, which was a record with a TAD of 1.06 million when Liverpool and Manchester United played against each other.
The network’s highest ever audience for a Premier League game was with a TAD of 1.16 million for the Manchester derby game on 12th April 2015. The last five games of this fixture recorded a TAD of 1.4 million viewers whilst NBC Sport’s Premier League on YouTube reached a viewership of 1 billion in a single season. With NBC’s contract coming to an end next year, Premier League will be hoping to get a much more lucrative deal after La Liga secured a record deal for the overseas league with ESPN in the USA.