A deal for American movie theaters to show live English Premier League matches was announced today by Fathom Events and NBC Sports Group. The showings (33 theaters in 14 states) will start with the opening of the Premier League season on Aug. 16. Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie will be among the many PL superstars that will be showcased.
Even before the World Cup, interest in the sport has been on the upturn, starting when NBC Sports Group began airing Premier League matches in the 2013-14 season. A record 32 million Americans tuned in to NBC’s 2013-14 Premier League broadcasts – more than doubling the 13.3 million who watched the previous season on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Soccer, according to The Nielsen Co.
Current key players to be featured during the game broadcasts include:
Sergio Aguero, from Argentina, Manchester City;
Eden Hazard, fresh from playing with Belgium in the FIFA World Cup, Chelsea;
Steven Gerrard of Liverpool, hailed by many as one of the greatest English midfielders in history, who just retired from international competition;
Tim Howard, heroic and record-breaking goalkeeper for the USA, who tends goal for Everton;
Mesut Ozil, a standout on Germany’s national team who was Arsenal’s club-record signing last season;
Robin van Persie, the exciting striker from the Netherlands who also plays for Manchester United;
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United and England hero, possible next captain;
Daniel Sturridge, born in Birmingham in England’s midlands, who is a striker for Liverpool;
Yaya Toure, of Ivory Coast, is a powerful midfielder for Manchester City;
John Terry, a former England international and the current captain of Chelsea;
“It’s clear from the recent nationwide outpouring of support for team USA in the World Cup that more and more Americans are embracing and following this remarkable sport,” said Fathom Events CEO John Rubey.
“In this ‘first-ever’ cinema sports series partnership with NBC Sports Group, fans in theaters can expect to get the full league experience as though they were at one of the famed stadiums in the United Kingdom.”
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports and Yahoo! He’s been a guest on news talk shows all across the world and serves as a special contributor to the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition. Banks has been featured in numerous media outlets including NFL.com, Forbes, Bleacher Report, Deadspin, ESPN, NBC, CBS, the History Channel and more. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks