Part of the reason everyone loves NBC’s coverage of Premier League soccer is because of how accessible it is. If your cable/satellite package includes NBC Sports Network then you can watch every single game in a season live either on TV or, for free, on NBC Sports Live Extra, their streaming service for desktop and mobile. Now, that’s all gone.
Tuesday morning, NBC announced the introduction of NBC Sports Gold Premier League Pass and presented it as the future of sports streaming. Digging a little deeper though, you can tell, that it’s nothing more than shameless price gouging. The new package eliminates the convenient Live Extra service and makes watching the 1/3 of Premier League games that were not on US television go from the low, low cost of free with an NBCSN subscription to $50, whether you have a subscription or not.
This new plan helps no one. Basically the people who have cable and enjoy the Premier League will now have to pay an extra fee to stream all of the 2017-18 games on top of their existing cable bill. This also doesn’t help cord cutters, because the new service only allows the streaming of games that aren’t shown live on television, so they will only be able to watch 1/3 of the league season and will miss the big glamour matches such as Liverpool/Man United and Arsenal/Tottenham.
NBC is also cancelling Extra Time, the overflow package that was free to DIRECTV and Dish Network subscribers. Extra Time was a service that showed the games on high-number auxiliary channels for those who didn’t want to go through the perceived hassle of streaming. Now, users will have no choice but to stream and to pay to do so. It appears as though the only way for you to legally watch all of your team’s games this coming season is to pay for cable and then pay again for the Gold Pass.
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