NBC SPORTS GROUP TO PRESENT MORE THAN 10 HOURS OF DEW TOUR LOS ANGELES COVERAGE ACROSS NBC, NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA AND DEWTOUR.COM

Coverage of Dew Tour Los Angeles Begins Friday at 7 p.m. ET on DewTour.com

First All-Skateboarding Event Descends on Downtown Los Angeles

Live Coverage of Street and Vert Skateboarding Competitions From Ace Hotel

Stamford, Conn. – August 12, 2015 – NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2015 Dew Tour continues Friday at 7 p.m. ET on DewTour.com, when the Dew Tour hits the streets of Los Angeles for three days of skateboarding-only competition. Featuring a strong collection of the world’s best skateboard athletes, NBC Sports Group will present more than six hours of coverage across DewTour.com, and four hours of coverage on NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra, beginning August 30 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Friday’s coverage on DewTour.com will feature skateboard vert, returning for a record 11th consecutive year at the Dew Tour. Five-time Dew Tour Skateboard Vert Champion Pierre-Luc Gagnon will look to defend his 2014 title against all-star veterans Bob Burnquist, Bucky Lasek and Andy McDonald, as well as a strong collection of young talent including Alex Perelson.

The action continues Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on DewTour.com, with Dew Tour Los Angeles’ skateboard street competition. Mountain Dew athletes Paul Rodriguez, Trevor Colden and Sean Malto lead an impressive roster of athletes that also includes 2014 Dew Tour Champion Louie Lopez.

The epic weekend will culminate with the Dew Tour’s skateboard streetstyle competition at 4 p.m. ET on DewTour.com. Dew Tour Chicago winner Curren Caples looks to cap off an incredible summer with a second streetstyle victory of the season, but will be challenged by two-time streetstyle champion Ryan Sheckler, as well as 2014 Dew Tour Brooklyn winner Trevor Colden.

NBC and NBC Sports Live Extra will present Dew Tour Los Angeles in four one-hour specials airing on Sunday, August 30, at 12:30 p.m. ET (Skateboard Street Final), Saturday, September 5, at 1:30 p.m. ET (Skateboard Streetstyle Final), Saturday, September 12, at 3 p.m. ET (Skateboard Vert Final), and Sunday, October 4, at 1:30 p.m. ET (Best of Dew Tour Los Angeles). DewTour.com, the Dew Tour’s dedicated 24/7 digital platform, will stream live competitions and bring consumers exclusive Dew Tour action, interviews and behind-the-scenes access on desktops, mobile device and tablets.

For the first time ever, the Dew Tour will focus exclusively on the sport, lifestyle, art, music and culture of skateboarding. Centered around the Ace Hotel, Dew Tour Los Angeles will feature competitions in street, vert and the popular streetstyle discipline created by the Dew Tour three years ago. The 2015 streetstyle competition will take place in downtown Los Angeles on Broadway Street between Temple Street and 1st Street.

DEW TOUR LOS ANGELES BROADCAST AND LIVE STREAM SCHEDULE

DATE TIME COVERAGE PLATFORM
Friday, Aug. 14 7 p.m. Skateboard Vert Final DewTour.com
Saturday, Aug. 15 7 p.m. Skateboard Street Final Dew Tour.com
Sunday, Aug. 16 4 p.m. Skateboard Streetstyle Final DewTour.com
Sunday, Aug. 30 12:30 p.m. Skateboard Street Final NBC / NBC Sports LiveExtra
Saturday, Sept. 5 1:30 p.m. Skateboard Streetstyle Final NBC / NBC Sports LiveExtra
Saturday, Sept. 12 3 p.m. Skateboard Vert Final NBC / NBC Sports LiveExtra
Sunday, Oct. 4 1:30 p.m. Best of Dew Tour Los Angeles NBC / NBC Sports LiveExtra

*All times listed are ET

ABOUT DEW TOUR

The Dew Tour consists of three marquee events, featuring disciplines across BMX, skateboard, freeski and snowboard (superpipe and slopestyle). Dew Tour events are premium action sports and lifestyle festivals combining the best in competitions along with the Dew Tour Experience, live music performances and lifestyle showcases. The Dew Tour is broadcast on NBC, and streamed live on DewTour.com and NBC Sports Live Extra. The Dew Tour is also distributed domestically on Universal HD and Comcast SportsNet, and internationally on TVA, Fox Sports Australia, Extreme Sports Channel, ProSieben, DR and Sky TV. Dew Tour partners include Mountain Dew (tour title sponsor), Paul Mitchell, Bud Light, SQUATCH Snack Sticks, Sony Mobile Communications, Verizon Wireless, Airwalk, MIKE AND IKE® Candy and U.S. Army. More information can be found at www.DewTour.com.

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

RYAN SEACREST NAMED LATE NIGHT HOST FOR NBC’S RIO OLYMPICS COVERAGE

Seacrest Returns to NBC Olympics after Serving as Special Correspondent for 2012 London Games

2012 SUMMER OLYMPICS -- Pictured: (l-r) Ryan Seacrest, Bob Costas, Al Michaels -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

2012 SUMMER OLYMPICS — Pictured: (l-r) Ryan Seacrest, Bob Costas, Al Michaels — (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC)

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 12, 2015 – With just under a year to go until the Opening Ceremony, NBC Olympics announced today that Ryan Seacrest will serve as host for NBC’s late night coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Seacrest served as a correspondent for NBC’s coverage of the 2012 London Games, which was the most-watched television event in U.S. history with more than 217 million viewers. In London, Seacrest interviewed U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps and was one of the hosts of the Closing Ceremony.

“The late night atmosphere will be electric,” said Jim Bell, Executive Producer, NBC Olympics. “And we’re thrilled to have Ryan Seacrest in the middle of it all capturing Rio’s unique flavor, talking to Olympic athletes, and telling the stories of the day.”

“Joining the NBC Olympics team at the 2012 London Games was an exhilarating experience,” said Seacrest. “I appreciate Jim Bell’s confidence, along with everyone at NBC Sports. I can’t wait to reunite with the team of broadcasters and producers for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and I look forward to hosting the live late night show.”

Ryan Seacrest is an internationally acclaimed host and producer for some of the most popular shows on broadcast and cable television, as well as on nationally-syndicated radio and local radio.

Seacrest is host of the primetime talent showcase “American Idol” on Fox, as well as host and executive producer of ABC’s annual New Year’s Eve program, “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” He also has an agreement with NBCUniversal that includes on-air broadcasting and producing duties across the NBC and E! Networks, including serving as host and producer of the E! Live from the Red Carpet awards programs. On radio, Seacrest is host of “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” his market-topping #1 nationally syndicated LA morning drive-time show for iHeartMedia’s 102.7 KIIS-FM, as well as the nationally-syndicated “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” “American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest,” and the weekday vignette “Direct from Hollywood.”

Seacrest is also a successful entrepreneur with an Emmy-winning television production company, a men’s tailored clothing and accessories collection (Ryan Seacrest Distinction), and is an investor in several media and technology companies. His philanthropic efforts are focused on youth-oriented initiatives, including serving as Chairman of The Ryan Seacrest Foundation and Honorary Chair of the Grammy Foundation. The Ryan Seacrest Foundation will have 10 broadcast media centers – Seacrest Studios – in pediatric hospitals in cities across the country by the end of 2015. He is also on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

THE OLYMPICS BEGIN AUGUST 5, 2016

About NBC Olympics

A division of NBC Sports Group, NBC Olympics is responsible for producing, programming and promoting NBCUniversal’s Olympic coverage. It is renowned for its unsurpassed Olympic heritage, award-winning production, and ability to aggregate the largest audiences in U.S. television history. The 2012 London Olympics were watched by 217 million Americans, making it the most-watched event in U.S. television history.

Having produced every Summer Olympics since Seoul in 1988 and every Winter Olympics since Salt Lake City in 2002, the networks of NBCUniversal are synonymous with the Games in the United States. NBCUniversal has the U.S. media rights on all platforms to all Olympic Games through 2032. At the conclusion of the 2032 Games, NBCUniversal will have presented 23 total Olympic Games and 17 consecutive, the most for a U.S. media company in both categories.

NBC has won an unprecedented 95 Emmy Awards for its Olympics coverage, as well as a prestigious Peabody Award for its presentation of the Beijing Opening Ceremony in 2008, which USA Today said was “the best overall Olympic experience ever provided by a U.S. network.”

–Rio 2016–

5 DAYS UNTIL PREMIERE OF NEW NBCSN AUTOMOTIVE REALITY SERIES – MOBSTEEL – THIS SUNDAY AT 6 P.M. ET

New Series Follows Detroit-Based Custom Car Shop That Transforms Vintage American Cars into Modern-Day Street Machines

Sunday’s Series Premiere Features 1953 Packard and Detroit’s Iconic Packard Automotive Plant

Mobsteel Debuts Sunday on NBCSN Immediately Following NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing from Michigan

New Episodes Air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN

STAMFORD, Conn. – Aug. 11, 2015 – In five days, NBCSN will present the series premiere of Mobsteel, the new automotive reality series which follows a Detroit-based custom car shop that transforms vintage American cars into modern-day street machines. The show debuts this Sunday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m. ET, immediately following NBCSN’s coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing from Michigan International Speedway.

Mobsteel follows founder Adam Genei and his team of custom-car specialists, including his wife Pam Genei, as they restore vehicles ranging from the finest relics of the American automotive boom, to an old International Harvester Loadstar, and much more. Mobsteel is an existing custom-car shop that was founded more than 10 years ago, using vintage parts and Detroit steel to bring these ancient American cars back to life.

Sunday’s series premiere focuses on the restoration of a 1953 Packard, a car that was “reserved for the elite of the elite.” It includes a trip to the old Packard Automotive Plant to search for vintage parts, as well as a meeting with Allan Hill, the custodian of the plant for more than nine years.

New episodes will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN following Sunday’s series premiere, with encore presentations of the prior week’s episode airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.  Next Wednesday’s episode focuses on a 1963 Lincoln Continental that the team works to restore for a Detroit-area second-generation pipefitter who’s looking for the Mobsteel car of his dreams. Click here to see a preview of what’s coming up this season on Mobsteel.

In addition to Adam and Pam Genei, the Mobsteel team is comprised of Steve “Steve-O” Ryan (The Right Hand Man), Doug “Wheatbread” Hanes (The Builder), and Ron Coan (The Painter). Mobsteel is produced by Hoff Productions. Michael Hoff and Adam Moyer are executive producers.

Mobsteel complements NBC Sports Group’s robust catalogue of motorsports properties that exceeds 1,400 programming hours in 2015, including NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula One, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, Red Bull Global RallyCross and Mecum Auctions.

Click here for more information on Mobsteel, including cast bios, video content and promotional photos.


ABOUT NBCSN

NBCSN, part of the NBC Sports Group, is a 24/7/365 sports network dedicated to serving passionate sports fans. Now in more than 85 million homes, the Emmy Award-winning network is the cable television home of the Summer and Winter Olympics, National Hockey League (NHL), Premier League, NASCAR, Formula One, IndyCar, Mecum Auctions, Tour de France, and the America’s Cup. In addition, NBCSN features college football, college basketball, college hockey, cycling, outdoor programming, horse racing surrounding the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup, Premier Boxing Champions, Ironman, the Dew Tour and USA Sevens Rugby. The network is also home to original programs such as NFL Turning Point, Pro Football Talk, The Dan Patrick Show, Men in Blazers, and NHL Rivals, as well as original motorsports programming, including NASCAR America, Mecum Dealmakers, /DRIVE on NBCSN and Off the Grid.  NBCSN is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

NBC’S VIKINGS-STEELERS NFL/HALL OF FAME GAME IS MOST-WATCHED NFL PRESEASON GAME IN 5 YEARS

Game Averages 11 Million Viewers – Up 29% From Last Year & Ranks as Most-Watched Sporting Event since Women’s World Cup Final

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 11, 2015 – NBC’s telecast of the Minnesota Vikings’ 14-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday night’s NFL/Hall of Fame Game averaged 11.0 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched preseason NFL game on any network in five years, since NBC’s telecast of the 2010 NFL/Hall of Fame Game (11.4 million for Bengals-Cowboys), according to official national ratings released today by The Nielsen Company.

Vikings-Steelers topped last year’s NFL/Hall of Fame Game telecast by 29% (8.5 million viewers for Giants-Bills) and ranks as the most-watched sporting event since the Women’s World Cup Final on July 5, which featured the victorious U.S. team (Fox, 22.3 million viewers).

The telecast (8:11-11 p.m. ET), which earned a 6.6/12 U.S. household rating, led NBC to Sunday primetime victories in household rating, viewership and the Adult 18-49 demographic.

NBC’s second preseason game will air on Sunday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. ET and features wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals visiting quarterback Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders.

NBC TO BROADCAST 19 NFL GAMES IN 2015: As part of the agreement NBC signed with the NFL in December 2011, NBC, for the fourth straight season, will broadcast 19 regular-season games, including 17 regular-season Sunday Night Football games, NFL Kickoff 2015, and the annual Thanksgiving night game. NBC’s original Sunday Night Football agreement, which began in 2006, included 17 regular-season games. It was increased to 18 games in 2010.

SNF IS NO. 1 PRIMETIME PROGRAM ON TELEVISION: For four consecutive full television seasons, NBC’s Sunday Night Football has finished as the No. 1 show in primetime in household rating, viewership and the coveted Adult 18-49 demographic, based on live plus same day data from The Nielsen Company (September-May). This marks the only four times on record that a sports series has been the highest-rated and most-watched show of the primetime TV season.  For the 2014-2015 primetime television season, Sunday Night Football ranked as the highest-rated (12.5 HH rating), most-watched show (21.3 million, viewers 2+), and the No. 1 program in the key Adults 18-49 demographic (7.7 rating).

2015 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Thurs. Sept. 10 NFL Kickoff Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
Sun. Sept. 13 Week 1 New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Sun. Sept. 20 Week 2 Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers
Sun. Sept. 27 Week 3 Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions
Sun. Oct. 4 Week 4 Dallas Cowboys at New Orleans Saints
*Sun. Oct. 11 Week 5 San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants
*Sun. Oct. 18 Week 6 New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts
*Sun. Oct. 25 Week 7 Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers
*Sun. Nov. 1 Week 8 Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos
*Sun. Nov. 8 Week 9 Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
*Sun. Nov. 15 Week 10 Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
*Sun. Nov. 22 Week 11 Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
**Thurs. Nov. 26 Week 12 Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
*Sun. Nov. 29 Week 12 New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
*Sun. Dec. 6 Week 13 Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers
*Sun. Dec. 13 Week 14 Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens
*Sun. Dec. 20 Week 15 Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers
*Sun. Dec. 27 Week 16 Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
*Sun. Jan. 3 Week 17 TBD

*Flex Week

** Thanksgiving Night Game

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

U.S. RECORD 4.2 MILLION TUNE IN TO NBC SPORTS GROUP’S PREMIER LEAGUE OPENING WEEKEND COVERAGE — UP 25% FROM ‘14

NBC Broadcast of Chelsea-Swansea City is Most-Watched Opening Weekend Match in U.S. History

Telecast of Manchester United-Tottenham is Most-Watched Early Match on NBCSN

Fans streamed more than 14.8 million minutes via NBC Sports Live Extra – Best-Ever for a Premier League Weekend

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 11, 2015 – NBC Sports Group posted record-setting numbers this past weekend for its exclusive coverage of the Premier League on NBC, NBCSN, and USA Network, the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package and the NBC Sports Live Extra live streaming product.

More than 4.2 million people tuned in to six telecasts on NBC, NBCSN and USA Saturday and Sunday – the most ever for an opening Premier League weekend in the U.S., and up 25% from the 3.3 million total for five games on NBC and NBCSN last year. – Source: Nielsen Media Research, NTI Live+Same Day data.

Additional milestones from NBC Sports Group’s opening weekend Premier League coverage:

  • Most-Watched Opening Weekend Match: Saturday’s Chelsea-Swansea City match on NBC averaged 1 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched opening weekend game in U.S. history, topping by 14% last year’s opening weekend match on NBC (Arsenal v. Crystal Palace, 885,000).
  • Most-Watched Early Match on NBCSN: Saturday’s Manchester United-Tottenham match ranked as the most-watched early window Premier League game ever on NBCSN (626,000 viewers). In addition, Manchester United-Tottenham is the most-watched opening weekend match on cable in U.S. history, topping by 22% last year’s opening weekend Newcastle v. Manchester City match on NBCSN (514,000 viewers).
  • More than 14.8 Million Minutes Streamed: Fans streamed more than 14.8 million minutes of action – best-ever for a Premier League weekend (Sat-Mon) – via NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected devices, a 33% increase from last year’s 11.2 million minutes. Saturday’s Chelsea-Swansea City match ranks as the third-best NBC Premier League match ever streamed in unique users.

TOP MARKETS FOR OPENING WEEKEND PREMIER LEAGUE COVERAGE:

(Average across all six games on NBC, NBCSN, and USA)

Rank Metered Market
1 Washington, DC
2 Columbus, OH
3 Hartford & New Haven
4 Tulsa
5 Dallas
5 Philadelphia
7 Miami
8 Tampa
9 Boston
9 New York
11 Norfolk
11 Indianapolis
13 Birmingham
14 West Palm Beach
14 Baltimore

NBC Sports Group’s exclusive Premier League coverage continues this Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET with Premier League Live, followed by Aston Villa v. Manchester United on NBCSN.

NBC Sports Group will once again make all 380 games from the Premier League available in the United States on the networks of NBCUniversal, on the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package, and streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra. Every MVPD has the option to carry every Premier League match on live television and via live streaming at no additional cost to consumers. All games will be preceded and followed by Premier League Live pre- and post-match shows from the NBC Sports Group International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.

– NBC SPORTS GROUP –

TRANSCRIPT: NBC SPORTS GROUP’S PREMIER LEAGUE CONFERENCE CALL

MARK LAZARUS:  Hello, everybody, and thanks for joining us.  This is a big day for us with today’s six‑year extension announcement for the Premier League in addition to this morning’s announcement of a long‑term agreement with the Preakness.

With today’s six‑year extension, we are thrilled that the Premier League will be part of our family on all of our platforms through the year 2022.  And that includes this current season, which, as you know, just launched this weekend, seven seasons with the Premier League.

You do the math, that’s an additional 2,280 matches over the next six years plus hours of other related content, shoulder programming, original content, library programming, which we have used extensively and will continue to use.  We will continue to innovate with this product.  It gives us nine months of weekend, morning and early afternoon programming that has become synonymous with NBC Sports, and built what we believe is a real destination for our growing fan base in the U.S.

We are thrilled that over this period of time, we’ll be able to monetize these rights.  There’s a complete set of rights here across all forms of media and working with the Premier League has been a tremendous pleasure for us.  Really led on our team by Jon Miller, our president of programming, and Pierre Moossa, our producer.

We built a tremendous relationship with our counterparts at the Premier League, and they have awarded us and trusted us with their product for the next six years – seven seasons, including this one – and we couldn’t be prouder.

Can you cite the ways that Premier League has helped define NBCSN?

MARK LAZARUS:  Well, I think that when you look at the quantity of live events, the live hours, and the fact that it is largely weekend mornings, it has set us as a weekend destination.

And it also has given us a third pillar in our live sports exclusive strategy; one being Premier League, two being NHL ‑‑ and really first has always been NHL, which has been with us the longest — and third being motorsports with IndyCar exclusively on cable, the second half of the NASCAR season, and Formula 1, exclusively.

We are a destination for live sports, and we think that that has helped define us.  We also believe that the type of programming that is exclusive, and that we are the only ones who can provide it to the fan bases that love it, has differentiated us from our competition.

With so many sports rights now in very long‑term deals, there’s not a whole lot of major events that are coming up to renew.  How especially valuable is Premier League as something that, one, is available, but two, that it’s also growing?

MARK LAZARUS:  Well, we think first, that it’s growing; second, that it’s got a very young audience profile, a very affluent audience profile.  Also, the exclusivity factor, that we are the only media company that will be able to exhibit this and utilize this on all of our platforms.

And third, really, the term; the ability to now have a six‑year term in what historically has only been a property that was available for three years, we found tremendously valuable and important.

We are very excited by all of those elements, and we think it brings value to the fans and the growing fan base to our distribution partners, whether they are cable operators, satellite providers or broadcast affiliates; and to the marketing community that is looking for this young, affluent audience that is becoming more and more exclusive in television and in television sports.

What dates specifically did you make this bid and when did you specifically find out that NBC had been awarded the rights?

MARK LAZARUS:  Well, the official bids were due last Thursday, and we worked through the weekend. I’m not going to be able to tell you specifics, but we worked through the weekend to try to secure the deal.

And is it your intention heading forward that the talent that is in place today on the Premier League will be the talent in place for the new six‑year extension?

MARK LAZARUS:  Without committing or hurting our negotiating ability, we are very pleased with the talent that Pierre and Sam Flood have put together.  We always evaluate our talent, but suffice to say we are extremely happy with the group we have. Part of what they have brought, the presentation that they helped us deliver, is part of the recognition that I think we are being rewarded for here by being granted this extension.

You used the phrase “complete set of rights.”  To what degree do you have additional digital rights that perhaps you didn’t have previously and to what degree does acquisition of a more complete set of rights help ensure rights holders against increasing dislocations or changes in terms of the way the people are consuming sports these days?

MARK LAZARUS:  First, it’s not necessarily a more compete set of rights than we have currently in our deal.  But, what the Premier League does, is it provides a complete set of rights for those in the territory that you’re bidding in.

So, we are protected from the consumer behavioral change and how they are going to consume.  Whether it’s digital, whether it’s television, whether it’s a pay‑for situation or whether it’s free over the air, we will have the ability, as long as we work within certain parameters that we have committed to, and we will work on our programming plan each year with the Premier League.

This is, in a way, similar to the Olympics. No matter what technologies get invented between now and over the next seven years, we paid for the right to try to monetize this product against whatever form of viewership consumers are using.  And that gives us great comfort in buying rights.

And the other aspects of it, and you live with it in Houston with regional sports networks; there is no regional sports network.  There’s really just the national broadcast.  So, the exclusivity, we think, has heightened value.

Do the terms ‑‑ the way things are changing ‑‑ for any set of negotiations, it’s increasingly critical to make sure that you have all potential platforms sewed up what you’re doing a rights deal.

MARK LAZARUS:  Well, it is.  Our desire would be to have these complete set of rights for every property, but every property is different and different leagues either retain or bifurcate rights in different ways. We have to judge and make value determinations based on the available set of rights, and that’s what we did here.

I was wondering, could you walk us through how competitive the bidding process was, how many rounds it took until the deal was finished, and is it possible ‑‑ what the winning bid was?

MARK LAZARUS:  Well, I can’t talk about the numbers.  That’s not part of the agreement with us and the PL.  And in terms of number of rounds, as I said earlier, we submitted our bid on Thursday morning.  We didn’t hear back for a couple of days, but we worked through the weekend.  We had a couple of points of contact.

I don’t know if it’s considered a single round, multiple rounds.  I didn’t get into semantics.  We were just happy to be having a discussion and be able to bring it to a successful conclusion.

In terms of the competition, we know what we bred.  We know some of what we have heard in the industry, but that’s really a better question for Richard Scudamore and for the PL.  We don’t know the amount of competition that truly existed or what it was made up of.

Outside of the obvious of making all of the games available on linear and digital platform over the past couple years, what is it you feel that the Premier League has been particularly pleased with in terms of NBC Sports’ production and coverage of their property?

MARK LAZARUS:  I think a couple things.  First, I think our marketing and promotion, and that we have emphasized all 20 teams, and that we are not just taking the top three or four.  We are showing that this is a league of 20 teams and that they all have a chance to get going and that adds value to the League.

I think the way we run multiple matches; “Championship Sunday,” where we run all ten matches; the creativity in our marketing; the original programming to support the matches.

So it’s not really one thing.  I think it’s just an overall working relationship, again spearheaded by Jon Miller and Pierre Moossa and their teams; that there’s a real spirit of how we’re trying to grow this.

You know, when we made our bid three years ago, we said to Richard, you know, if we are successful, we know we are going to have to pay more money to retain these rights.  That has happened.  That has happened, and we are proud that it was successful in growing the league, because we have grown and benefitted, as well.

That spirit of partnership that we showed them, they have clearly reciprocated with us in terms of how they deal with us; the access that we get to their teams, to their managers, to their ownership.  It’s a great spirit of partnership.

Does this open the door in any more significant of a way of increased production in investment, maybe more trips over to England for the on‑site coverage like you did last year?

          MARK LAZARUS:  Certainly does.  I think that investment, another thing that we did making that commitment to go over there, I think opened a lot of eyes for them.  And certainly, having this now for seven more seasons, gives us the ability to continue to invest.  In a three‑year cycle, the minute you sign, you sort of feel like you’re running for office again.  We are in office for a little while now, so we can continue to invest.

A couple of questions.  One piggybacking off the previous question.  Maybe take a moment and describe the actual studio setup in Stamford versus anything you might have over in England.  And curious in terms of how you folks plan to dovetail, if at you will, the PL coverage versus Sunday Night Football.  To what degree does having those two properties, are you able to build them both up and do some cross‑marketing?

MARK LAZARUS:  Well, first in, terms of what we have in Stamford, we have a dedicated studio and control room.  We bring in every team to Stamford and our director and producer, they are talking to talent and producers, which is a much smaller group, who are on site.  We work with PL productions.  We take their feeds in.  We supplement them.  We complement them with what we call unilateral feeds or unilateral cameras.  It’s really quite an extensive operation at Stamford; if you were to be in Stamford on a Saturday morning at 5:30 am, you would feel like you’re in the middle of Times Square with all of the activity that’s going on getting ready for a weekend of Premier League.

As relates to how we cross‑promote, I feel one of the hallmarks of NBC Sports is making big events bigger.  We have what we call our “Championship Season,” which has some golf, the Premier League, the Solheim Cup, the Triple Crown to The French Open to the Tour de France, all wrapped up in it.  And it’s really quite a great platform.

We use all of our properties to promote each other.  And I think one of the big things, when we had the Super Bowl last year, we took our Premier League talent to the Super Bowl to work from there. Our studio programming tied it into the Super Bowl to not only promote what we are doing in Phoenix with the Super Bowl, but also the Premier League.  And we will not stop doing that.  It’s, again, one of the hallmarks of our company to be the biggest and strongest promotor of our partners and properties. It’s why we do believe when events come to us, we help grow their ratings and we have some great history to support that.

And you had a great first weekend of soccer, too.  Should be pretty exciting.

MARK LAZARUS:  We sure did.  Thank you for noticing that.

Is this a deal where you have minimal production costs because you take in their feed?  Does that make this deal financially more viable for you than if you had to pay for one or more of the feeds you take in?

MARK LAZARUS:  Certainly there is some efficiency to taking feeds the way we are able to take, and the fact that they are all produced already over there.  So there is an efficiency to that.

But I wouldn’t say we are skimping, and you see what we put into production.  We supplement and we take two or three games a week that we really add a lot to.  But certainly there’s some inherited efficiencies to the way this is produced on a global basis.

The deal you’ve done over the last couple years to provide for the online streaming ‑‑ and also the TV channels.  Most of the deals that you have done have been pretty straightforward; either they take one or the other, or hopefully both.  But with one of your marquis partners, which is Comcast, they have a bit of a different deal they put together where they put these overflow TV channels on a digital TV platform and there’s been a lot of complaints about it not working the same way as other providers have offered it, and I know your ability to influence Comcast is limited.  But given what you know about what they have done, as you try to go out and negotiate with other providers or maybe even with some of the ones that you have to extend deals, can you give us any insight into what those conversations are like and how you try to convince them to take the full package instead of maybe tweaking it as Comcast has done and only taking half of it?

MARK LAZARUS:  First, when we did these deals originally, a couple of years ago, it was new to all of us.  So, we went through a learning process.  Now, when we come back to the market and bring these games back with whatever form we are going to do over the next year or so, we’ll obviously come through with a lot more experience, as will they.

I think this is an MVPD-by-MVPD discussion.  Comcast chose to approach it one way; whether it’s Cablevision or Charter or Time Warner have chosen another way.  I think it’s really a better question for them than for us.

But certainly, our preference is for the broad distribution and ease of access both for television and online, and that’s what we have been pushing as what we are bringing to the fans.  I think we have a credibility with the fans and we don’t want that to wane.  So, we will work with all of the MVPDs to try to bring the best customer experience we can.

If I can follow‑up really quickly.  In the release that they mentioned of live stream on NBC Sports Live Extra or other platform, Live Extra has been such an important part of what you have done, and having that be exclusively through authentication, do you foresee a day where there might be an over the top subscription package?

MARK LAZARUS:  I don’t rule anything out.  Seven years in media terms is a long time.  We wanted to be upfront in our release that as media evolves, we will be in a position to evolve with it and that’s what this complete set of rights allows us.

For right now, we are going to approach it the exact same way we have for the last two seasons.

Did you submit a three‑year bid or did you just submit a six?  And what are your ratings expectations going forward, and with the Women’s World Cup finals, the record‑setting ‑‑ does that change your perspective?  Do you think that was an outlier?

MARK LAZARUS:  First, as was prescribed in the tender, we did submit both the three‑year and the six‑year.

The World Cup, the women’s World Cup, we didn’t look at it ‑‑ it didn’t affect our thinking towards this property or this bid.  We as a company are involved with the World Cup and FIFA on the Spanish language side.

So Telemundo and NBC UNIVERSO also had great success in women’s World Cup in Spanish language. We are very bullish on the men’s game from a FIFA point of view off into the future.

But that did not impact this.  We have always believed in this sport, this particular league, the finest in the world, had a growth trajectory and we grew nearly 100 percent our first year.  We grew another nine percent our second year, and we are off to a great start this year.  We have to be realistic, but I think aggressive goals for this sport to continue to grow in the high single, double‑digit area for this season.  We think that there’s still plenty of headroom for this property to grow from an audience point of view, both on television and digital.

I wanted to ask in terms of the current deal, has it been economically profitable for NBC, and looking ahead, can you make the new deal property?

          MARK LAZARUS:  We are a for‑profit business.  So we only try to do deals that are only going to help us build value for our company and our shareholders.

We look at it not necessarily on this deal discretely.  We look at what it does for the power of our sports portfolio and for our corporate portfolio.  And when you put this together with hockey, NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, the Olympics, Tour de France, the NFL, this helps ‑‑ is another really, really strong addition for our portfolio. We have had much success with it in the first two seasons, and that gave us the confidence to be aggressive and to make a new deal and a long‑term deal. We have the expectation that this will continue to pay off for our company.

Obviously now you won the rights, but I’m curious, given that you know some big players were going to bid, FOX, I don’t know if ESPN bid, they may have.  Do you give ‑‑ your level of confidence on retaining prior to receiving the news that you ended up retaining?

MARK LAZARUS:  I was absolutely nervous.  I had every confidence that if we were in the ballpark, we were going to have an opportunity, and there was nothing that led me to that other than the relationship and the trust that our team has built with the Premier League.

We took nothing for granted.  But I spent a very anxious Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, until dialogue became clear that we were going to have the ability to negotiate to conclusion.

Nervous; anxious; but respectful of the process.  Never did I have a sense that we were going to win until I was actually told that ‘you guys are going to win.’

NBC SPORTS GROUP AGREES TO 6-YEAR EXTENSION TO REMAIN THE EXCLUSIVE U.S. HOME OF THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Partnership Extends Through 2021-22 Premier League Season

All 380 Matches Will Continue To Be Made Available Annually On Multiple NBCUniversal Platforms

STAMFORD, Conn. — August 10, 2015 – NBC Sports Group and the Premier League have reached a new six-year agreement by which NBC Sports Group will continue as the exclusive multi-platform media home of the Premier League in the United States through the 2021-22 season, it was announced today.

As per the agreement, NBC Sports Group will continue to make all 380 Premier League matches available to fans – via NBCUniversal’s NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, TELEMUNDO and NBC UNIVERSO linear channels, plus the Premier League Extra Time TV package – and via live stream on NBC Sports Live Extra, or other platforms.

“We are excited to continue our tremendous partnership with the Premier League, and we look forward to presenting the world’s finest soccer league to Americans for many years to come,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “As sports fans, there’s nothing better than waking up on a weekend morning to live and relevant events, and we at NBC Sports are thrilled to continue to be this outlet for the fast-growing Premier League fan base.”

“NBC Sports has done a fantastic job broadcasting the Barclays Premier League for the last two seasons and we are extremely pleased that they have invested in our U.S. rights for seasons 2016-17 to 2021-22,” said Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore. “Outstanding production, expert analysis, and wide audience reach have all been beyond expectations. First-rate creative marketing and promotional campaigns have driven interest in our clubs, and the competition as a whole, to unprecedented levels. NBC Sports has committed to extend partnership activation and promotion of clubs in future seasons – a significant factor in the awarding of these rights – and we look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with them for the next seven years.”

On the strength of numerous innovations and programming initiatives – including “Tactical Cam,” THE MEN IN BLAZERS SHOW, multiple Breakaway whip-around shows, road trips to the U.K. and NBC’s Super Bowl coverage, and The 2 Robbies “Football” Show — NBC Sports Group in May concluded its second season of Premier League coverage with viewership and consumption milestones.

Premier League viewership on NBC and NBCSN averaged a record 479,000 viewers last season — up 9% from the record NBC Sports Group set during its debut covering the Premier League in 2013-14 (438,000 viewers).  In addition, viewers consumed a record total of 317 million minutes of live Premier League action via NBC Sports Live Extra during the 2014-15 season – up 22% from the prior season.

ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP

When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, Royal & Ancient, Premier League, Churchill Downs, NYRA, Maryland Jockey Club, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

NBC SPORTS GROUP CHAIRMAN MARK LAZARUS MEDIA AVAILABILITY TODAY, MON., AUG. 10 AT 1:30 P.M. ET

Dial 719-325-2308 to Participate

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 10, 2015 – NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus will hold a media conference call today Monday, August 10 at 1:30 p.m. ET to discuss NBC Sports Group’s new six-year agreement with the Premier League.

Dial 719-325-2308 to participate; conference call ID 7720025.

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

NBC SPORTS GROUP LOCKS UP SECOND LEG OF TRIPLE CROWN, THE PREAKNESS STAKES, IN LONG-TERM EXTENSION

All Triple Crown Races on NBC for Foreseeable Future – Preakness Deal Joins Recent Long-Term Belmont Stakes Extension & 10-Year Kentucky Derby Deal

Long-Term Extension with Maryland Jockey Club Includes Black-Eyed Susan Featured on NBCSN during Preakness Week

STAMFORD, Conn. – August 10, 2015 – NBC Sports Group and the Maryland Jockey Club have reached a long-term agreement extending NBC Sports Group’s exclusive rights to the Preakness Stakes, it was announced today.

The long-term renewal extends the partnership for the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, which began in 2001. The extension includes multiplatform rights to the Preakness Stakes, undercard on Preakness Saturday, and Black-Eyed Susan during Preakness week, which will be televised on NBC and NBCSN and featured on NBC’s digital platforms.

NBC Sports Group now has exclusive, long-term media agreements for all of the Triple Crown races – Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes.

NBC Sports International will continue to distribute NBC’s coverage of the Preakness Stakes globally through the term of the deal. NBC Sports Radio will broadcast the Preakness Stakes through the term of the deal as well.

“We are excited to extend our partnership with the Maryland Jockey Club for the Preakness Stakes,” said NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus. “The second jewel of the Triple Crown is integral to our Championship Season, and now gives us long-term agreements with all of the Triple Crown races. This extension is a testament to the strength of the relationship between the Maryland Jockey Club and NBC Sports Group, and underscores NBC’s commitment to the sport of horse racing.”

“The Stronach Group is delighted to continue its long relationship with the NBC Sports Group,” said Alon Ossip, Chief Executive Officer of The Stronach Group, parent company of the Maryland Jockey Club. “This long-term agreement will allow us to build the Preakness, Black-Eyed Susan, Pimlico Special and Preakness week activities through multiple channels to reach a wider audience. The Stronach Group is committed to growing the sport of Thoroughbred racing, and we believe our relationship with NBC is another step in that direction.”

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship as the TV home of the Preakness Stakes,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN. “Coming to this agreement was a rewarding process from start to finish. We look forward to working with our partners with the Maryland Jockey Club and The Stronach Group for years to come.”

The 2015 Preakness Stakes on NBC, featuring American Pharoah’s victory enroute to the first Triple Crown in 37 years, averaged 8.9 million viewers – the seventh consecutive year the Preakness topped eight million viewers. In 12 of the 15 years it has been on NBC, the Preakness Stakes has been the most-watched sporting event of the weekend it was contested.

ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP

When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, Royal & Ancient, Churchill Downs, NYRA, Premier League, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.

ABOUT THE STRONACH GROUP

The Stronach Group is North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

AL MICHAELS’ TRIBUTE TO PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAMER FRANK GIFFORD

Following is a transcript of Al Michaels’ halftime tribute tonight to Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who died this morning.  Michaels worked alongside Gifford in the ABC Monday Night Football booth for 12 seasons, from 1986-97.

“Frank Gifford died today in Greenwich, Connecticut, at the age of 84. He was a very special man, in so many ways. As an athlete, he grew up in Southern California. He was an all-American at USC. Then, it was on to the New York Giants, where Frank played offense and defense over a 13-year Hall of Fame career. He could run, he could throw, and he could catch, and to this day, his name is still jotted throughout the Giants record book. You had to live in New York in the ‘50s and ‘60s to truly understand what a gigantic figure Frank Gifford was. He was right there with Mickey Mantle. Then it was on to broadcasting, where Frank worked for CBS and then ABC, which lead to a 27-year run in the Monday Night Football booth. I had the great pleasure and honor of spending the last 12 of those with him. He was a wonderful partner, a great teammate. I’ll forever remember Frank as a man that no matter what was going on around him, he was always the coolest guy in the room. Our thoughts and prayers tonight are with Kathie Lee, and the Gifford family. Rest in peace Frank.”

VIDEO: http://www.nbcsports.com/football/nfl/al-michaels-remembers-late-frank-gifford