Starting with the Liverpool-Stoke City match — which begins at 7 a.m. ET — the net will increasingly be referred to by commentators and within on-screen graphics as NBCSN. The brand-identifying “hallmark” the net opens with will show and say NBC Sports Network, followed by a dissolve to the NBCSN logo and a NBCSN voiceover. Eventually, the hallmark will only include the NBCSN portion.
The full switch to NBCSN will happen during its coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics next February. NBC Sports Network began promoting the NBCSN name change during its coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs earlier this year.
The bigger deal, of course, is the premier of the EPL on the NBC family of networks. Richard Deitsch of SI.com has more:
This is a huge week for the NBC Sports Group, as the network debuts its coverage of what most soccer fans consider the best league in the world. NBC Sports will air all 380 games from the Premier League, which is more tonnage than anywhere else on the globe (including the U.K.). The opening game is Liverpool against Stoke City (7:45 a.m. kickoff), and all matches will be available on either NBC’s television platforms, the Premier League Extra Time bonus TV package or streamed on NBC Sports Live Extra.
“The soccer universe cares about this league and our coverage is going to be very simple: We are going to get out of the way and just cover the game and the league properly,” said Pierre Moossa, the coordinating producer of the NBC Sports Soccer Group. “It’s an amazing product and it speaks for itself.”
Over the first three weeks of the season, NBC and NBC Sports Network will televise 17 Premier League matches including five over the first weekend. Each match will be preceded and followed by pre- and post-match shows hosted by Lowe and analysts Robbie Earle, Kyle Martino, and Robbie Mustoe. There will also be a “Match of the Day” highlight show that will tape after the conclusion of all the action.
Some of the games, however, will only be available on the newly created Extra Time channel. Comcast and most other carriers offer it, but, of course, Verizon FIOS does not. All games will also be streamed live online and on your mobile devices through NBC Sports Live Extra, but that app isn’t AirPlay enabled yet. So, basically, if you have FIOS, you’re going to be stuck watching some games on your iPad until Verizon decides that you, too, can enjoy the best sports league in the world on your TV and without straining your eyes whilst trying to drink coffee and ward off a hangover on a Saturday morning.
*I, for one, would love a news, sports and business network that used all of the NBC prefixes and suffixes: MSCNBCSN. That’s how a real mega conglomerate would roll.
**Next up: Michael Barkann gets replaced by Jack Donaghy.
H/T to Hall of Fame CB reader (@PhillyPartTwo)