Premier League games involving Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham could move to USA in £1.6bn deal

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10: A Premier League branded NBC Sports purple umbrella in the rain during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City at Anfield on March 10, 2024 in Liverpool, England.(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
A Premier League-branded NBC Sports purple umbrella in the rain during the Premier League match (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) -Credit:Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

American TV giants NBC are reportedly set to urge the Premier League to host two opening-day games in the USA as part of a £1.6bn deal. Since 2013, NBC has held the exclusive rights to broadcast England's top-flight football in the United States.

Their last contract was signed in 2022, which brings in more than £360million per season for the Premier League. This is over five times what they initially paid for the rights 11 years ago, making them one of the Premier League's largest financial contributors.

Now, NBC is looking to utilise this influence by bringing regular-season games to the US. While the Premier League has hosted pre-season tournaments in the US, regular season games have always been off-limits.

The idea of taking games abroad was last proposed in 2008 with the potential introduction of a '39th game', but it faced severe backlash and was ultimately scrapped. However, sixteen years later, Jon Miller, NBC Sports' president of acquisitions and partnerships, is ready to push for this initiative again.

He expressed his support for bringing games to the US, particularly on the opening day, telling The Athletic: "At some point in the future, I would love to see a couple of Premier League games open the season here in big stadiums on our opening weekend. And I know that's something that we'll continue to push for.

"I think that there's an American audience here that would like to see regular season games but in the meantime, we'll continue to work with the Premier League to do everything we can to make the games available to as many people as possible.

"We've had conversations with the Premier League and they've been very open and receptive to listening to me. We did the Premier League Summer Series last year. All the teams that came over did really well, had a great experience, and really were able to interact with the fan base. And the Premier League saw that it was very successful."

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However, the Football Supporters' Association have vowed to oppose the plans, stating: "We defeated Game 39 in 2008 and we'd attack any attempted revival with a full blown, two feet off the ground, studs to the knee tackle."

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters insisted playing matches abroad is not currently on the agenda, but admitted: "The door looks ajar for matches abroad. It is not part of our current plans. The feedback we have from players is that there is too much football being played and there is constant expansion."