Sources say NBC's bid would pay the EPL around $83M per year, an amount that would more than triple the $23M per year that Fox currently pays. Sources say Fox and ESPN have been told that their joint bid was not accepted. It is not clear if the Al Jazeera network, BeIN Sport, still is in the running. The emergence of NBC Universal as the clear front-runner in this bidding process comes as a surprise. In the weeks leading up to the bidding process, NBC sources downplayed the company's interest.
Big, huge news if this thing goes as expected. This also coming at the heels of the Big East's decision not to accept a deal with ESpiN during its exclusive negotiating window with them and go to the open market starting next month.
All of a sudden, with the Formula 1 deal, the possible move of the Dan Patrick Show to NBCSN starting next week, the EPL and possibly some part of the Big East deal going ahead, some day we may no longer view NBCSN as a complete joke of a sports network. Don't get me wrong, with all those things they still have a way to go to threaten ESpiN's dominance but once other sports leagues see that they have other options then things will get more interesting. And this is what ESpiN is deathly afraid of.
One organization that should be watching closely is MLS. If Fox Soccer loses the EPL long-term then Fox will be forced to compete for properties that they may not have shown interest in before, like the Big East and MLS. Fox Soccer might get re-branded but "Fox Sports One" will still need content to fill out hours in certain months and this is where college basketball and domestic soccer could help out.