By Paul Kennedy
No soccer launch on television has ever featured such a promotional push as NBC's countdown to Saturday's start of the English Premier League.
You've probably seen the comedic video featuring Jason Sudeikis playing the part of American football coach Teddy Lasso, a fictional new head coach of Tottenham Hotspur, that has gotten more than 4 million hits on You Tube.
But in New York, NBC went on a promotional blitz, wrapping MTA shuttle trains between Grand Central and Times Square in the colors of EPL clubs in a "Keep Calm and Pick A Side" campaign. The top four teams on NBC's team picker page? In order, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool.
For Saturday's kickoff, NBC has hired eight London-style cabs in EPL team colors. And for the first Saturday mornings of the season, Seamless.com, a home-delivery meals service, will offer an exclusive “Breakfast in Bed with the Premier League” with 20 percent off breakfast items.
No network has invested as heavily in a non-FIFA media property as NBC has in its deal with the EPL, reported to be $250 million over three years. And as John Miller, chief marketing officer of NBC Sports Group, points out, the EPL is a sports property unlike any other NBC has ever had in that the season extends 10 months, from August to May.
NBC is using the start of the new EPL season to transition the name of its sports channel, NBC Sports Network, to NBCSN.
EPL coverage on NBCSN will begin Saturday at 7 a.m. ET with the first of four Premier League Live shows, continue with the Liverpool-Stoke City and Arsenal-Aston Villa matches and conclude at 11 p.m. with
Match of the Day I. NBC will also air a live match, Swansea City against defending champion Manchester United.
(Click here for weekend Soccer on TV listings.)
EPL TWITTER TABLE.Gild Edge Soccer tweeted a table of EPL twitter buzz, ranking Twitter mentions by club in the United States in 2013. The top three by a wide margin were Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.
DEMPSEY CAR WASH. Want an idea of how Clint Dempsey spent his Monday? MLS Communications' Sean Dennisonchronicles the media tour, or car wash, the new Seattle Sounders player took around Manhattan. Stops included:
-- MSNBC’s Morning Joe;
-- ABC’s Good Morning America
-- Sports Illustrated and SI Now Live;
-- MLS headquarters;
-- MLS headquarters again;
-- Photo shoot on the corner of 38th Street & 5th Avenue;
-- CBS Evening News Sunday;
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