Gary Lineker is to appear on American network NBC’s coverage of the Premier League next season, reporting from games as a “special contributor” and hosting some coverage.
The Match of the Day presenter, who will continue in that role, joins a team assembled by NBC following its acquisition of the US rights to the Premier League, in a deal that runs for three years beginning with the 2013/14 season.
Lineker was introduced to American audiences in the NBC press release as follows: “Lineker a forward, played 80 times for England, scoring 48 times, second most all-time for the Three Lions.”
Former Radio 5 Live commentator Arlo White will be NBC’s “lead play-by-play voice”, flanked by one of two “match analysts”, Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux. Dixon will also continue to work for ITV.
Former Jamaica and Wimbledon midfielder Robbie Earle, who was fired from ITV’s 2010 World Cup coverage for passing on free match tickets to third parties, will work as a studio analyst based in Stamford, Connecticut, alongside ex-Middlesbrough midfielder Robbie Mustoe, who is currently employed by ESPN.
NBC’s studio segments will be hosted by Rebecca Lowe, who fronts ESPN UK’s football coverage.
NBC will show all 380 Premier League games live via its streaming and on-demand service NBC Sports Live Extra. On the last day of the season, all ten games will be shown live on TV at the same time, taking over NBC, NBC Sports Network, CNBC, USA, MSNBC, E! and other channels.
In addition to the live coverage, NBCSN plans a plethora of intriguing spin-offs: on Saturdays and Sundays it will show highlights programmes that will be called, just like the BBC shows they are modelled on, Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2.
Also on Sunday nights, NBCSN will repeat the Match of the Week in its entirety.
On Monday nights there will be a two-hour highlights show on NBCSN dedicated to matches involving Manchester United and Manchester City, while a separate Tuesday show will take care of Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.
NBCSN will also premiere Premier League 36, a documentary series following footballers in the 36 hours before a match.