New Drury Voice Set As NBC Opens 10th Premier League Season

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The voice of Peter Drury has been synonymous with the Premier League for over 20 years. As he begins his first season as NBC’s play-by-play announcer, his new bosses have made one thing clear: don’t change the style.

“That’s a really strong message I’m getting,” Drury said as he prepared for the opening weekend of the games. “I don’t necessarily consider myself speaking to a different audience than I have over the years. My job is simply to tell the story of the game. That doesn’t change whether I’m in the UK or America, or anywhere in the world.

“It’s very clear that the American public doesn’t want a condescending Englishman to go down, assuming he or she has to explain the game. The relationship has gone much further than that.”

Drury takes over from Arlo White, who has been calling up NBC’s coverage of England’s best football league since they acquired the rights in 2013. White is the chief announcer for the LIV Golf Series and calls several games for Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer.

While casual observers may not know Drury, he is known to diehard fans. He calls out the best Premier League matches since 1998, most recently on the league’s world feed. Drury was also the main announcer for TBEN Sports coverage of the Champions League.

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Pierre Moossa, the coordinating producer for NBC’s Premier League coverage, described Drury as an incredible wordsmith who can make an audience appreciate and understand what goes on during the match.

“He has such a warm, welcoming and inclusive voice and storytelling that I think people will really enjoy, especially early in the morning,” Moossa said.

Drury will team up with Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux for three games over the opening weekend. They cite Friday’s opening game between Crystal Palace and Arsenal on USA Network, Everton hosting Chelsea on Saturday (also on the US), and Sunday’s game between defending champions Manchester City and West Ham, which will be streamed on Peacock.

NBC will not be playing any games this weekend due to their coverage of the Women’s British Open. Their first game is on August 13, when Brentford hosts Manchester United.

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In most weeks, the US will have at least four games, with one on NBC and the rest on Peacock only.

It is also a landmark season for NBC as it kicks off its 10th season with the Premier League. NBC agreed to a six-year extension of the broadcast rights last November. The deal is worth an average of $450 million per season, well above the $250 million, three-year deal NBC signed in 2012. The previous six-year deal, which began in 2016, was worth $1.1 billion, an average of $183.3 million per season. season.

Last year’s games averaged 507,000 viewers per TV game window on NBC, US, TBEN and NBCSN, the second highest average for the Premier League in the US. A record 12 games also averaged at least 1 million viewers.

Studio host Rebecca Lowe said the biggest difference she’s seen is that football in the US no longer feels like a niche sport

“This is now mainstream. For many, many decades, we’ve all known that America says football is coming, football is coming. There’s football now,” Lowe said. “When I moved in 2013, I sometimes saw a football shirt in a park or in an airport. Now I would say that in my day-to-day life here in Northern California, I see Premier League shirts every day. A Man City fan just walked into the Starbucks where I’m sitting. It happens all the time.”

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Former US national team goalkeeper and NBC analyst Tim Howard, who played for Manchester United and Everton, pointed out that football is consumed differently than in other countries.

“The way we learn about the game now at NBC, we learn the game, we show the game, but before that I had friends in the NBA and still, and friends in the NFL, they play a video game and jump on a plane in the off-season and go to Chelsea to watch football games,” he said. “When we look at our coverage, people get up at all hours of the morning to watch us. It has become our thing. very American and we’re doing it the right way.”

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More TBEN football: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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