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Roger Bennett: Young audience behind Premier League’s media power

“It’s a young person’s game, and that’s why it’s gold dust for the networks,” Bennett said of the EPL, which secured a six-year, $2.7 billion deal with NBC last month.

Soccer pundit Roger Bennett knows how the Premier League commandeered a six-year, roughly $2.7 billion contract last month with NBC, which will remain the exclusive U.S.-rights holder.

“It’s a young person’s game, and that’s why it’s gold dust for the networks,” Bennett said. “It’s not just a large audience. The reach is the hardest one to find. It’s catnip for the 20- to 30-year-old audience.”

The deal begins next season and will provide content across NBC, USA, Peacock, Telemundo, Universo and other platforms. NBCSN will shut down Dec. 31, with much of its content moving to USA. NBC’s previous six-year deal with the league was worth $1 billion.

Bennett credits the Premier League for beating other European leagues to TV dollars from its inception in 1992.

“They realized first the business model wasn’t just about filling the stadium, but it was about television rights, and the Premier League did rights deals globally,” Bennett said. “The powers that be in the German league, the Spanish, they are worried about the Premier League devouring their brand in their own backyard.”