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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

NBCUniversal on Thursday announced that it had edged out rivals for the coveted rights to broadcast Premier League soccer games in the U.S. for the next six years.

Why it matters: The deal allows NBC to hold onto its existing Premier League rights, which will help the company drive subscribers to its streaming service Peacock.

Details: The new deal gives NBC exclusive rights to air all 380 Premier League matches to U.S. audiences across NBCUniversal's array of linear and streaming platforms, including NBC, USA Network, Peacock, Telemundo and Universo.

  • The deal has a reported value of $2.6 billion over six years, which roughly triples the value of its current annual rights deal, per Sports Business Journal.
  • NBC has had rights to air English Premier League games in the U.S. since 2013.
  • In a statement, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, said, “NBC Sports has significantly strengthened the popularity of the League in the United States in that time through its fantastic coverage and promotion."

The big picture: The deal is a loss for NBC Sports rival ESPN, which had been eyeing the Premier League rights via a combined bid with CBS, per Sports Business Journal.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 30, 2020 - Sports

The sports betting industry is set for a big year

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Barstool Sports used to be a media company, but on the heels of a $163 million investment from Penn National Gaming, it is now, in many respects, a sports betting company.

Why it matters: Barstool's evolution speaks to where the sports betting industry stands at the outset of 2020. With legalization on the horizon in key states and mobile betting set to explode, sportsbook operators are in a race to acquire users and build the best digital storefront.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

46 mins ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.