NBC Sports Network takes over full US coverage of the English Premier League next season and its broadcast plans are reportedly coming together. After former ESPNer Rebecca Lowe was named as studio host, our friend Christopher Harris at EPL Talk is reporting Arlo White will be tabbed as the top play by play man for the league and Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle will be added as analysts.
The White move to the EPL is a no brainer. The Englishman has been the network's voice for MLS coverage after coming over from the Seattle Sounders and was fantastic at the Olympics last summer. He has a distinctive voice, gets up for the big moments, and can carry a broadcast. (Basically he's an English version of what Fox is hoping Gus Johnson will turn into as a soccer announcer.) I'd put him right alongside Ian Darke as a top play by play man, but he isn't a household name by any stretch.
As far as the analysts go, Mustoe and Earle both get the job done. If you're a fan of the EPL, you've probably heard Earle's voice on the syndicated international feed and he's also done some MLS work with NBCSN. Mustoe is down the ladder a bit at ESPN, but his analysis gets to the point in a way that's very easy to listen to. In fact, I'd say Mustoe is one of the better analysts in sports you've likely never heard unless you're a hardcore European soccer fan.
I could see White and Mustoe being the Darke and McManaman of NBCSN, traveling to the top game every week while the network syndicates the international feed for the rest of the games like Fox Soccer has done. Although they aren't as well known, the pairing of White and Mustoe would be equally as good as their ESPN counterparts. With Lowe and Earle potentially in the studio, NBCSN would be building a very solid EPL broadcast team.
The issue at hand will be what happens to the network's MLS coverage and who would step in for Arlo White. Former ESPNer J.P. Dellacamera would be the natural choice as a long-time MLS announcer as he worked for the network's extensive opening week coverage earlier this season.
"I'd put him right alongside Ian Darke as a top play by play man"
Disagree. White is nowhere near Darke. But I think that White will tone down some of his MLS hyperbole for the Premier League where you don't have to manufacture as much drama.
Pierre Moossa @PierreMoossa hit a "home run" by hiring Rebecca Lowe to host EPL on NBC Sports. Rebecca is 34-years old, is photogenic, and knows English Football inside out. NBC Sports understands that in order to convince young males ages 18-34 to watch EPL studio shows, NBC Sports needs someone who can fit the "electronic surrogate girlfriend" description so that the guys would watch the shows in order to temporary escape their real lives (with wives and/or girlfriends who don't like EPL as much as they do) for a few minutes each weekend. Rebecca Lowe was literally on top of EVERYONE's list for the EPL on NBC studio host role, including mine. Congratulations to Pierra Moossa and NBC Sports (Jon Miller, Mark Lazarus) for making a perfect hire. - Oliver Tse, OliverTseProductions.com @OliverTseProd
John Strong @StrongMLS is only 27 years old and is much more respected by the diehard soccer fans than Gus Johnson@GusJohnson is at this point. Strong has done freelance work for both NBC Sports and FOX Sports (he usually hosts the UEFA Europa League pre-game show and calls the primary Europa League match on FOX Soccer). Strong would be my first choice if I were to hire an American voice to call domestic soccer in English: young, hard-working, well-prepared, respected by viewers, and most importantly, AFFORDABLE. - Oliver Tse, OliverTseProductions.com @OliverTseProd
listening to fox soccer channel, the game announcers are real bad, except ian wright, please hire someone like that, and englishman, who played in the league, and is honest,
@eomonroe00 You do realize that the announcers on FSC are directly from Sky sports right? Oh and that all of the analysts actually played at the highest level of the game in england, right? NBCSN isn't tied at all to Sky... just saying..
I like all the other hires except I'm not too thrilled about Arlo White. It seems like an easy way out for them. I feel there are other commentators that are better. White is more of a #2 or #3 guy for me. He is a decent commentator, but not who I would have went. I would have wished they tried to get Darke or try to poach Kevin Keatings from Sky. Also, he has an annoying habit of commentating matches like it was on radio.