NBC Sports unveils its English Premier League broadcast plans; John Strong to become the network's lead Major League Soccer voice
Greetings from one of the most famous addresses on the American sports media landscape: 30 Rockefeller Center, NBC's global headquarters.
UPDATE: NBC made the John Strong hire official on June 23. If you've come here from Richard Deitsch's SI.com column with the confirmation, my latest story on Strong is here.
NEW YORK - Greetings from one of the most famous addresses on the American sports media landscape: 30 Rockefeller Center, NBC's longtime headquarters.
I'm here for the Peacock network's formal introduction of its English Premier League broadcast plans preview. NBC executives and on-air talent will be part of the presentation.
As you'll see below, the network's details for its coverage are quite extensive.
I can also reveal some news that isn't part of NBC's official presentation today.
Arlo White, NBC's lead voice of Major League Soccer, is headed back to his native England to be the network's lead voice for EPL games. Once that happens, White will move away from calling Major League Soccer for NBC. I've heard he may call some MLS playoff games, and possibly U.S. national team games that air on NBC's family of networks. But that's it.
Who will replace White? Nothing is official yet, but I've been told by multiple sources that the leading candidate is Portland Timbers and Fox Soccer play-by-play voice John Strong. I've heard a deal is in the final stages of being put together.
Strong has been a fixture in Portland for some time, having called Timbers games since before the team joined MLS. This year is his eighth in that role. With Fox Soccer, Strong calls games from the UEFA Europa League and a range of CONCACAF competitions.
Some of you may wonder why J.P. Dellcamera, perhaps the best-known American soccer voice, isn't getting the job.
Dellacamera currently broadcasts Philadelphia Union games locally, as you know, and he also works for Fox Soccer Channel. Like Strong, he calls Europa League and CONCACAF action.
I've been told that Dellacamera is happy to continue in his current roles, and that he may do some spot work for NBC on days when it broadcasts multiple games. For example, Dellacamera called the Kansas City-Chicago game that was part of the March 16 Rivalry Weekend tripleheader.
To be clear: this is no slight on Strong or anyone else. Strong is very highly regarded by a lot of people across American soccer, myself included. I think he'll be great on NBC, as he has been in the games he has already done for the network.
Most recently, Strong was on the mic for NBC Sports Network's broadcast of the season's first Seattle-Portland game. Check out highlights of his work here.
I don't know exactly when Strong will go full-time with NBC, though I've heard July as a target. That would give Strong and White enough time to get settled in their new positions before the new Premier League season kicks off on August 17.
I'll have a full write-up of this morning's events up here later today. I'll also try to dig deeper into what NBC's Premier League plans mean for MLS.
For now, though, I invite you to follow along as I report live from NBC's big show.
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