New voice Drury set as NBC opens 10th Premier League season

Aug 4, 2022, 6:21 AM | Updated: 6:24 pm
FILE - Manchester City players celebrate with trophy after winning the 2022 English Premier League ...

FILE - Manchester City players celebrate with trophy after winning the 2022 English Premier League title at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, on May 22, 2022. NBC celebrates a milestone this weekend when it begins its 10th season of covering the Premier League. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson, File)

(AP Photo/Dave Thompson, File)

Peter Drury’s voice has been synonymous with the Premier League for over 20 years. As he embarks on 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 very strong message I get,” Drury said as he prepared for the opening weekend of games. “I’m not thinking of myself necessarily as speaking to any other audience than I already have done over the years. It’s my job simply to tell the story of the game. That doesn’t change whether I’m in the UK or America, or anywhere else in the world.

“It’s very clear that the American audience does not want a patronizing Englishman talking down, assuming that he or she has to have the game explained to them. The relationship has got way beyond that.”

Drury takes over for Arlo White, who called NBC’s coverage of England’s top soccer league since they acquired the rights in 2013. White is the lead announcer for the LIV Golf Series and calls some games for Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire.

While casual observers may not be familiar with Drury, he is known by diehard fans. He has been calling the top Premier League games since 1998, recently on the league’s world feed. Drury was also the main announcer for CBS Sports coverage of the Champions League.

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 is going on during the match.

“He has such a warm, welcoming and inclusive voice and way of narrating that I think people are going to really enjoy, especially early in the mornings,” Moossa said.

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

NBC will not carry any matches this weekend due to their coverage of the Women’s British Open. Their first game will be on Aug. 13 when Brentford hosts Manchester United.

On most weeks, USA will have at least four games with one on NBC and the remainder only on Peacock.

It is also a milestone season for NBC, as it begins its 10th season carrying the Premier League. NBC agreed to a six-year renewal of broadcast rights last November. The deal is worth an average of $450 million per season, well above the $250 million, three-year agreement 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.

Last year’s matches averaged 507,000 viewers per TV match window on NBC, USA, CNBC and NBCSN, the second-highest average for the Premier League in the U.S. A record 12 matches also averaged at least 1 million viewers.

Studio host Rebecca Lowe said the biggest difference she has seen is that soccer no longer feels like a niche sport in the U.S.

“This is mainstream now. For many, many decades we all know that America has been saying soccer is coming, soccer is coming. Soccer is now here,” Lowe said. “When I moved over in 2013, I would see the odd football shirt maybe in a park or airport. Now I would say going about my daily life here in Northern California, I see Premier League shirts on a daily basis. A Man City fan just walked into the Starbucks where I am sitting. It happens all the time.”

Former U.S. national team goalkeeper and NBC analyst Tim Howard, who played for Manchester United and Everton, pointed out that soccer is consumed in a different way compared to other countries.

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


More AP soccer: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo looks round after the end of the English Premier League socce...
Associated Press

Ten Hag discovering the mess he has inherited at Man United

Maybe Ralf Rangnick was right, after all. Maybe Manchester United does require soccer’s equivalent of “open-heart surgery” to fix the glut of issues currently afflicting England’s biggest club. That was the blunt assessment offered in April by Rangnick, United’s interim manager at the time, as he prepared to hand over the coaching reins to Erik […]
1 day ago
Tampa Bay Rays starter Drew Rasmussen pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth innin...
Associated Press

Head-to-head records loom as potential tiebreaker

Drew Rasmussen’s perfect game bid was more than just a sublime individual performance. The right-hander’s stellar showing lifted Tampa Bay to what might have been its most important win of the season. The Rays beat Baltimore 4-1 on Sunday, moving to 1 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles for the final wild card in the […]
1 day ago
Serena Williams, of the United States, watches a return to Belinda Bencic, of Switzerland, during t...
Associated Press

Serena Williams’ Cincinnati opener pushed back to Tuesday

MASON, Ohio (AP) — Serena Williams’ opening match in the Western & Southern Open has been rescheduled from Monday to Tuesday. The 40-year-old Williams, preparing to retire, is set to face 19-year-old Emma Raducanu, the defending U.S. Open champion. A spokesman for the tournament said the change was “on account of a number of factors […]
1 day ago
Boston Red Sox closer Garrett Whitlock, right, is congratulated by catcher Kevin Plawecki, left, af...
Associated Press

Wacha makes short work of Yankees, Boston wins 3-0 in 2:15

BOSTON (AP) — Michael Wacha and the last-place Red Sox made short work of the AL East-leading New York Yankees. Pitching for the first time in almost seven weeks, Wacha returned from a shoulder injury to limit New York to a pair of singles in seven innings, and Boston beat the Yankees 3-0 on Sunday […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Wings soar past Sparks with 41-point second quarter

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Marina Mabrey scored 27 points, Teaira McCowan added 24, and playoff-bound Dallas rode a 41-point second quarter to a 116-88 victory over Los Angeles in a regular-season finale on Sunday. The second-quarter blitz included an 18-0 run and the Wings finished the first half with a 66-29 lead on 74% shooting […]
1 day ago
USA's Matt Knies (89) wears nose plugs after being injured against Sweden during second period IIHF...
Associated Press

US beats Sweden 3-2 to finish world junior group play 4-0

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Harvard forward Matthew Coronato scored twice and the defending champion United States held off Sweden 3-2 on Sunday night to finish 4-0 in Group B play in the world junior hockey championship. Brett Berard also scored for the Americans and Kaidan Mbereko made 28 saves. The U.S. will face the Czech […]
1 day ago
New voice Drury set as NBC opens 10th Premier League season