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Volume 26 No. 209
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Bevacqua Emphasizes Impact NFL Has On Other NBC Sports Packages

NBC Sports Group President Pete Bevacqua said that NBC’s NFL rights influence the way the net approaches future deals with other properties, such as the PGA Tour or EPL. Speaking on Day 1 of the Endeavor Streaming Sports Media & Technology conference, Bevacqua said, "We are absolutely working backwards from an NFL deal. It’s no secret -- of course we want to stay partners with the NFL. We’re going to do everything we can to stay partners with the NFL. In working backwards from that point, what we think we’ll need to do, it influences every decision we make along the way. It has to."

ADDITION & SUBTRACTION: Bevacqua said there is a "plan in place" for which non-NFL deals NBC is hoping to maintain or add going forward. He said, "I know in my mind what we feel we need to bid on, what we would like to bid on and what we probably won’t bid on. That can always change." Bevacqua was bullish on NBC and Golf Channel's chances to keep its PGA Tour package. "I’m not thinking about what will happen if we don’t get them," he said. "I’m thinking about how we’re going to improve." He also noted there will be a better sense of the landscape on the future of Tour rights "by the end of the year." SBJ has reported that Tour execs want to have a new deal in place by the end of the year, despite the current deals running through '21.

ACROSS THE POND: Bevacqua highlighted the success NBC has enjoyed as the U.S. rightsholder for the EPL, which named David Pemsel its CEO in October after a long executive search. "With the change in leadership in the EPL, we’re navigating that," Bevacqua said. "We all know that took a little bit of time to straighten itself out. But it’s a relationship we’re excited about. We love what it’s done here in the U.S." Meanwhile, Bevacqua said that NBC did not bid for the U.S. rights to the UEFA Champions League during the most recent round of talks, although the net "thought long and hard about it." He said, "Ultimately, based on what we thought it may go for, which has now been proven to be correct, we took a pass on it."