Football: Premier League set for US big screens

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - US fans will have a new venue to satisfy their growing appetite for football when selected 2014-15 English Premier League matches hit movie screens across the country.

NBC Sports, which holds Premier League broadcast rights in the United States, is teaming up with entertainment company Fathom Events to show live matches on Saturday mornings in selected American cinemas.

The "Barclays Premier League LIVE" in-theatre series was announced on Wednesday, and will kick off on Saturday, August 16.

In order to ensure that the highest profile fixtures are featured in theatres, each week's game will be announced the Tuesday before.

According to Fathom, fans who buy tickets will also be treated to "specially produced half-time breaks" featuring interviews, analysis and "'theatre-only' insights live from England".

A record 32 million Americans tuned in to NBC Sports Group's 2013-14 Premier League coverage - more than doubling the 13.3 million who watched the previous season on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Soccer, according to The Nielsen Company that compiles viewership ratings.

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil also drew record television audiences Stateside.

"It's clear from the recent nationwide outpouring of support for team USA in the World Cup that more and more Americans are embracing and following this remarkable sport," said Fathom Events chief executive John Rubey.

"In this 'first-ever' cinema sports series partnership with NBC Sports Group, fans in theatres can expect to get the full Barclays Premier League experience as though they were at one of the famed stadiums in the United Kingdom."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.