Arguably the world’s best soccer commentator is heading to NBC Sports. The Daily Mail first reported the news that Peter Drury is replacing Arlo White as the lead commentator for NBC’s coverage of the Premier League. Subsequently, sources to World Soccer Talk confirmed the report is accurate.
Arlo White’s career with NBC Sports’ coverage of the Premier League ran from 2013/14 through 2021/22. In the nine years of commentating, he became a familiar voice for fans of English soccer in the United States.
Drury is to begin commentating Premier League games for NBC Sports when the new season starts on August 6, 2022. Prior to this season, Drury has been calling the biggest games on the world-feed, often alongside Jim Beglin.
Peter Drury replaces Arlo White: Analysis
Many of the contracts for talent expired at the end of this season, so the timing is ideal for NBC Sports to give their coverage a refresh. To be quite honest, despite how well they’ve done, the coverage has become stale. For instance, it’s only normal for the coverage to feel repetitive after hearing the same talent for nine consecutive years.
NBC’s coverage of the Premier League beginning in August 2022 is the first under its new TV deal. In November 2021, NBCUniversal renewed its rights with the Premier League for six more seasons for a rights fee of $2.7 billion.
Replacing Arlo White with a better commentator only enhances NBC’s coverage of the Premier League. Drury’s commentary style is more fitting with the world’s game. He has greater experience calling the biggest games in world soccer. Plus, Peter Drury‘s commentary doesn’t focus on statistics and storylines — which was a penchant of Arlo White’s commentating.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Drury and White is the number of calls that Drury is known for. White, while excitable, never really coined a very memorable call in his nine years with NBC. Drury, on the other hand, is more poetic. He has a catalog of memorable calls that fans know him for.
A fresh start for Arlo White
White, whose contract ended with the close of the 2021/22 season, is likely to return to MLS. Commentating MLS games is more of a natural fit for him given his American style of commentating (even if it is with an English accent).
In a way, life has come full circle for White. Prior to commentating Premier League games for NBC Sports, White was the lead commentator for Seattle Sounders games. Later, White was hired to commentate MLS games when NBC Sports had the rights to the top-flight American league through 2014.
What’s next for NBC Sports?
It’s quite possible that more changes may occur at NBC Sports before the new season begins in August. As mentioned previously, the contracts for the studio talent and co-commentators have wrapped up.
By the time the new Premier League deal with NBC Sports ends in 2028, NBC Sports will have had fifteen consecutive years of coverage.