Peacock is bringing viewers a sport its competition can’t — lacrosse.
NBCUniversal announced today that Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) would be moving from NBC Sports Gold to Peacock Premium. All 43 games will be available on Peacock, including 23 games that will air exclusively on the platform.
Fans will also be able to watch last summer’s PLL Championship Series, which saw Whipsnakes defeat Chaos in the championship game. Coverage on Peacock effectively replaces last season’s “Premier Lacrosse League Pass” on NBC Sports Gold.
“We are thrilled to have The PLL alongside Peacock’s incredible catalogue of iconic titles, live news and sports properties,” said Paul Rabil, PLL co-founder and CMO. “With 23 PLL games exclusive to Peacock this summer, we look forward to expanding our league to new fans while continuing to service our existing audience with a cutting-edge viewing experience.”
The move comes at an interesting time for the PLL. The upstart lacrosse league recently merged with competitor Major League Lacrosse, with 2021 serving as the league’s first year as the only professional outdoor lacrosse game in town. The move to a digital platform might serve the league well, though, as the lacrosse audience tends to skew younger, according to data provided by Digital Media Solutions. National Lacrosse League (NLL) Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz described lacrosse fans as “under 35, very tech-savvy and not necessarily subscribing to cable or satellite and [avid consumers] of video content via multiple devices.” The NLL differs from the PLL in that it plays indoors on a smaller field.
The lacrosse world seems to be in on the move, though. “The move to Peacock for the PLL is an obvious one and a good one,” said Pro Lacrosse Talk writer Dan Arestia. “NBCSN is getting sunset at the end of the year, but the league relationship with NBC is good, Peacock makes sense. 20 games on NBCSN and NBC is great in a year where it looked like they’d be up against the Olympics.”
Peacock currently serves as home to not just lacrosse, but Premier League soccer as well as the WWE. There’s no doubt some overlap between fans of lacrosse and these other sports (and I’m sure PLL fans will enjoy having The Office back.)
“Through our first two seasons we’ve learned that our audience is not only growing in size but are easily adaptable to new media and technology,” Rabill said in a statement. “They have been highly engaged in our live broadcasts and as a modern professional sports league, it excites us to be have Peacock as our streaming home.”
Over the past year, Peacock Premium has become the home of most of the content that had been available on NBC Sports Gold. Starting with Premier League Pass last year, which airs all matches that aren’t available on linear television – Peacock Premium has become a destination for live sports.
They have also moved “Figure Skating Pass”, “Supercross and Pro Motocross Pass”, and Rugby Pass to Peacock. This year they will offer coverage of U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and Ryder Cup golf and select Olympics and Paralympics events.