Since NBC started broadcasting the Premier League in August 2013, White has averaged more than 63 matches per season. “It can be grueling and testing because the season is long but with the international breaks and weekends off for FA Cup, there are enough breaks built in to help spread things out,” White said.
White returned to England in 2013 after three years in the United States, where he first called Seattle Sounders games before becoming NBC’s announcer for Major League Soccer from 2011 to 2013. When NBC gained the Premier League rights, White was the natural choice to be the network’s top announcer after calling matches for BBC radio from 2001 to 2009.
White has called 1,164 Premier League goals with his favorite being Eden Hazard’s 2016 equalizer for Chelsea against Tottenham, which ended up helping Leicester City win the league title. White is a native of Leicester and is a lifelong Leicester City fan.
While White was able to convey the utter improbability of Leicester City winning the title, he was still able to stay objective. “It was very special, but it was also easy to stay neutral after many years at the BBC and NBC,” he said.
The Manchester City-Chelsea match will mark the 89th time White has called both teams and the sixth time this year. The club he has called the most is Manchester City (98) and the most visits he has made to a stadium is to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge (46).
Chelsea has always had a strong following in the U.S. but more so this season with the arrival of Christian Pulisic. After a slow start, Pulisic has scored in three straight games but his status for Saturday is questionable due to a hip injury.
“With the time (Chelsea manager) Frank Lampard spent (playing) in New York, he is acutely aware of the attention that Pulisic is receiving and he wants to see him succeed,” White said. “Christian and Chelsea are playing well right now. With the young lineup it has worked better than I think fans expected.”
White will also have an interesting matchup to call next week when Tottenham hosts Bournemouth. It will be the first home match for Jose Mourinho, who was named Tottenham’s manager on Wednesday. Premier League ratings continue to be strong for NBC. They are averaging 469,000 viewers, which is an 8% increase over the same point last year (434,000). White said he has noticed more fans from the U.S. coming to England for games and he has been able to interact with them at the grounds.
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