NBC have done a wonderful job with their Premier League coverage here in the United States for the past nine years — we’ll let NBC Sports Gold and the occasional but absolute ineptitude of Peacock slide for this bit — and one of the biggest reasons for that has been their excellent commentary team, led by Arlo White.
Leicester-born White, who had been the voice of the Seattle Sounders in MLS previously, took the reigns from day one of NBC’s coverage in 2013, and has become the iconic and instantly recognizable voice of the best league in the world (and also of Ted Lasso’s fake matches).
But now, he’s moving on, as per various reports including the Daily Mail, World Soccer Talk, and the AP. It sounds like he will be going back full-time to MLS with the Chicago Fire, in addition to other unspecified projects.
Meanwhile, NBC have already identified a replacement, and he may even be an upgrade. None other than Peter Drury’s set to take over (sans usual cohort Jim Beglin, thankfully) when the new season (and NBC’s new deal with the Premier League) start in August.
I see news has finally spread about Peter Drury joining NBC. He’ll be missed at PLP.— Jim Beglin (@jimbeglin) May 31, 2022
Few, if any can match Drury’s combination of just the right amount of dramatics, poetry, and pure exultation (certainly among English language commentators) — or measured reaction, as necessary. He has a vast catalog of memorable and famous calls already to his name over the past 25 years, including one of my personal favorites: Michy Batshuayi’s winning goal in Madrid against Atlético in 2017. Or that time Eden Hazard won the title for Leicester City. Or that time Eden Hazard won the title (in effect) for Chelsea, “The Unstoppable Blue Brigade”.
And now we’ll get to hear him more often on more big games here in the States, which can only be a good thing!