Orlando returns to the international soccer stage this weekend when “Premier League Mornings Live” is broadcast from Universal CityWalk alongside a Fan Fest devoted to the game and the British teams.
The show — fronted by host Rebecca Lowe and analysts Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe and Tim Howard — will serve as a hub for NBCUniversal’s televised coverage of Premier League matches Saturday and Sunday. It’s usually aired from a studio in Connecticut; the Orlando visit will be the eighth U.S. city to host the fan fest and broadcast.
Visitors can see the TV show before their eyes and watch the games on screens scattered across CityWalk. The studio set will be on a stage on the edge of the lagoon.
“Obviously, our studio set is sort of the focal point, almost the anchor, to every Fan Fest,” said Lyndsay Signor, senior vice president of consumer engagement for NBC Sports.
“Our talent are really accessible and love to walk and talk and meet the fans,” she said.
Also attending will be Alan Shearer, the Premier League’s all-time leading scorer; Gary Cahill, who won two Premier League titles during an eight-season stint with Chelsea; Noah Lyles, men’s 200-meter World Champion and Tokyo Olympic medalist; PGA Tour golfer Billy Horschel; former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga; WWE stars Nikki Cross and Santos Escobar; Golf Channel’s Tom Abbott and others.
Meanwhile, there will be on-site activities, including a soccer pitch, club mascots, team merchandise, spray tattoos and access to the Premier League trophy.
The hardware “is a huge, huge thing for the fans because that’s something that is very rare to come to the States,” Signor said. “The trophy is something that the fans line up for from the beginning of doors opening to get a photo with.”
Registration for both days of the event has closed.
The games are broadcast on NBC, USA Network, Peacock, Telemundo and Universo, which all fall under the NBCUniversal corporate umbrella along with Universal Orlando Resort.
“One really cool piece of having Universal Orlando in our NBCUniversal family is that you’re going to have thousands of people come to the event, but you’re also going to have thousands of people going to the park who are going to be exposed to the Premier League just by walking in and around CityWalk and coming into the park,” Signor said.
“I think that’s been a huge opportunity for us is exposing the Premier League and the beauty of it to people that wouldn’t know unless they happen to come to the park,” she said.
The show, including the matches, runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days. At previous Premier League Fan Fests, folks arrived early and lingered. Signor expects that to happen again and suspects international visitors on the scene because of Orlando’s appeal to travelers.
“Orlando is a vibrant soccer city. There’s a lot of energy for the game and the players locally, nationally, internationally, the women’s game,” she said. Locals will be interested and invested in the Premier League clubs, she said.
“What’s interesting about Fan Fest is the club fans are very loyal and they will show up in their kits, and they will show up with their banners and their scarves, and I think we’re going to find out who shows up,” Signor said. “The top six clubs always have really good representation. But at every fan fest every single team is represented even if it’s a team from a really small city.”
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