How the 2022 FIFA World Cup Will Impact Premier League Scheduling

Written by Wendy Jacobson

Last updated on

The English Premier League schedule will finish a few weeks late this season to accommodate the 2022 FIFA World Cup from Qatar. The Premier League is pausing play on November 14 and resuming matches on December 26 (Boxing Day) so players can leave their club team and play with their country’s team.

The English Premier League (EPL) is the most popular league in the most popular sport in the world – soccer. The EPL represents England’s top tier of soccer competition, and is comprised of 20 teams in England and Wales that play each other twice a season, once at home and once away, and the season typically runs from August through mid-May.

Many European leagues provide their teams a winter break, but the Premier League usually does not.

EPL matches are played every week throughout the season, though FIFA does impose five or six breaks, lasting about one-and-a-half weeks each, for World Cup or continental cup qualifying matches.

That said, any typical FIFA World Cup tournament, which take place every four years, doesn’t impede on the Premier League’s schedule because it happens in the summer months after the Premier League and other leagues are wrapped up.  But this year, the World Cup is taking place in November and December instead of during the summertime, and it will affect the Premier League’s schedule. 

Why is the World Cup in the Fall?

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is taking place in Qatar in the Middle East, which has a very hot climate. Due to very high summertime temperatures, the tournament has been moved to the fall/winter for the first time in its history, giving players and fans more manageable temperatures to deal with.  

The World Cup is running from November 21 – December 18, 2022, impacting the schedules of most European soccer clubs.

The Premier League, for example, is pausing play on November 14 and resuming it on December 26 (Boxing Day) so players can leave their club team and play with their country’s team.

This pause will result in pushing back the final weekend of the 2022-2023 Premier League season to May 28, 2023, which is a bit later than the league’s usual mid-May finish. 

How to watch the Premier League without cable

The Premier League attracts nearly 5 billion viewers globally and many of the matches attract more than one million viewers each week in the U.S.  If you want to be one of those viewers but aren’t sure how to access the games, we’ve got you covered. 

NBC Sports Group has the exclusive rights to Premier League games in the U.S. through the end of the 2027/28 season, and airs every match across NBC channels and streaming services, including Peacock Premium. The most important channels for watching Premier League games from the U.S. are NBC, USA Network, and Telemundo / Universo for Spanish language broadcasts. Although you can’t watch every EPL game on the platform, Peacock Premium carries an extensive lineup of Premier League matches, including simulcasts of nationally televised games that air on NBC.

Over-the-air NBC Premier League broadcasts air most Saturdays during the season at 12:30-2:30 ET, while the other early morning matches are shown on the USA Network and occasionally on CNBC. 

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