Anticipating that soccer may at last be on the cusp of exponential popularity in the U.S., NBC Sports Group chairman announced over the weekend that the broadcaster had signed a deal for U.S. rights to the Premier League, the world's leading soccer league. The company's English- and Spanish-language broadcast, cable, and online properties are being combined to carry all 380 Premier League matches, beginning with the 2013-14 season. Terms of The Deal were not disclosed. While soccer draws huge audiences in Europe and Latin America, it has delivered mostly a niche audience in the U.S., except among Spanish-language viewers, where it draws solid ratings. Last year, Univision's coverage of soccer's Gold Cup final between the U.S. and Mexico drew nearly 8 million viewers. The much smaller Telemundo network attracted 3.6 million viewers for its coverage of the Olympics' soccer final between Mexico and Brazil -- on a Saturday morning.