The Dilemma of Being a Football Fan in America


Premiership Countdown: 3 Days to Go.

Amazingly, fans who follow a Premiership club will be able to watch 8 out of the 10 matches this opening weekend in the United States on Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports. Most of the matches will be live, except for a select few that are on a short delay.

The two matches we won’t see? Everton versus Watford, and Portsmouth against Blackburn.

What’ll be interesting this weekend is to understand how your viewing habits of the Premiership change. Last season, we were able to watch it in smaller doses (on Saturdays, a 7:45am ET match, followed by the Noon ET one, and the mid-afternoon tape-delayed match).

Now, though, it’s impossible to watch everything due to matches being played at the same time.

For those fans with Fox Soccer Channel only, your Saturday will begin with Newcastle v Wigan at 10am ET, followed by Bolton and Spurs at Noon ET, and finishing with Reading v Middlesbrough at 2:30pm ET.

If you have DirecTV with a Setanta subscription and only one satellite receiver, you’re likely to watch the Sheff Utd v Liverpool match at 7:45am ET. But then it gets more complicated. Do you watch the Arsenal v Villa match at 10am ET on Setanta or the Newcastle v Wigan match on FSC? The Noon ET match with Bolton and Spurs will be fine. But then you have to determine which match to watch on tape-delay at 2:30pm ET — West Ham v Charlton, or Reading v Boro?

ITVN customers will have a tougher challenge. Without being able to record the Setanta Sports matches via their set top box, they’ll be encouraged to watch the Setanta matches live and tape the FSC ones.

The question for everyone, at the end of the day, is this: Will you have enough time to watch every minute of the Saturday matches? If you have both Setanta and Fox Soccer Channel, this will amount to, umm, 12 hours of football. And because there are two times on Saturday when matches are being played in parallel on FSC & Setanta, you’d have to watch those matches after the last one concludes (if you taped them).

So if your day begins at 7:45am ET, and you watch ALL of the matches, your football day wouldn’t end until 8:30pm ET — 13 hours of football (and that’s if you play all the matches continuously, without taking a break). Will you make a conscious decision to watch only those matches that matter to you, or will you try to take them all in?

Soccer die hard fans, welcome to heaven.

12 thoughts on “The Dilemma of Being a Football Fan in America”

  1. Similar ‘dilemma’ for those of us in Japan – ALL of the Saturday Prem games televised one after the other (as live, in effect) with the only choice to be made between the Arses v Villains clash and the Newcastle versus Wigan encounter which are being simultaneously shown live at 11pm! From noonish on the Sunday we have several hours respite before the rest of the live games kick-off late evening Tokyo time…

  2. well its a wonderful problem to have. i will be one of the itvn people, so i will battle with actually having to watch all of those matches live and go back and watch the fsc matches (unless ofcourse the fsc match is superior). i did also notice however, that on the setanta website it shows they replay some of the that may be an option as well. im excited to see how its presented and ofcourse extras like mutv. i start grad school next week, so watching 13 hours of matches isnt going to happen. i will have to decide which ones i want to make a point to watch…but again, what a wonderful problem to have.

  3. But then you still have your MLS, your Mexican League. Budesliga and LA Liga on Goal TV, and serie A too through out the whole year.

    Even without Setanta you can get the Prem. from stream stations like PPstream, soapcast, and TVAnts and the reception isnt terrible.

  4. I will be one of the ITVNers probably fighting with their technical support :) At the end of the day i love football but i dont want to watch 8 games a weekend – West Ham V Charlton and other filler will easily fall by the wayside. For me its Liverpool/Arsenal/United/Spurs and Chelsea games that will be prioritised and i wouldnt watch all 5 if they were separate either! I do however love having the choice!

  5. Remember that Setanta is replaying the Sheffield United-Liverpool and Arsenal-Aston Villa matches, so all that taping may not be necessary.

  6. Eight matches would be a little too much for me. In general I plan on watching the Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea, and Arsenal matches. It will be nice to have a lot of matches to choose from each weekend.

  7. It won’t, Setanta just acts as a supplement for FSC’s must viewed EPL/Review & Preview Shows/World Report (Bobby McMahon is the King second only to Gordon McQueen’s daughter on Sky).

    All FSC games are Tivo’d and watched as time permits.

    ITVN will provide the missing former PPV link and those games will be watched live or off a re-airing during the week (like we used to do on Tues/Wed when we were too cheap to buy it on Saturday).

    They will also provide the fill programming to bridge to the weekend (Chelsea TV, MUTV, Champioship matches, etc.) when FSC is airing crap like FC Fox, Fox Football Friday (nice set!), Dream Team, MLS.

  8. As Long as the beer holds out and my wife doesnt scream too loud it footy all day Saturday and Sunday…. I even have my own bar now if I can only find cute waitress……

    Actually last year i had the EPL PPV package and FSC. Saturdays would start at 7:30 am after biking, then short break before the 10 match and then right into the noon match. You got a little break before the tape dealy. To be honest if the tape dealy was a first class match it never got watched……

    You do start to pick and choose but when that winter wind blows here in ohio……just prop me up on my bar stool and the let the games begin….

    counting down the hours to the season begins

  9. HI there – just installed my ITVN. IMpressive at times – horrific at others – lots of buffering at certain times, free and clear at others, i fear when lots of people try this at once on SAturday – so far i think its a novel idea but the quality isnt good enough quite yet – initial reaction to those who are unsure is to hold off for more reports. Incidentally i have awesome internet speed here and its not that effective for long periods of time.

  10. good picture but buffering was a problem. customer service helped me enter the stream into my router and apparently that makes it better. it was every 5 seconds at first. anyway, then my box crapped out completely. we tried everything and something just went wrong. he is overnighting me a new one and i should be set by tomorrow. great customer service. a shame the box went bad but it was easy to set up, easy to navigate, and i was able to watch setanta in seconds. hopefully i can be ready to be live saturday.

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