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FRI, 7:45AM ET

The Dilemma of Being a Football Fan in America

soccer on tv 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.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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