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Are Yanks Crazier About the Prem Than Brits?

flag usa uk Are Yanks Crazier About the Prem Than Brits?As a Brit myself, this is going to shock a lot of people, but I honestly believe that American viewers of the Premiership are more passionate and bigger footy fans than those who live in Britain. Here are my reasons why:

  1. What Brits would wake up on a Saturday morning at 4:30am or 7:30am local time to watch an English Premiership match on TV? Most Brits already complain about the “early” kickoff, which is at 12:45pm British time. But Americans don’t complain and get up early every Saturday morning just for the pure delight of watching the Premiership in action.
  2. Americans are more likely to watch more Premiership matches than Brits. Because many Americans don’t have a specific team that they support and instead watch the English Premier League as a neutral fan, they’re more likely to watch more matches in a season than some Brits who won’t watch their club’s arch-rival because of their hatred for that team.
  3. Football fans in America get to watch more live Premiership matches than fans in Britain.
  4. If you think watching a Premiership match at 4:30am or 7:30am is bad enough, go back to the 2002 World Cup when matches — depending on what your time zone in America — were played at 2:30am, 5am and 7:30am (all times Eastern). Those same matches were played at the more reasonable times of 7:30am, 10am and 12:30pm British time.
  5. So while time zones don’t favor the US viewers of the Premiership, consider another reason why Americans are crazier about the EPL than Brits: They have a greater hunger for it. While Major League Soccer (MLS) does its best to entertain Americans, it’s a pale imitation of the world game (and the top English league). That’s one of the reasons why Americans are flocking to the Premiership. Of course, we all know tons of other reasons why we love the league so much, but the point is that we can’t get enough of it.

Thoughts?

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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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16 Responses to Are Yanks Crazier About the Prem Than Brits?

  1. TT says:

    Same point Georgie Bingham was making on WSD about the knowledgeable ‘hard core’ fans over there. Maybe it’s a natural reaction to the ridicule heaped upon the beautiful game by mainstream America?

  2. Rampart66 says:

    Wow, I’m kinda taken by surprise with the headline. I can see your points and I can agree that many U.S. fans are passionate about the league as a whole (because we don’t have a “hometown” team). I enjoy watching all of the teams since I’ve just recently started watching and I’m still learing all of the players.

    I think the Premiership support in America is growing by leaps and bounds. I wish there wa a primetime game on the weekends to give the sport more exposure here (3pm ET). With ESPN broadcasting the Champion League matches, wouldn’t it be cool for FOX Sports (not FSC), to broadcast a game from a few of the big 4 teams on the Premiership schedule? After the NFL season, it doesn’t seem like FOX has much in the way of sports lined up for February-March.

  3. camers says:

    How about Australian fans not only are the prem matches played between 10pm and 5am our time but as most of our internationals (friendly at least) are played in europe we have to get up at 3/4 am for them as well. THe Germany world cup also meant games went from 12-7 am and still our city centres were packed with 10 of thousands of people in the freezing cold (it was winter over here) to watch the national team.

  4. jason says:

    Interesting point. I agree that interest is definitely rising among Americans for the Premiership, but I’m not sure we’re close yet to the English because:

    1) They pay £40-50 to see one match, while we pay $30/month for 3 soccer channels. I’m not sure how many Americans are willing to pay $75 for one match.

    2) There are still a lot of Premiership watchers who aren’t passionate fans of a club. Sure, there are a lot of people who claim to be United or Chelsea supporters, but many of them don’t know who Eric Cantona or Ruud Gullit are.

  5. Gratefullawyer says:

    Why do we insist on saying people cant be the fan of a club without our grandpappy being a fan of a club. am i no less a Manu fan cause by parents dont know who the busby babes were. Because most of Us in USa didnt have the ability to be exposed to english soccer 10 years ago or 20 years ago makes me less a fan..
    I started following Manu in 1995…does that mean i jumped on the band wagon or is it when i first begin to really watch them.. and ill match anyone else for nuttiness…i even have Manu
    bath rug so me feet are cold when pi@* out the beer im drinking at 7:30..
    This is my team now….

    but I can also get excited to watch liverpool yesterday and the Hammers tomorrow…

    so if the new footy fans drift to Chelsea or Liverpool or Manu cause they are exciting right now great. if they stay fans even better…if they support w ham or man city cause they got those americans on it great…the bigger the fan best the better….

    bring on the beers when is the EPl review show on…….less then 48 hrs to champions league….

    PS im an old deadhead…. did it make me mad when the crowds swelled and the band got popular…sure a bit harder to get a seat but we welcomed the newbies cause they were finally gettin it…
    What a long strange trip its been

    • long in the tooth says:

      you can suport anyone you like and thats fine and if you change your team every so often thats fine too, but the tradition here is that you are more or less born into supporting a team whether they are premiership league 1 or part time, just the way it is.. TV football is fine also but the real pleasure is to be in amongst the fans. we are all seated now and it much safer…but I still remember a heaving mass of about 10,000 SAFC fans reacting to the sublimity of rattling 3 past malcolm allisons elite man city in 1973, and that sort of passion lives with you & good luck to USA (sort of !!!)

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am an American and love watching the premiership! Since I have no local ties, I simply chose a team to follow. That side was West Ham United simply because of their chant “Forever blowing bubbles”. hehe. I found that following a specific team makes it even more interesting.

  7. ModernMortal says:

    Yep, I’m a “Yank” and I love watching EPL games. It really doesn’t matter which game, althought I am partial to Arsenal, but they are all great fun to watch. Unfortunately, I don’t have Fox Soccer Channel, so I have to get lucky with the 1 game a week they show on ESPN2, but that Portsmouth v. Middlesbrough game was fantastic!! :)

  8. Anonymous says:

    I know they have Champions league games this week, but when does ESPN2 show Premier League games? Since I can’t record Setanta via ITVN for watching at another time, I’d love to record the ESPN2 games each week.

  9. Joe says:

    Why do we insist on saying people cant be the fan of a club without our grandpappy being a fan of a club. am i no less a Manu fan cause by parents dont know who the busby babes were. Because most of Us in USa didnt have the ability to be exposed to english soccer 10 years ago or 20 years ago makes me less a fan..
    I started following Manu in 1995…does that mean i jumped on the band wagon or is it when i first begin to really watch them.. and ill match anyone else for nuttiness…i even have Manu
    bath rug so me feet are cold when pi@* out the beer im drinking at 7:30..
    This is my team now….

    A. It’s Manchester United, don’t call us Manu

    B. Having a Manchester United bath rug makes you hardcore does it? idiot

    C. What the fuck is “nuttiness” you moron, try meeting some true mancs and see if you match them

    Ever been to Old Trafford? Don’t expect so. Hope you rot, and take Glazer with you

  10. Anonymous says:

    Gaffer, I think this latest poster must have heard your interview with Roswell P Shambling :)

  11. JWL1978 says:

    The notion that an English football fan wouldn’t get up at ungodly hours to watch their team play on television is laughable to the point of ignorance.

    The complaints about “early kick off” times have nothing to do with the television audience, and everything to do with the people who actually travel to the games. For example: a Manchester United fan travelling to London for a 12:45 kick off, would have to commence the journey at roughly 3am. Hence the complaints.

    Gratefullawyer, “manu” is considered a term of disparagement and disrepect amongst United fans. The only (somewhat) accepted shortened derivatives of the name is ‘Man United’ (this isn’t overly liked, either), or preferably, just ‘United’.

  12. AndyG says:

    Hi, I just moved from England to LA fairly recently and wasnt aware you could watch any football here.

    Can someone let me know which channels I need to do that?

    Thanks in advance…

  13. Andrew says:

    another thing that I know has caused this fan hood is video games. Brits love football manager. In America, not so much. Fifa is now the king of America (I know there are hardcore PES supporters that wouldn't get that) but North American delivery makes Fifa king. I know tons of people who weren't soccer fans in college that love fifa and then learn the players and like to watch them at local bars on matchday. Another factor is that, brits on the whole have become worse fans. You boo the national team, you show apathy to everything, and the league is not balanced like the NFL. American sports fans have 4 major leagues and some hard core fans. With a large population that loves sports we have found a niche for English soccer. It helps that Americans also don't speak other langauges and don't watch la liga.

  14. Chris says:

    I wake up and turn on Fox soccer channel and watch the Premiere league every Saturday and Sunday morning.

    I follow the league as a whole, although if an American is playing I will admit to being biased.

  15. Wide awake... says:

    If I had the same time zone difference as in point one……..I'd set the video …….But then I'm a Brit…Wink…………

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