If you live in the United States and you can’t decide whether to choose DirecTV, DISH Network, your local cable company or ITVN to watch as many soccer matches as possible, the next Premier League weekend will help answer that question for you.
When the English Premier League returns from the international break on Saturday, September 15, that Saturday will feature four massive matches:
- Everton v Manchester United
- Tottenham v Arsenal
- Portsmouth v Liverpool, and
- Chelsea v Blackburn.
Other matches will also be shown that morning (West Ham v Middlesbrough and Reading v Sunderland), but here’s the conundrum about the matches involving the big four teams. Because the Champions League group stages kick off on Tuesday, September 18th, the big four in England will play their matches as early on Saturday as possible to allow players to recover for Champions League opposition.
That’s fine except when you want to watch all of those matches on television. For example, Everton kicks off at 7am ET against Manchester United on Setanta Sports. Forty five minutes later, Setanta Xtra is showing Portsmouth against Liverpool starting at 7:45am ET, and 45 minutes after the Pompey-Liverpool kicks off, Fox Soccer Channel is showing Spurs against Arsenal in the north London derby at 8:30am ET.
This means that parts of the three huge matches will be played at the same time, so it’s going to be quite a headache for those fans who prefer to watch matches live.
Thankfully, the other big clash that day (Chelsea v Blackburn) is at 12:15pm ET on Fox Soccer Channel.
To experience the matches the easiest way possible (whether it’s live or recorded on your DVR or VCR player), DirecTV offers the best options. Setanta Xtra is only available on DirecTV, so if you have Setanta and Fox Soccer Channel, you’ll be able to record all three matches that are playing simultaneously on DirecTV.
DISH Network and ITVN customers are unable to access Setanta Xtra, so they’ll miss out on the Portsmouth against Liverpool match which promises to be an entertaining affair.
ITVN has an additional negative in that you can’t record matches via the IPTV box (well, not officially) and Setanta On-Demand is no longer available, so you can’t watch the recorded matches later.
Cable television, meanwhile, only offers Fox Soccer Channel, so you’d be missing out on the entire Setanta Sports and Setanta Xtra experience anyway.
To stay on top of the TV schedules for Premier League clubs in the U.S., bookmark http://epltalk.com/tvschedule