The Comprehensive Guide to Following Premier League Matches Online
Trying to navigate the Internet to find live coverage of Premier League football can be a difficult experience especially if you’re not familiar with many of the different options available. Sure, the optimal experience is to watch a match on TV, but oftentimes your favorite club isn’t on the box.
Here’s EPL Talk’s guide to help you follow your favorite team online:
- Broadband video. In the United States, there’s only one source online to watch live Premier League matches legally. That is Setanta By Broadband, which offers the widest selection of Premier League football live over the Internet. The cost is a mere $14.95 per month. Fox Soccer Channel Broadband offers matches on delay. The price is $4.99 a match, $29.95 for ten matches or $49.95 for all-access season long. If you want to watch your Premier League side in the Champions League, some matches are available live via ESPN 360 and UEFA.com.
- Internet audio. Trying to find a stream of a match via Internet audio is much tougher today than it was a few years ago. Reason being is that many organizations, especially BBC Five Live, have cracked down on rights issues and as a result block overseas visitors from listening to audio of matches online. However, there are a few legal options.
- Manchester United offers free match commentaries via audio for most of their matches. It requires a registration and the quality of the audio is sometimes spotty, but it can be a lifesaver.
- BBC London Radio often forgets to block match commentaries from overseas listeners, so you can sometimes hear live audio from matches involving teams such as West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur, for example.
- Most official club websites offer subscriptions that allow you to get live match commentary as well as other features such as video interviews. Many of the Premier League websites are run by a company called Perform (previously known as Premium TV). Those sites that are built by Premium TV offer a subscription service called World Access, which is priced at 3.99 GBP per month.
- Although you’re unable to hear the audio from their match commentaries, TalkSport does provide excellent coverage of English football with a constant flood of live reports from grounds across the country as well as analysis and opinions.
- Check the excellent SoccerAudio.com for other sources of streaming audio.
- The Sun newspaper often offers audio commentary of matches.
- Bet 365 now offers audio commentary of some Premier League matches too.
- Delayed video highlights. 101GreatGoals.com sometimes provides highlights of goals and/or key moments in games within minutes of the action being published on video sites across the Internet.
- Vidiprinter. First launched by the BBC on their TV program called Grandstand, the vidiprinter displayed the latest scores from matches. See a humorous spoof of the vidiprinter here. Nowadays, both Sporting Life and the BBC offer versions of their own vidiprinter online. Between the two of them, the Sporting Life vidiprinter is preferable because it provides live updates (programmed in Java) rather than the BBC Sport vidiprinter which automatically refreshes the browser window every two minutes.
- Live simulation. ESPN Soccernet’s Gamecast and Sporting Life’s Match Day Live offer an online visual representation of what’s happening during a game. They combine live text commentary, team lineups, match stats and more. Similarly, Sporting Life also offers Live Centre which gives you all the updates on a specific league if you’re interested in all matches instead of just one.
- Live text commentary. As a last resort, the BBC and The Guardian offers live text commentary for many matches. The text commentary is just that. Someone typing up notes of what’s happening in key moments in the game. The challenge is that this can become quite tedious and, if you’re like me, you find yourself hitting refresh quite often instead of waiting for the automatic refresh, which happens every two minutes.
- Other media. Sirius Satellite Radio provides live match commentaries of some Premier League matches and all Chelsea EPL games. Subscription prices vary depending on latest offers.Of course, the best way to experience the Premier League (other than in person) is on TV. In the United States, Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports share the TV rights. Oftentimes, you can watch 3-5 live EPL matches on Fox Soccer Channel each week, while Setanta Sports offers as many as 5-6. Fox Soccer Channel is available nationwide via cable and satellite TV. Setanta Sports is available via DirecTV and Dish Network.Verizon Wireless customers with V CAST Video-enabled phones can sign up for near-live, in-game video highlights of selected Premier League matches on your mobile phone. The highlights are accessible via your cellphone for $3.00 (for 24 hour access) or $15 per month.
There are other options of watching Premier League matches online, but they’re illegal (such as Sopcasts), which EPL Talk does not endorse.
Lastly, if there are other options of following Premier League matches online that aren’t covered above, please post a comment and I’ll update the article with the new information.