Why the Premier League Can Only Get Bigger in the U.S.
In a recent reply to an article on EPL Talk, a reader commented that “the market for the Premier League is limited in the US, and quite frankly is at its ceiling.”
That comment was posted by Kartik Krishnaiyer, a regular contributor, expert on U.S. soccer and friend of mine. If you’ve been reading the EPL Talk and Major League Soccer Talk blogs or listening to the respective podcasts for quite some time, you’re undoubtedly familiar with him.
More often than not, I agree with Krishnaiyer — except this time, and here’s why:
- Out of the 28 matches shown on U.S. television this past weekend, there were more than twice as many Premier League matches shown than the homegrown Major League Soccer. In fact, the top leagues in England, Spain and Italy all were shown more often than MLS, which had three matches televised.While the sport of soccer in the United States still isn’t in the mainstream, there are still loads of U.S. residents becoming attracted to the game for the first time (or are being reacquainted with it). If they’re seeking soccer on television, chances are that they’ll find the EPL before Major League Soccer.
- When soccer fans want to seek out the most entertaining league in the world, they’ll turn to the Premier League. La Liga has hit a slump this season with both Barca and Real Madrid underwhelming the viewing public. Plus, the early part of the season was plagued with the media war in Spain, which hurt the league’s global appeal including in the U.S.
- The Premier League’s dominance in the Champions League ensures that English teams are featured front-and-center in what is arguably the world’s top club tournament.Also, the EPL continues to make massive improvements on the pitch (in the form of new star signings and the beneficial influence of foreign managers). The Premiership will continue to be the league that soccer aficionados will turn to each weekend especially as they beat some of the best teams in the world (from other soccer giant countries such as Italy and Spain). Ultimately, the Premier League is gaining more fans in the United States than losing them.
- Fourth and finally, no other league is marketed as well as the Premier League with its industry-leading TV productions. The camera angles and the way that matches are televised live have no equal. Serie A and La Liga, in comparison, are lightyears behind.
For a league that is still revered by many in the United States, the Premiership has a lot of potential to grow in this country. Close to hitting its ceiling? Far from it. America has seen nothing yet.