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England Football Fans Shut Out On Both Sides Of The Atlantic

england players2 England Football Fans Shut Out On Both Sides Of The Atlantic

For once, the Brits know how it feels to be American. That is, they know how difficult it is to watch England play football on TV.

With the TV rights for England in Britain going to Setanta Sports, most Englanders didn’t see the two nil win against Andorra on Saturday. The same will apply to the essential England match against Croatia, which is again available only on Setanta in the UK.

In the United States, it’s always been difficult to see meaningful England games on television. Last Saturday’s debacle against Andorra was only available on pay-per-view (for $25), in pubs showing Setanta (for a $20 cover charge) and on Setanta Broadband (if you have an annual contract for $150).

If you live in the States, Wednesday’s match against Croatia is available again on pay-per-view or in pubs that show the Setanta pub channel.

Or, of course, there’s half a dozen illegal ways to watch the match. In England, Setanta’s unwillingness to provide highlights of the Croatia against England match is only going to increase the demand for ways to watch it illegally — streams, P2P players and a ton of video sites.

The same thing applies to football fans in America. It’s bloody 2008. Forcing fans to pay $25 to watch one match is archaic. Very few fans are willing to spend that much cash when international matches are becoming less exciting than club football.


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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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