Twitter Killed The Premier League On TV Star


We’re just weeks away from the start of the 2009-2010 Premier League season, and the excitement and suspense is already building (Fulham today played the first friendly of the season involving an English team down under today). But this upcoming football season will be unlike any other because of the Twitter effect, the impact that the social media tool will have on the way we follow the world’s most popular sports league.

For those of you who have been captured by the Twitter bug, you’ll know that it’s an extremely addictive way to stay on top of the news, to communicate with friends and people you follow, and to tell others what you’re up to as well as your thoughts. The maelstrom that was created on Twitter as a result of the protests in Iran and the death of Michael Jackson are just two recent examples of how integral Twitter is to our culture.

The dilemma for followers of English football is this, though.

We live in a world where many of us follow the Premier League on delay. With time shifting devices such as DVRs on TVs and websites (thanks to Setanta-i), many of us record matches to view later at a more convenient time. In previous seasons, this has been relatively easy to do to avoid seeing scorelines. Don’t surf English football-related websites on the Internet, and you were safe.

Now with Twitter, however, it becomes much more difficult. Will we have to put our mobile phones aside and stay away from Twitter (and Twitter sites such as Tweetdesk, Twitterrific and others) for hours on end?

For example, it’s very often that I end up watching an English football match six to 12 hours, or more, after it has been played. To not ruin the match by knowing what the final score is, Twitter users like myself would have to avoid Twitter for hours.

Sure, with some self control, this can happen. But the essence of Twitter is staying on top of the latest news and tweets throughout the day for breaking news and observations.

The only solution is to stay away from Twitter. But due to its crack-like addiction, I don’t see that happening. What may happen more often is that football fans will be forced back into watching games live so they can participate in the conversations on Twitter.

Who will have the most to lose from soccer fans becoming addicted to Twitter? At first, it’ll be the networks that show the games live on television such as Sky Sports, ESPN UK, Fox Soccer Channel, Setanta US and others. More fans may skip games because they know what the final score is, and — as a result — the networks may see a slight decline in the number of eyeballs watching their games and, more importantly, the advertisements they carry.

But, the other side to the argument is that Twitter may in fact attract more people to the Premier League match and do what the Internet has done which is to make the Premier League more accessible and to increase the popularity of the sport worldwide.

I predict that this season will be groundbreaking in how Twitter changes the way that we experience Premier League football. The number of people who will be switching from minute-by-minute text commentary to match updates via Twitter will be enormous. And we’re going to be more plugged in to what’s happening much faster than even now.

If you haven’t caught the Twitter bug yet, be sure to sign up today at and follow EPL Talk where we have updates throughout the day as well as late-breaking news. In many ways, I’ve been using Twitter as a micro-blogging tool to share the latest news with my Twitter followers more so than blogging on EPL Talk. But between the two, Twitter and this blog, you’ll get a lot of the inside scoop and breaking news delivered to your daily as it happens.

Whether you’re on Twitter or not, be prepared for the 2009-2010 Premier League season to be one like never before. As the season progresses, don’t be surprised to see or hear about new Twitter inventions that are created to maximize the experience of following the sport. This, my friends, is just the beginning of a revolutionary new way to communicate.

PS — It’s July 8, 2009 today and the Premier League still doesn’t have an official Twitter account. Let’s see how long it takes the league to jump on this bandwagon.

12 thoughts on “Twitter Killed The Premier League On TV Star”

  1. this is a very lame post… ppl hoping to catch matches later ,alwys had probs before twitter , the websites would give live update, tht dint stop them goin online , did it?? moreover u hav more chances seeing the scores on a random site than seein a tweet

  2. n667 needs a dose of reality. Last season you could log on to twitter and get updates from every match in every league very easily. Twitter has grown even bigger and the impact will be even greater. You are WAY more likely to be “spoiled” by a result on twitter rather than any other form of media.

    I use twitter every day not only to interact with others, but like EPL Talk, to promote my blog. This season, the impact will be huge and anyone who doesn’t see that needs to actually use the service to understand the impact.

    BTW…my Twitter account is linked to my name. :)

    1. I think it is you my friend who needs a dose of reality, so get away from your twitter and your dreamland behind your computer and get some real social interaction with real people and go to a pub to watch the match.

      1. Joaq, it’s not easy being able to get to the pub when you have four children — such as I do. In my younger days, I was at the pub every weekend, but now I’m on the go much more so I’m usually checking Twitter on the road and watch games on DVR later.

        The Gaffer

        1. I understand what you’re sayin Boss but what I meant by that is the computer is consuming the lives of millions and for the computer to ruin something as beautiful as football, an activity that takes place outdoors, is sheer nonsense.

          1. Joaq, the number of games we’ll be watching on our computers instead of TV will increase this season. The next step after that is being able to watch games on your mobile phone. It’s only a matter of time before that happens.

            With laptops and mobile phones — coupled with wireless access, you can still be mobile.

            The Gaffer

  3. I understand the primary purpose of Twitter in regards to many of the users on this site, however, what I am failing to realize is… Why is everyone being infected with ADHD!? Is it really that hard to control yourself from using the computer during the day.

    I am pretty disappointed that this is the topic that when I get to work is on the front page of this website. For the people who are beginning to feel that Twitter is ruining football on tv, I have this to say to them.. Get a life! Get off your arse and get away from the computer!

    That is the major problem with current society. We need to be perpetually entertained. There is no reason for someone to go from the computer to the tele and vice versa. I honestly cannot believe some people feel Twitter is ruining televised footy. Unbelievable.

    Can we please get back to talking about the managers, transfers, players, and club banter!? Do we have to talk about the computer while on the computer already?

    1. Joaq, that’s precisely the reason I wrote this post. Twitter doesn’t tie you down to your computer. You can be on the go wherever you are, but chances are you’ll have your mobile phone with you. And if you have it being updated with tweets throughout the day, chances are you’ll find out about football scores before you watch the actual matches.

      While EPL Talk focuses on the Premier League, we have always covered media and will continue to do so — whether it’s the TV networks where we watch our games, the football websites we frequent, the podcasts we listen to, or the football supporters and figureheads we follow on Twitter.

      The Gaffer

  4. I guess this is one more reason not to get into Twitter, eh? My friends who I interact with know that I DVR my footy games and to not talk to me about any result less than 24 hours after the result. :-)

  5. Its the world we live in now, Chris. Info is everywhere and just a few keystrokes you can find anything you want. Futbol isn’t in the dark days like it was before where there was hardly any futbol or highlights from Europe. We live in a day where more American’s are into the game and with the explosion of the internet and interest by the TV Companies like ESPN and Fox we aren’t going back to the days where it was possible to watch multiple games in a row on delay and not be spoiled.

    If ESPN is in the game with the Premiership and has a 10am game you know they are going to show highlights and updates of scores around the league because that is how sport is covered here. As much as we as futbol fans don’t want to be spoiled because we can’t watch at a particular time we have to remember the world is going on and the game has been played or is in the process of being played and there is just not enough time in the day and ability to stay away from results. It’s just the way it is and it is for the good of the game because it means that the media and people all around the world realize that game of futbol and leagues such as the Premiership along with the NFL and College Football are the only two sports where results matter on a week to week basis because of how small the regular season is compared to the other games and leagues throughout the world.

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