Why We're No Longer Watching the Same EPL Matches
For the past several years in the United States, the majority of soccer fans who were watching Premier League matches saw — for the most part — the same games. The vast majority of us watched the Saturday 10am ET game on Fox Soccer Channel, as well as the 12:30pm ET one and the match of the week on Sunday at 11am ET. Of course, many of us also watched the other games available too, but not always.
Now, thanks to the re-launch of FoxSoccer.tv which allows soccer fans in the United States a chance to watch the Premier League games live that used to be shown on television on delay, the number of live Premier League games shown on US television each weekend has increased by 42% from 7 to 10.
Trust me, I’m not complaining. However, what it has done is that the chances of we soccer fans in the United States watching mostly the same Premier League games has vastly decreased. Gone are the days where we can all reminisce about how wonderful that 10am ET game was that was shown on Fox Soccer Channel. That’s because at 10am ET, there are often six live Premier League games being shown at the same time.
For me, this past weekend, I managed to watch five of the nine games shown live during Saturday and Sunday. They were Birmingham against Arsenal, Bolton against Man United, Tottenham versus Portsmouth, Burnley against Blackburn and Liverpool versus Sunderland. While I enjoyed the majority of the games, there still were some cheeky posters on EPL Talk complaining that I had not written about Chelsea versus Aston Villa or West Ham against Stoke. The reality is that it’s impossible for me to see all of the games. And as I explained earlier this week, the first opportunity there is to watch highlights of the Premier League matches legally isn’t until late Sunday night.
The increased quantity of live Premier League games available on United States television and/or Internet each weekend will change the viewing habits of soccer fans Stateside. In the past, there was no guarantee that your favorite team, especially if they were from the lower half in the league, would be available on television or Internet each week, so it meant that soccer fans could mix up their viewing habits more to see various Premier League teams. But now that every Premier League game is available in the U.S., I believe that soccer fans will definitely make more of a conscious effort to watch their favorite club. That means they may not necessarily have time to watch some of the most enticing games each weekend.
For example, how many of you watched the brilliant game between Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth from the weekend, which I thought was a thoroughly entertaining game in which Spurs really showed how they’re enjoying their football right now. At the same time, Portsmouth was no pushover and they could have easily scored a couple except for some solid defending by Spurs and some herculean saves from Heurelho Gomes. And did you see the painful-to-watch injuries that happened to Hermann Hreidarsson and then to the player who was substituted in for him, Danny Webber?
That’s just one example of an entertaining game from this past weekend and there were several of them.
To me, this increased quantity of Premier League games available makes a Saturday review show such as Match Of The Day on US television that much more vital than before.
What about you? With the increased number of Premier League games available each weekend, has it changed your viewing habits at all and do you feel overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of games available? Click the comments link below and share your feedback.