How Many Premier League Matches Will You Watch This Weekend?

Flat screen television system with speakers

As the second gameweek of the Premier League descends upon football fans in the States and across the world, supporters scramble and plan how they’ll view matches and just how many they’ll be able to fit into their crowded weekends. As new ways to view the Premier League constantly introduce themselves to the masses, more fans are watching more matches each weekend.

Gone are the weekends of the casual fan watching only their club perform. Here to stay are the weekends spent as countless hours tick by on the couch in front of HD televisions or laptops as matches begin to stack up like a child’s set of building blocks. No longer is it sufficient to catch the one marquee match of the weekend without having a peek or four concerning the exploits of your rival or second favorite club.

For quite some years now, Saturdays approach like they did in my younger years as the great release from school. The weekends themselves bring a sort of temporary freedom to my life until the clock resets itself each Monday when I ready myself for the long haul to Saturday again.

A minimum Premier League football weekend for me is six matches. Six because as passionate as I am about football, I have a life and tend to enjoy leaving the house from time to time. Once the Bundesliga starts this weekend, six might jump to ten. When La Liga and Serie A start next week, ten might jump to fifteen until this trend multiplies itself into a downward spiral of time and laziness.

One of the other problems football fans have is that of accidentally finding out the score to a match they’ve previously planned to watch at a later time. This is a tricky obstacle when attempting to maximize Premier League viewing. Text, Twitter, Facebook, tickers and the Internet in general makes avoiding a final score almost impossible. Trying to watch a match where you already know the outcome is never quite the same. The build up of tension and eventual release never replicates itself or feels the same as when viewing live.

If you reside in the UK, I’m curious to know how many matches are available to you each weekend. Do supporters stay in or go to the pub for the afternoon? In the States, we generally have all ten available to us in one format or another either live or on replay. 

Whatever your rituals, number of matches viewed or preferred methods to view them, enjoy your Premier League football this weekend because it’ll be another five days before it comes again.

49 thoughts on “How Many Premier League Matches Will You Watch This Weekend?”

  1. I know this site likes to believe soccer fans are different and we all watch every single second of soccer but it’s just not true. Other sports fans are just as passionate and I’ve NEVER watched a full Saturday of soccer. I have things to do.

    1. P = Jerk. If you have never spent a full Saturday or weekend watching soccer than I feel sorry for you. As a fan of the game there is nothing better.

    2. You’re right that other sports fans are just as passionate. My fall Saturdays are college football from noon to midnight, with Premier League in the morning. It’s beautiful.

      1. You are the Man, It is so beautiful, EPL in the morning, college football and MLB too in the mix, but if the weather is nice, I will go outside to breed some fresh air and be back to my passions. BTW, P is not a real fan I agree.

  2. I will probably catch three live (two if I have to go in to the office Monday and not work from my home office) and perhaps two others through the week on the DVR.

    I only wish Chris Kamara were available here in the States. He can be the funniest man on television some days and I truly miss seeing him already.

  3. I remember the time when my life was consumed with premier league football. I not only knew everything there was to know about MY team, I knew everything about YOUR team. But while my passion for my club has never faded, I just cannot give 6-10 matches worth of my time up each weekend. The reason football is easier in the states (and by extension, the reason the premier league in england) is the times. I can catch some of the noon match before I head out, see the scores of the afternoon games when I come home, watch sunday, monday and thursday night football after work. I can easily catch 12+ hours of NFL without really adjusting my schedule too much. (Likewise, its more commonly on TV places you go)

    But with our beloved game, I no longer wake up at 6am and watch matches till noon. I have family obligations, chores, errands, and perhaps I am getting old but Saturday morning is an important time to get things done.. when time during the week is busy with other conflicts. I find myself watching fewer matches than I did 3 years ago, oddly enough. I havnt missed my club play in 5 years, and I will gladly watch any prem match on tv if im home and the woman lets me relax haha… but I suppose I read this blog with a sense of remeniscense. I found it easier to follow a few years ago.. but now with twitter, facebook, emails, updates, and everything else, i find there are people getting their news and info at a gluttunous rate and its leaving some of us behind to just follow the club we love. I have in now way indicated this is not a good thing. God love ya Jesse, and the woman who will put up with 12-20 hours a weekend of you watching footie!

    1. dkptiger,

      Great feedback. That kind of story was exactly what I was looking for and raises some good points. Maybe an idea for a future article?

      The idea of not really loosing interest in football, but of growing a little older and noticing a shift in your priorities.

      Very interesting stuff.

      1. FWIW, its im actually only 27.. i may have sounded a bit older there. but i suppose in my early/mid twenties my LIFE was football. id spend every minute at work, and outside work following the news and rumors. i moderated a website about united that started around 1000 members to now over 300k. I spent hours everyday talking about footie, listening to WSD and various podcasts. and living in omaha, nebraska.. while people liked sawker, i was becoming an elitsist snob. i quickly established the view that soccer fan in america was the roadblock that would always make us a second class sport. i hinted at that towards the end of my post.. there are those who envelope themselves in this culture.. and others who devote all of that passion to their club. psychologist may argue that the latter have enough security in their connection with their club, and the former is trying to overcompensate for the fact that they are thousands of miles (figuratively and literally) from their clubs. i however, will not make that argument, as i feel the issue is moot. some of us get immersed in things we love, others want to focus on one part and devote all of their attention. but i will not downplay the subconscious effort to overcompensate for being american, or african, or middle eastern.. all things not brit. Johnny Brit who was born in Rotherham can easily tie his allegence to a club.. however in theory, anyone elsewhere who supports a premier league club can be seen as a glory hunter (not just the big 4). however this is a point that can offend people regarding something with which they are very passionate.. so i will leave it for a different discussion.

        i would not judge anyone for their “fandom” or support. but in terms of the article.. i do want to point out how its worded and how people respond. many tied the number of matches to their rabid passion. yet as i said, i have very little doubt i love my club as much as anyone on here.. and watch and follow them with all the passion as you. One last comparison….

        In america, think of NFL fans. We have our favorite team, and in years past, we would generally only watch the local regional coverage and the primetime game on monday. if you supported your local team, lucky you, if not.. well, sorry. then sunday ticket, sports bars, and perhaps the deathnell for isolated support..fantasy football. now i can watch every major market game, i know the best players on every team in the 32 team league, all the story lines, who is injured.. its truly shocking how ive absorbed this content without looking for it. meanwhile, i still love the chiefs and never miss their game every week.. but i perhaps get more joy from watching the marquee matchup that has been overhyped by ESPN. why is this? I can name more receivers on the Cowboys than I can on my own team. This is the “PremierLeagueification” of the NFL. As americans, its like we never knew of the NFL, and then came in at a time of cafeteria style selection. we had to pick our favorite team (or them pick us) and isolate our support at a time of hype, access and technology. so if you are over the age of 25, ask yourself this.. if the 10 year old you was just starting to watch the NFL today.. would you have found the same team.. would your watching habits be the same? would you be a bigger, or less of a fan?

        last story, not trying to hijack here jesse haha.. in KC i met some “true reds” (ha) from england and we had a chat about supporting united and the like. one american at the get together talked about liverpools new signings, recent comments coming out of the bridge, what madrid is doing.. these guys couldnt really be bothered with much of it. perhaps its the mancunian attitude, however i think it has more to do with our vantage point. when you watch national news you get a national perspective.. when you watch local news you get the local slant. so often, we are wanting local content on a national (global) offering.. and we end up knowing and following more than the piece of content we were intiailly searching for.

        all the ramblings of a crazy old man i suppose.. as i realize i just gave the “in my day” speech and im not even 30…

    2. I agree. Sounds like you’re a little older than me perhaps, but I just can’t watch every EPL game that’s on the TV. I DVR everything and always have at least 6-7 games a week to go through, but I probably watch two in full (my Fulham and whatever other match of the week I’m most interested in) and then skim the others or just watch the review show on Sundays.

      Sometimes a footy filled weekend will occur because I have the time or because there’s a ton of great matches (end of season, boxing day etc), but I don’t know many that have a life outside of football that can do more really.

    3. Most certainly the time of day is a factor Stateside. I can easily watch the early Saturday match up because I usually never need to be out of the home before 9:30. The football also gives good structure for getting chores done. I can have the home vacuumed, lawn mowed, wash on the line by the time the first game ends.

      Usually I’m done after two matches on Saturday (barring a big Noon matchup). Sunday will allow one or two more match ups. There are other things to do in life than watch football… at least, that is what my wife tells me. :^D

      But it is great to be Stateside because in theory, you can have about half of the day left after watching 3 live EPL games on Saturday (thanks to being ~2 hrs in length), with up to two games being “guilt free”. 2 NFL games kills Sundays (the first kills the afternoon and the second kills the evening).

  4. I generally do see all the EPL games every weekend – I watch Liverpool match and one or two other interesting matches live and go back to the rest throughout the week via or even if I caught the score somewhere. It’s not that hard with a laptop and about an one hour per night.

    Other than that, I watch any other match with Liverpool in the competition (FA, Carling, Europa).

  5. It’s hard to say. I plan my weekend around Fulham’s match, which this week is on Sunday. That comes first. I never look at the EPL schedule and say “man, I gotta watch Arsenal vs Blackpool today.” If Fulham isn’t involved, I’ll watch bits of whatever is on FSC & FSC+ back and forth. Then I’ll watch the Noon match…no matter who is playing. I only watch delayed broadcasts if Fulham gets the delayed treatment. Otherwise, the Fighting Irish play football in the afternoon & that takes afternoon priority with me.

  6. 5 EPL matches, 3 live 2 later (Gunners always)
    1 MLS match (PHL Union)
    1 Serie A match (AS Roma)
    Champions League whenever the Gunners or Roma play

  7. I’ll have all the games shown on my TV at some point over the weekend (the DVR allows this). But I won’t necessarily sit down and watch every one. I’ll watch my team, maybe another big game, and a couple more of other leagues if I like the match-up. Otherwise, while the unimportant (to me) games are on, I’ll be doing other things around the apartment, anything from reading the newspaper to cleaning chores. If I happen to catch something interesting the announcers say I might stop and watch.

  8. I watch every match available on TV almost always. Occasionally I have a conflict. In general I catch about 4 EPL games a week. CL games are harder to be free for, but if there is absolutely any way I can see them I’m in.

  9. Since I still don’t have FSCHD or FS+, or GolTVHD for that matter, I take whatever soccer I can get in HD – so basically the ESPN2HD EPL matches and FSN CL match in HD on Tuesdays. I’ve watched Spurs-Young Boys and Werder Bremen-Sampdoria, but will check out other CL matches this weekend, and probably a Bundesliga match or 2 on GolTV. With La Liga starting next weekend, will be watching Barcelona, but since they win like 90% of their league games, I think I’ll be doing more of a moderate survey of the whole league this season and just focus my Barca time on CL. I’ve also given up on DC United for the season, but still watching CONCACAF CL with MLS teams involved. I figure this way I’ll burn myself out early, take a break, come back with better priorities, and then enjoy soccer whenever I can. But until then, it rules my life…sigh.

  10. Most of us in Britain support one team, so would either go to that game or find it on TV. If it’s a big game, pub’s are a popular choice for those without tickets however many subscribe to Sky TV. Those of us like myself who don’t have Sky are well versed in finding “alternative” means of watching.

    Either way, most of us don’t want to sit through 90 minutes of other games, however Match of the Day condenses the action very well so all the goals and analyses of interesting games are worth watching.

    You also should give a mention to the radio which is still very popular for football fans, as most big local stations air their respective games and have very good post match phone in’s, for example the ‘Legends football phone in’ on Newcastle’s Real radio which is co hosted by legend Malcolm Macdonald retains a large audience.

  11. I find “Irate Fan’s” comment really interesting. Something I have felt for quite a while, reading EPLTalk. While many of us in the States are just footy nuts and will watch almost anything, most Brits care about only ONE thing…THEIR team. All else is dust.

    This obviously has to do with realtors’ (estate agents’) :-) favorite phrase, “Location, location, location”. If you’re born in England I think you pretty much have local team DNA in your veins. If you’re born in the U.S. it comes down to some kind of choice. We have a lot more “freedom”, if you will.

    Jesse, you used the phrase “second favorite club”, which I think most Brits would find a sacrilege. As a Yank, I understand, but I “think” most Brits would wonder if you haven’t lost your mind. How can you have a second “favorite”?

    At any rate, I think that that may lead to many of us here in the States watching multiple matches during the day, if not at the same time (guilty)… say nothing of the availability issue.

    I will watch any match with Can-We-Get-A-Freakin’-Goal-Fulham. After that I tend to watch matches I think will be competitive. I don’t mind Chelsea beating the snot out of someone, but I won’t bother to watch a match where I think that is likely.

    1-2 matches per day is my limit…if they meet my qualifications. Otherwise, I am a college football junkie and that sucks up a lot of time. Thank goodness for DVRs.

    And finally. Some have mentioned the age issue. Let’s just keep in mind that I am old enough to be “Grand-pop” to most of you…..and watch your mouths. 😉

    1. Guy, definitely a good observation. Many people I find outside the UK are interested in the brand, the “Premier League,” while supporters in the UK are more likely to care less about the brand itself and more likely to support their club. Of course, there are people outside the UK who support their club, but they tend to watch other Premier League clubs too. This is helped by the large number of games shown on television around the world (and the very few live games shown on UK TV).

      The Gaffer

      1. The Gaffers point about few live games being shown is given extra credence by the fact that the immensely popular live show Gillette Soccer Saturday has been moved from freeview to the core Sky network which is a subscription service, much to the annoyance of everybody as the BBC’s live show Final Score is of relatively poor quality. Add that to the fact that a lot of people can’t watch the match never mind get to one makes catching football doubly difficult, so I will be relying on Al Jazeera sports or the radio at University when I return, and will cherish my Aston Villa tickets with extra emphasis.

        Secondly, lot’s of us do actually have a second favourite team, in my case, anybody who’s playing Sunderland 😀

  12. The top priority every weekend is the Gunners game – and even that is at times hard to watch live because of how many games my son plays every weekend. We may get up early to watch a good matchup at 7:45, and we typically watch a Chelsea, United (and, more recently, Man City) just to root for the other team. Once those games are settled, we stop watching. Given we have the time, we may catch most of a good La Liga or Serie A matchup on Sundays.

  13. i normally will just watch arsenal play,if i have nothing else to do i will leave whatever match is on tv and go on the computer or do other random stuff,i dont watch every game,its same for other sports for me,ill normally watch my teams play or if its a really good game..ill catch on this past monday i watched man u/new castle because nothing else to do on a monday afternoon,i guess im not a “true” fan

  14. this is one area that my wacky work hours are to my benefit. i am in the central time zone, and my work day begins at 1:00am and ends at noon so i am basically on England time. Since i am used to it, this allows me to watch every match, every weekend as well as the Mon-Tues-Wed cup ties and other competitions that kick off at 1:45pm.

    in addition to that, i generally do not have anything else to do on the weekends (at least not until footy is over) so i watch every match with the help of my DVR for the games that kick at the same time. i love it!

  15. I plan on watching Stoke vs Spurs (peek at Everton vs Wolves and Arsenal vs Blackpool), Wigan vs Chelsea, Newcastle vs Aston Villa, Fulham vs Man United and on Monday Manchester City vs Liverpool.

  16. When I arrived on these shores in the early 70’s I couldn’t get to see a single English league match on TV. There were no satellite tv dishes, cable tv or the internet. I had to keep track of results on my short-wave radio.

    Today the number of football matches one can watch live from Europe and South America on cable, satellite dishes or the internet is absolutely astounding. There is also the local MLS.

    This weekend, for EPL matches, I’m going to try and watch Stoke vs Spurs, maybe Wigan vs Chelsea, Newcastle vs A. Villa and Fulham vs Man United (recorded on DVR as I plan on being out hiking during the match). I also am going to watch the Monday matchup between Manchester City and Liverpool.

    I love the fact that I now have the ability to pick and choose which matches to watch, especially in the EPL. For all the complaining many of us make about coverage on Fox or ESPN, we need to make note of the fact that at least we can get to watch live EPL football every weekend. And as far as I’m concerned they can all be in SD and I’d still be happy because at least I have the ability to now watch live football. Yes, HD is wonderful and I enjoy watching it too but I would never pass up a match just because it was in SD.

    As a football fanatic, this is by far the best of times.

  17. Usually watch at least 2 per week (Arsenal and Seattle Sounders). My son will watch the Man U match and we always catch the weekly review show. Like others have mentioned, we may have the other matches on in the background while doing chores, etc. If there is a big game that doesn’t involve Arsenal (for me) or Man U (for my son), we’ll record that and watch. We’ll also try to record and peruse a Championship match and a good match from the other European leagues.

  18. I will watch epl. Manchester United and parts or all the rest of the matches. England show early and late kickoff on cable saturday. They blackout local 3 pm to protect local clubs. If Monday and ESPN carried they get that along with the 530 and 8 am Pacific doubleheader on Sunday,

    we do better!

    We get 8-9 games, they get 3 miminum,. 5 maximum.

    I will watch 3 or 4 games and monitor at once the 7am pacific games, if not caught on scores I try and watch parts or all of every one

  19. Since I support Aston Villa and my wife backs Chelsea, that means there are normally two “must watch” games in our household. Otherwise, one of the main things I look forward to all week is Saturday morning games at 6:45am CST, two games on the two televisions I have setup next to each other with the computer updating the scoring in the other 3-4 games, and then all the focus on the 11:30am CST game on FSC to round out the action. Then usually catch both games on Sunday and race home from work to watch the Monday game before grad class.

    The best part of the above scenario is that on Saturday and Sunday my viewing is complete around 1:00pm. It’s like I’ve missed nothing by watching games (other than not sleeping in on the weekend).

    Finish things off by downloading MOTD to watch the few games I missed and the short analysis and I feel like I’ve gotten my fill by the end of the weekend.

    Also went to the Chicago Fire game on Wednesday night. Then watched illegal streams of Europa League games on Thursday afternoon too. I basically go by the…if it’s on TV, I’m watching it method.

  20. I’m a club oriented guy. I always watch Arsenal, PSG, and the Sounders. With multiple competitions, that’s about all my week has room for. I will make time for the occaisional big match-up but not often.

  21. Pretty much my usual routine is:

    Early KO
    Spurs match
    Late Saturday KO
    Sunday matches (depending on work schedule)
    Any Monday or midweek matches I can

    Whatever matches they run on delay. I really don’t ever find myself recording the other 10ET matches and watching them back. I do watch the Premier League Review Show

  22. Living in Florida, I wake up early every Saturday morning (6:30, gives me time to shower, dress, walk my dog, check Facebook, and eat breakfast). I’m on my couch at 7:45 in time for the first match. At 10 it’s a tossup as to what I’ll watch since I have both FSC and FS+, though I only have FS+ in HD, so that match usually takes precedent unless Chelsea is playing.
    When 12:30 rolls around I’m ready to watch whichever match is airing. I don’t typically watch the delayed matches, though I will have them on as background noise when I’m on my computer.
    Sundays I get up around 7 and repeat the same process just in time for the 8:30 match, followed by the one at 11.
    Monday I’ll always watch the late afternoon match and then mid-week live Champions League matches.
    I never watch matches on my computer, it’s TV or nothing, though I am listening to the Tampa Bay Rowdies D2 match as I’m posting this.

  23. 2 matches per weekend:

    a. Liverpool v. Whoever, and
    b. Whichever ever game I’m betting on (I never bet on LFC games)

    Not enough time for more.

  24. Great post.
    First, I plan on watching no less than 6 over the whole week end. (Including DVR)
    Then…there are no “casual fans” anymore. Thanks to Fantasy Football.
    I also don’t mind learning the scores before hand to select matches. I’ll still watch. Still growl at the TV when the ref blows a call. Still groan in agony when my side misses after I KNOW that they’ve reached their final goal for the match. Still jump and cheer when they score. It’s all in a week ends “work” of watching football. Baseball. NCAA Football.
    Bottom line is – I dig it.

  25. I always watch the Chelsea game, first and foremost. I live out west, so the 4:30 game is on tape, and I start watching as soon as I get up. I always try to catch the top teams, Man U & Arsenal, and any big games. I guess I see about 5-7 PL games per week.

  26. I will only watch LIVE games; DVRing games ruins it and is sacrilegious. So this weekend I will watch 4 LIVE games as they were intended to be watched.

  27. I went through a phase where I watched every prem match possible. That has waned due to oversaturation and my getting a bit older. I’m in my early 30’s and sports just don’t mean as much as they used to. I still arrange my schedule to watch Liverpool any chance I get. I live on the east coast and tend to stay up very late (I can make my own schedule and just seem to work better really late). As a result, I usually go to bed at 2am on Fri night/Sat morning. I always set my alarm at 7:45 and turn on ESPN2 for the early game though to be honest I still sleep through about 70 of the 90 minutes and usually am only awakened by announcer yelling. The FSC 10 am match is usually mediocre and I leave it on while doing something else. I do subscribe to and might find a match that interests me more. Even though I am only half paying attention to the two “early” matches if Liverpool aren’t involed, I am usually tapped out by the 12:30 kickoff. I’d love to say I could watch any match for 90 full minutes, but I must be honest and say that I get bored pretty often.

  28. As a Villa fan from Boston, I’ll do whatever it takes to watch our match. I’ve just gotten FSC so that helps, and when ESPN2 shows Villa in that glorious HD it is a great big deal for me. I’ll carry on with the lads from Liverpool at the pub if I can’t get it at the house, and they are tolerant of my allegiance. As a Yank I will watch every match I can, usually 3 or 4 a week. I won’t watch Chelsea (think NY Yankees) but usually find a side to pull for in each match. Liverpool, Fulham, and ManU come to mind – I just can not root against Giggsy unless he’s at Villa Park.

  29. I normally go out of my way to watch the Everton match each week and the MLS philadelphia union. Often I will watch the 745am game if Everton is not in it. I watch LFC (though ceering against them) and Fulham throughout the Europa league and pretty much any Premier League team in the Champions league. Often i will have to DVR matches and then not logon to sites to watch the games without knowing the outcome.

  30. On Saturday I’ll start by watching Stoke v Totenham. If that begins to disappoint I’ll switch to Arsenal v Blackpool and if that disappoints I’ll switch to Everton v Wolves. I can only afford to spend 2 hours towards soccer for Saturday. On Sunday I’ll watch Newcastle v Aston Villa live and will dvr Fulham v Man U and watch it later at night. The one I’m most looking forward to watching is Man City v Liverpool on Monday afternoon and I’ve rearranged my schedule so I’ll be able to watch it live.

  31. Gaffer, between Sky and ESPN there’s usually about 4 or 5 Prem games on UK TV live per weekend plus 2 or 3 Football League games, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A etc so we don’t have it too bad. Don’t forget Football First on Sky has long edits of each match on a Saturday evening, as well as MOTD on the beeb for highlights. if you’re not at a march then Soccer Saturday is an institution for many

    1. Yup – only came online in the second half. Not very promising for subscribers – I’m glad we just paid the monthly and not the yearly subscription. And we woke up early special to see the live game. What do you think of the shortened ‘replay’ games – or would you prefer to see the whole game?

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