In Pursuit of the Perfect Premier League Experience

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard runs with the ball during their English Premier League soccer match against West Bromwich Albion at Anfield in Liverpool, northern England, August 29, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)

Watching Saturday’s games in the Premier League, there’s no doubt that we’re spoilt for choice. Every single Premier League match was available for us to watch live thanks to a combination of Fox Soccer Channel, ESPN2, Fox Soccer Plus and And knowing that we would be on an international break for the next two weeks, I consumed as much Premier League football as my body could take.

But as I was watching it, I wondered whether I was enjoying it the best way that I could. The early kick-off between Blackburn Rovers and Arsenal was a cinch. No other games were played at the same time, so I was able to sit down and watch the game in HD with few distractions.

But the rest of the weekend was a blur. For the 10am ET kickoffs, I ended up watching Tottenham against Wigan on TV, and then watched Wolves against Newcastle at the same time on my laptop, where I was streaming Wolves against Newcastle. At half-time, thanks to the DVR functionality on, I was able to catch up on what I missed from the first half of the Chelsea against Stoke and Blackpool versus Fulham games.

Then for the second half, I ended up watching Blackpool against Fulham on, while Spurs against Wigan was on in the background. When the full-time whistle blew at Bloomfield Road, I clicked around on and was able to watch the match highlights for Chelsea against Stoke and Wolves against Newcastle (I just love the ‘Match Highlights’ feature at half-time and at the end of the second half on

Later that afternoon I watched Manchester United against West Ham United. With no other Premier League games played at the same time, it was an easier match to watch (just like Blackburn against Arsenal).

A similar experience happened on Sunday for me when I watched parts of Bolton against Birmingham, then parts of Liverpool versus West Brom and parts of Aston Villa against Everton.

But my point is, am I experiencing the games in the best way possible? The jumping back-and-forth can be annoying at times especially if I feel I may be missing something on the other stream or channel. But for me, with a busy weekend and a family to spend time with, I don’t have time to sit down and watch 90 minutes of each game. Or, if I do, it’s only a few select games.

And this is just the TV and broadband streaming experience. There are ways to enhance the experience of watching a Premier League weekend by listening to live audio commentary, participating in chats, playing online fantasy games (in real-time) or watching a game cast (or match cast).

Sometimes I wish I supported one Premier League club and didn’t have the responsibility of EPL Talk hanging over my shoulders where I need to watch every game to stay on top of how teams are doing. It would be much easier for me to support, say Bolton Wanderers, and then consume each weekend knowing that I would watch every Bolton home and away match on TV or online.

But even outside of EPL Talk, part of the reason I love watching the Premier League is the variety of the different games and teams. Every weekend there is an unbelievable story, an unbelievable game. It really is better than the movies. Extremely entertaining. Completely unpredictable. But sometimes I wonder if I’m not getting the perfect experience while watching it.

Do you feel like you’re in the same boat, or would you like to share how you experience a Premier League weekend? Share your feedback in the comments section below.

13 thoughts on “In Pursuit of the Perfect Premier League Experience”

  1. I usually just watch one or two matches that appear to be the best on paper and catch highlights from the rest on the Premier League Review Show.

    It’s a crapshoot. Sometimes I watch 90 minutes of a great match; other times I’m only able to see 10 minutes of highlights of a fantastic match.

    But with a family and other responsibilities, it’s about the only way to go.

    There’s always the torrents, too, from what I’ve heard … :)

  2. try to watch BBC’s Match of the Day. Good to see all the highlights.
    If you are interested in tactics, watch one Sat15:00 (10am ET) game live and the others on tape delay (is that not available?)

  3. It’s all about the availability, isn’t it. Somehow I don’t think our English readers are going to be too sympathetic to your (our) plight. I do understand your dilemma, but, hey, that’s the price you pay for being The Gaffer. :-)

  4. If you’re reduced to the state where you’re watching more than one match at a time, you might be ready for an intervention. ūüėČ

  5. I live in Florida and have Comcast cable. All I have is espn2 and FSC for matches. FSC isn’t even in HD, and I have no clue when FSC will be on HD for Comcast. I support MUFC and I think I get to see/dvr about 80% of the matches due to FSC/espn2. I wish espn2 would show more of the “bigger” matchups. I’m not saying show the big 4 all the time, but know the derby matches at least and show them on espn2.

  6. It’s really harder then it used to be when all I had to do was turn on FSC and go to EPL Talk and chat with the Gaffer and BC. Life is so much more complicated now. Choice is and the free market is overwhelming at times. How can one miss the ESPN early game in HD and a professional presentation by the World Wide Leader in Sports broadcasting. Then you have the FSC main game and with their choice of games and then a FSC late game and more on Sundays. Not to mention radio broadcasts and post and pre game shows from the local outlets in England. Help it’s too much!

    Really coverage of the EPL is a feast now in the US and it’s easy to over eat!
    Is there anything left really for a Match of the Day broadcast or FSC reveiw show to do for us. Not to mention that you try to fit in the excellent BBC World Football Phone in show on Friday nights and have to hear the EPL Talk review podcast as soon as it’s out. Oh, btw I need to watch my Chicago Fire and other MLS accident.

    I almost forget to get tickets to the USA v. Poland game in Chicago coming up! Anyone coming to see the game btw or do you need a break?

  7. This past weekend, we were in transit from the beach. I had also cancelled my account (I may return to it if FS+ doesn’t go full HD soon) to avoid the charge. Therefore, from my laptop, I set Blackburn/Arsenal, Tottenham/Wigan, and ManUtd/WHU to record. I watched all of Arsenal’s victory, and the first hour of the Tot/Wig match, then woke up early to see the glorious ending. At that point, I think I had peaked and saw the ManUtd score so I deleted that. We went to church, so I watched Bolton/Birmingham and Aston Villa/Everton from the DVR. I also caught the last 20 minutes of a repeat of the Sunderland/ManCity game.

    The reality I’ve come to accept is that, without, watching the delayed games on FS+ is not worth it because they are not in HD. Everything on FS+ is on, and according to your interview they are exploring full replays instead of 45 min capsules.

    By October, there is a very good chance that I’ll be cancelling FS+ and going to I think between ESPN2, FSC, and, that’s the ticket if you have DirecTV.

  8. I’m like you Gaffer, in that I don’t like to miss a thing when it comes to any of the ten games each week. As a Villa supporter, that game will be the main focus without a doubt, so when last Saturday was filled with other games, it’s usually a matter of making whatever work I need to get done fit with following the games.

    I workout on a stationary bike during the early morning ESPN2 game, take a break at halftime, then continue to workout for the second half. It’s the only way I will work out that long…if I have a game to watch. At 9:00am, I have two TV’s setup downstairs that allow me to watch the FSC and FSC+ games while keeping the Matchcasts open for the non-televised games. When the featured game comes around, I usually get things like laundry and work-related things done unless it’s a huge matchup where I want to focus on the game alone. So I guess my focus depends on the game or games being played.

  9. please excuse my language..
    thank god for ESPN2, fsc short the sxxt with HD channel. TWC fxxk you, evey time i call you, you tell me FSC HD is available shortly..go fxxk yourself morons.. be straight with your customer.

  10. This week was good for me. I could watch Arsenal Blackburn. I swear to God, I woke up at 6 in the morning, made myself a cuppa coffee, and waited for the match to start in HD. Thank god the match was on ESPN2 as the previous poster said. I watched Arsenal play in glorious HD, didn’t miss a second of it. Got absolutely thrilled when RVP assisted and Walcott scored, got sad when RVP got injured, but watched the new boy Chamakh play, and then when its all over, got back to that blurry FSC. Didn’t feel like watching anything after that :(. Comcast is letting me down, I would have left them a long back if I could put Directv in my condo. But they won’t allow :( So I have to wait until FSC HD is available in Comcast, God knows when that is going to happen.

  11. Being on the East Coast, it’s not so hard to be up at 7:45 for the ESPN2 match. I’ll watch that and then 10:00 FSC match (not in HD which is a drawback…thanks, Comcast). The 12:30 match is a crapshoot. It depends if I have anything going on that afternoon. At the very least, I DVR it and watch for goals and cards.

    Also, I’m a Norwich City supporter, so I try to stream their match on my computer as I’m watching the EPL on TV.

    Finally, I religiously watch or DVR Sky Sports News so I can see all the day’s goals.

  12. I was watching Fulham vBlackpool on until my internet went down about 2mins. before Etuhu’s equalizer. I had no idea that happened until monday because I imposed a blackout on games to fill the void with ondemand matches this and next weekend.

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