After dropping off my son at school this morning, I was driving down the road and suddenly had a revelation. In the 27 years I’ve lived in the United States, I’ve never felt more connected to the United Kingdom than I do now. Almost every single TV broadcast I watch is a Premier League match. Every radio preset on my iPhone is tuned to British radio stations. And almost every website I read is a British one (most of them associated with Premier League news).
I realize I’m not the norm, and part of my experience is due to running a website focused on keeping readers updated on everything Premier League-related, but the ease of access to British programming is better than ever before. So much so that it sometimes feels like an surreal out-of-world experience when I venture outside. In my car, I’m listening to British radio broadcasts. It’s almost as if, despite the sunny weather in South Florida, I’m driving in a suburb that’s far away from England but still within driving distance. Of course, that isn’t true. But the distance between the United States and United Kingdom seems shorter than ever before.
The final frontier that remains in the divide between the United Kingdom and where we live is television. Yes, we get to watch Premier League broadcasts live on television. But there’s plenty of good quality programming that we don’t get to see. We see only a small portion of what is aired in the UK (Sky Sports News and the latest Doctor Who episodes are just two examples). There are illegal means of watching programming like Match Of The Day, Football Focus, The Football League Show, Soccer AM, Sunday Supplement and others, but it’d be much simpler if we could watch these programs legally without having to jump through hoops.
That day will come, but it’s still probably years away.
If I had to measure how much of the content I watch, listen to, or read on a weekly basis, I would estimate that 90% of it would be of the British variety. Whenever I get a chance, I’ll squeeze in some Serie A, Bundesliga or La Liga, or will watch some of my favorite shows on HBO, but for most of the week, I’m digesting a diet of British content. I don’t watch American sports. I don’t watch American news. On some days, I probably know more of what’s going on in the United Kingdom than I do about my local community here in South Florida.
I love America, but I’m feeling more detached from it. And it’s all because of globalization (and a deep desire to watch/read/listen to everything Premier League-related).
Editor’s note: In future weeks, I plan on sharing some tips on how you can get the best out of your British experience of following the Premier League, no matter where you live in the world.