How Globalization and Premier League Soccer Affects My Perspective On The World

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.

16 thoughts on “How Globalization and Premier League Soccer Affects My Perspective On The World”

  1. Your comments cast my mind back to the late 80’s- early 90’s when TV soccer was unheard of except on rare occasions. I felt totally disconnected from football as I had been attached at the hip to the sport and especially to Man Utd where I had been a loyal Stretford-Ender for many years.

    Consequently I immersed myself in US sport and morphed into a fan of the NFL and the NHL. Even the 1994 World Cup didn’t fire me up until 1998, when cable TV, at least up north here in Chicago, started to show smatterings of English football.

    Once I got my intravenous feed re-activated, I was back !!!

    Great story. I totally get it..

    1. Same here. From 1984 to 1993, it was nine barren years. The only thing that kept me connected was BBC World Service (very spotty), newspaper clippings from family members and football programmes. It’s no wonder that in the mid-to-late 80s, I dabbled with NBA and NFL. But it’s now been years (maybe more than a decade) since I’ve watched either.

      The Gaffer

  2. What a great perspective. As a Mexican immigrant, I never felt too far from home since Spanish broadcasting/FMF has always been distributed as long as I’ve been in the States. Glad you can get a taste of your old home, my friend.

  3. Im not too sure but i dont think BBC America plays Match of the Day 1, 2, & 3?

    I have to resort to getting the HD version and then putting it on my HDTV.

  4. Fox has the resources to do all these kinds of programming. Hopefully in the future they can replicate what is done over in the U.K.

    With the growing interest in the Premiership here in the States, as the Gaffer noted, perhaps the day when Match Of The Day is available isn’t that far off. All of my sources of insight and views is internet driven as aside from Sky Sports News there isn’t a quality football program to watch here in the States.

  5. I’m originally from South Africa, but I was living in Nebraskanfornsix months earlier this year and WOW did I miss my football shows etc. Fox Soccer is not that bad, just needs to get some decent analysts and some guests In the studio with some football knowledge, but yes, I got to watch every Liverpool game live and soccer is growing in the US

  6. Gaffer, early 2000 was barren years for me when I came to the US as a student. Coming from watching live broadcasts of EPL, FA Cup, Serie A, Copa Italia, UEFA Cup, Champions League, La Liga (also Bundesliga and Dutch Eredivisie as well as the now-defunct Cup Winners Cup), to zero football on TV. It was a torture.

  7. English football stinks!!!! Soccer stinks!!!! That’s what I USED to think. I know I haven’t been following this game as in depth as most people on here (end of the 09-10 season) I discovered this beautiful game because there was nothing on TV in the morning and I said all right I’ll give it a shot and I haven’t looked back since. I now listen to Talksport whenever I can to get my fix of football news. I yearn to see a Npower Championship game or even a league 1 or 2 game and wish FOX soccer would rebrand into Sky Sports North American. I’m just sorry it took me so long to get on board with this football, but now I look forward to this football more then american football. By the way this is a fantastic website Gaffer, keep up the great work.

  8. until FSC comes up with a quality pre match and post match show i will tune in at kickoff.just simulcast sky-sports.i am grateful to have access to more matches.

  9. The internet has definitely made a very big difference in allowing us to be connected to our homeland in getting news and also talking to people via services like skype. Also true for keeping up, in real time, with news about my favourite teams in soccer and cricket. We are living in a very fortunate time as it relates to instant access to information. Long may it continue!

  10. great read.. exactly how i feel.. born and bred for twenty years in the UK.. but havent been back in the last 10.. i feel very close to the UK thanks to internet.. like gaffer i “tried” watching US sports.. but its nothing like the things you were brought up with.. there is a different passion for football .. that most American will never get.. I feel thankful we get as much football here as we do.. my TV watching is basically football and sky sports.. I now find it difficult to watch Serie A or La Liga.. since there is so much quality football from the England..premiership and the championship.. and now FA Cup has rolled around..there is nothing better than watching two lower division teams battling it out on freezing night with true local fans.. bottom line.. we are spoiled .. best of both worlds…

  11. It seems many of us have a similar experience. I grew up in Jamaica (still part of the commonwealth) and we had both UK and American TV shows aplenty. My favorite comedy is still “Allo Allo”. The only sport I have ever liked to watch was football. I wait around for 4 years to finally see the World Cup! I now live in the US and only discovered premier league matches on TV last season. My weekend TV is now complete (well, when Doctor Who returns :) Most of my TV watching are on BBC America and then FoxSoccer with Premier League, UEFA, and FA Cup. I am happy to finally see more soccer being played in the US and on TV as well.

  12. You summed up every day of my life in one article. I don’t go to bed until after 1 am so that I can listen to the TalkSport morning show as I try to sleep, I usually have BBC 5 or talksport on my headphones all day especially on my drives to work and my walks to class. I subscribe to and fsc so that I never have to watch anything other than football. I swear on rainy days in western pa I sometimes have to remind myself that its not northern England and I should probably drive on the right side of the road lol.

  13. Try living in Australia, I have to sit up at 2am to get an English Premier League game.
    However, I’ve grown to love the NHL, NBA and MLB, as the US sports are on at lunchtime here and I can’t get enough of them!
    I love all sports and will continue my late EPL night and early NBA-NHL-MLB mornings!

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