From Nepal With Love: Understanding the Global Impact of The Premier League

One thing people cannot contest is the impact the Premier League has had all over the world. The Premier League is undoubtedly the most popular league in the world. It is estimated that the Premier League is broadcast to 600+ million viewers in over 200 countries. It is no secret that its influence is immense. The Premier League affects the lives of millions of people and has become a culture outside England. The global impact the Premier League has had is unrivaled by any other soccer league in the world.

When Didier Drogba smashes in a goal or Michael Essien executes a crunching challenge with perfection, it is greeted by huge cheers in the streets of Abidjan and Accra. Park Ji-Sung is considered a hero in South Korea for his exploits at Manchester United. Former stars such as Jay Jay Okocha and Lucas Radebe have achieved so much in the English game that they have brought pride to Nigeria and South Africa respectively. Children all around the world have their favorite Premier League team and players that they dream of emulating.

It is no different here in the small nation of Nepal, which is thousands of miles from England. We do not have any players of our own plying their trade in the English Premier League with whom we can idolize or worship, but the impact of the Premier League still remains huge.

So, what it is like watching the Premier League in Nepal? Most people know Nepal as the country which is home to Mt. Everest or as the land of the brave Gurkhas. Nepal is not a country that can be immediately associated with soccer. The state of soccer in Nepal is not great. Currently ranked 153rd in the world, the facilities present for soccer players is terrible compared to the European Nations or many Asian countries.

The domestic league is stop-start and not properly managed. Most of the local league matches are played in the same stadium as there exist few quality venues. The infrastructure for the development of young players is also weak. Parents do not encourage their children to take up soccer as a profession because of the lack of scope and the money that footballers earn is not enough to sustain a living once you retire.

You might think with such poor state of affairs that people are not really interested in soccer. Well, you’re wrong. People in Nepal are massive soccer fans. Soccer is without a doubt the most popular sport in Nepal. It is not due to lack of interest or talent that soccer has not been able flourish in Nepal; It is down to bad management and lack of infrastructure. Once you experience the passion of soccer mong the people whenever the National Team plays, you’ll see how the stadium will always be jam-packed and the atmosphere created by the fans is electric.

Nepal may not be able to produce a player good enough for the Premier League any time soon, but the popularity of the Premier League in Nepal cannot be matched by any other league. There is a huge fan base of famous clubs and players such as Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard. These are the most popular names on the lips of Nepalese soccer fans. Every act of genius in the Premier League is well appreciated in Nepal.

The passion among the fans of the clubs they follow cannot understandably be compared to the fans in England, but this is not to say the fans in Nepal are not passionate about their clubs. The sentiments that fans in Nepal share are not too dissimilar to those of fans in England. There are Chelsea fans genuinely worried about their next managerial appointment. There are Arsenal fans who are frustrated by the trophy drought that their team is suffering.

Fans here love their club and they cannot stand criticism from rival fans. There are always arguments among friends every week defending their club. It’s wonderful to see the passion come out in support of their clubs. Viewing the Premier League in Nepal has been made possible thanks to the ESPN STAR group. The timing of matches is also favorable in this part of the continent. The traditional 3 o’clock kick-off in England corresponds to 7:30 pm in Nepal, which I find is a good time to watch a game. If there is a late night kick-off, people make it a point to stay awake until three in the morning and watch their beloved team play even if it means waking up tired for school or work the next day.

Every weekend is eagerly anticipated and the any match played in the Premier League keeps us glued to the screen. The atmosphere created in the grounds, the fast paced games, tackles flying in left and right — it’s why we simply love the Premier League. We get unbounded joy when our team wins and inconsolable disappointment when the team loses. It is amazing to see how the English Premier League affects lives of so many people of a small nation like Nepal which is thousands of miles away. The people here are very thankful to the English Premier League for providing us so much joy and entertainment throughout the years. To answer the question of which is the best league in the league. For the people of Nepal without a shadow of a doubt it is the English Premier League.

37 thoughts on “From Nepal With Love: Understanding the Global Impact of The Premier League”

  1. true said….the passion what we get for the epl teams is unbelievable,,,,,,,no words to describe..thanks epltalk to subscribe such words…..hearthy thanks

  2. Good read. I cast my mind back 15 years or so ago, sitting with my friends in Nepal, arguing about Arsenal being the best team. What’s being said accurately portrays the state of soccer and the crazy fans in Nepal. Thank you.

  3. It’s great to see the English game spreading, and in such a remote location, with fans that are passionate. I had no idea the premier league reached such locations with the levels of coverage it does. Which makes me think…(a dangerous and painful thing).

    With an estimated 4.7 billion viewers worldwide ( you have to ask what on earth are the premier league and its clubs doing with their money?

    To reach that many people is astonishing in its self, but to reach that many people and have the passion and emotional attachment to the game on the same level as in the uk is well…what’s a better word to use than astonishing? Hmmm… fan-dabby-dozy perhaps?

    Anyways, if it is accurate, it seems that with that kind of following/distribution, the EPL, could and probably should do what it wants, on any aspect of the game eg; video technology, and perhaps take more of a leadership role in european/world football, inspire of what UEFA and FIFA say.

    No club in the Premier League should be in any financial trouble whatsoever (poor Portsmouth). Infact, the English grassroots system should be in a renaissance! Think of the numbers they’re incredible? How is anyone loosing money?

    The structure of the tv deals must be absolute garbage. The NFL has really only got the us as its market and they were just bickering over who should get the bigger slice of the annual 4 billion dollars revenue.

    Calculate what you spend on football, from jerseys, to viewing access, tickets, programmes, food etc.. I must spend at least a thousand dollars a year on kits, cable and online access, signed jerseys/auctions alone.

    Anyways… Food for thought, or maybe an undercover exposé on who is making out like a bandit? Coz it ain’t fulham, or Swansea, or Bolton, or Newcastle or spurs, even man utd owe 500 million thanks to the dodgy yanks that own it .

    1. In Soccernomics, the authors made it clear that even the biggest clubs in Europe have revenues orders of magnitude smaller than just about any major corporation.
      The average PL club has less revenue than ONE Tesco store… make it Walmart for those of us here.
      PL may be popular and widespread, but big business it ain’t.

      1. The current football money league table based on last seasons revenues:

        1. Real Madrid (€479.5m) (7th consecutive season at the top of the list, this time with a 9% (€40.9m) increase on last year)
        2. Barcelona (€450.7m)
        3. Manchester United (€367m)
        4. Bayern Munich (€321.4m)
        5. Arsenal (€251.1m)
        6. Chelsea (€249.8m)
        7. AC Milan (€235.1m)
        8. Inter Milan (€211.4m)
        9. Liverpool (€203.3m)
        10. Schalke (€202.4m)

        11 – 20 placed teams are Tottenham, Manchester City, Juventus, Olympique de Marseille, Roma, Borussia Dortmund, Olympique Lyonnais, Hamburg, Valencia, Napoli.

        1. Which makes Real Madrid’s revenue an order of magnitude smaller than those dead last in the Fortune 500 list, or about 1,000 times smaller than that little grocery chain topping said list in 2011.

    1. The one piece of bait I always rise to. Personal weakness. 😉

      samyog—-Outside of the Motherland, almost the entire English speaking world refers to the game as soccer. This is a simple cultural difference that is nobody’s fault and it is pointless to rail against it. I can not speak for Nepal. Personally, even though I live in the U.S. I find myself using both terms. It pretty much depends on the context of the situation.

      You could have said something positive about Sarad’s article. I found it both interesting and informative.

      1. Guy, before I came to US about 10 years ago, I hardly knew the game as Soccer. I don’t dispute now that the term is widely used. I myself refer to the game as Soccer now. However, I highly doubt your assertion about the entire English speaking world referring the game as Soccer. I think the game is still known as Football in most parts of the world and I would be really surprised if British fans used the term Soccer as opposed to Football. I could be wrong :)

        1. Where are you from? I did say “almost” entire. 😉

          To my knowledge (which can be shaky) the game is referred to as soccer in the following English speaking countries:

          U.S., Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand. That, to me, encompasses the vast majority of English speaking people in the world, outside of the U.K., although I realize there are many more countries where English is an official language and “football” may be the norm.

          I just think the “It’s football” comment is pointless. Why not spend your time adding something positive to the conversation? Every time I see the comment I tell myself, “Don’t respond, Guy,”……but I never seem to pay attention. :-)

          1. Interesting fact is that the governing bodies in Australia and South Africa are called ‘Football Associations’ even though they refer to the game as ‘soccer’!

          2. Crazy isn’t it. Wonder why that is? If you call it soccer it would only be logical to have a ‘Soccer Association’ wouldn’t it?! What’s yours called in the US?

          3. I only know this because I read it today. Those associations changed their names from “soccer” to “football” simply to come into alignment with all the other UEFA associations. I did not read that they were urged or forced to in any way by UEFA.

  4. Nice Article…
    No one can deny that Premier League is the best league in the world..
    Hope the passion and excitement remains as it is forever..

  5. My point is tjat bevause of the distribution channels that it is Big business. You can’t have that many people watch and. It make more money, the premier league doesn’t give it away, or maybe they do in a sense because the contracts are very poor.

    How is it that the nfl with a 10th of the eyeballs watching the sport makes more money? It has to be contractual, the advertising revenue and structure with tv rights has to be where the epl is loosing out.

    It makes no sense if the numbers of eyeballs is true.

    1. The NFL makes more money in the US because it’s a domestic market. Same way the Premier League relies on it’s domestic UK television income to survive. Other countries around the world bid a maximum to what it’s worth to them. It’s noteworthy that the UK (Sky, ESPN & BBC Sport) pay more money for 138 games (+ highlights) than the rest of the world combined pays for all 380 games. Every country has its own more valuable product to them such as Serie A in Italy, Bundesliga in Germany, NFL etc in the US for example.
      The beautiful thing with the Premier League is that they share money out equally unlike La Liga where the top two teams take almost all of the available cash, leaving the other teams to fight it out over the remaining 20%! You should be thankful that the Premier League sell collectively instead of doing sales on a team by team basis because if you think it’s bad now you’d hate it under that system.

  6. Hey Paul, I agree the revenue sharing is great and is one strengths of the league.

    4.7 billion sets of eyeballs! And that’s just watching the games, not paying for the shirts etc…
    I would love to see a break down of the revenue stream/structure.

    It’s such a vast number it’s the equivilant of over 2/3’s of the planet each year watching the BPL. The way Ad revune is structured and value placed on the advertising is way off base based on market penetration and is hugely undervaluing the leagues potential income.

    For example Barclays pay to be the sole league name sponsor thus the “Barclays Premier League”.

    What Barclays gets is the following: Global marketing rights as well as UK and International programming accreditation, extensive advertising, match day tickets and hospitality. The key part to focus on are the first few items although I’m sure everyone in the uk likes winning tickets to games by using barclays ATM’s if they bank with Barclays.

    Barclays paid 130 million dollars for a 4 year deal in Oct of 2009 meaning it will be up for renewal at the end of the 2012/13 season.

    So 130 million dollars for 4 years!

    Ok so here is some eyeball math, I won’t get into market penetration statistics, suffice to say that from a brand awareness marketing spend it is the bargain of the eon. This is just a rough guestimate. (i will NOT include any estimate how many impressions are made per set of eyeballs or ears for that matter to the barclays name during telecasts, advertisements or on jerseys this would be equivalent of clicks on a site.) This is just football fan’s watching a game.

    4 x 4.7 billion sets of eye balls. (this is assuming that it stays at that and doesn’t increase)
    = 18.8 billion over 4 years! seriously

    So 130 million dollars pays for 18.8 billion eyes and ears global exposure for a global brand through to a premium sports brand.

    So whats the cost to reach that many people for 4 years!

    130 million divided by 18.8 billion = 0.0069148936 cents per person

    Lets not even do it for 4 years what about 1 year?

    130 million divided by 4.7 billion = 0.027659 cents per person

    As you can see these numbers are ridiculous, Man City received more when they sold the rights to the name.
    There is NO better deal for exposure though a single source on the planet, even google doesn’t operate at that low a margin for clicks on a search page.

    Some perspective:
    VISA paid 200 million dollars to sponsor the 2010 Word Cup, only a 4 week tournament that has the same global viewing numbers as the premiership.( there are different opportunities associated but as I stated this is an Eyeball set math session, not including the other variables that go into marketing statistics and value)

    ESPN paid 425 million dollars for exclusive rights in the US alone! I know the view figures for the world cup is bigger than the premier league for the 4 week period the tourney is played but not for the 4 years global exposure.

    It just feels really out of balance for a global brand with exceptional penetration with intense emotional connection to not be far better off fiscally.

    1. “Barclays paid 130 million dollars for a 4 year deal in Oct of 2009 meaning it will be up for renewal at the end of the 2012/13 season.”

      Hey, dust, doesn’t that mean for the 2013/14 season we could have the Pukka Pies Premier League? How cool would that be?

      No wonder the Gaffer just sticks with EPL. 😀

      1. Haha that genuinely just made me laugh out loud. Can hear them live on Sky Sports now: ‘This is The Pukka Pies Premier League’! They’ve had a really good run with Barclays though from 2001… will be very strange if they lose the naming rights. The FA Carling Premiership is all but a distant memory!

  7. Nice article sarad bro….it’s pretty obvious that fans here have too much passion for the game,for their beloved club….and i wonder why it’s called wud be appropriate…dnt know why people in US call it soccer and refer to the game played with hands as football.weird

  8. The article is good enough but I have a small issue of the writer talking about EPL and using term ‘SOCCER’.

    It is not called soccer in England if you know it well. What is your problem calling it ‘FOOTBALL’?

    Please do a little bit of homework before writing your opinions

    1. Don’t be so ridiculous. Brits call it football, but also call it soccer too (i.e. Soccer Saturday, Soccer AM, Pro Evolution Soccer). Quit being so holy.

      The Gaffer

  9. The term soccer is a British term from “Association Football” to distinguish it from Rugby football. So blame the Brits for the term.

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