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U.S. TV Schedule for Final Day of Premier League 07/08 Season

EPL logoImagine for a minute that you’re one of the executives at either Fox Soccer Channel or Setanta Sports, and you have to decide which Premier League matches you’ll show on the final day of the season on U.S. TV. All of the matches on May 11 kick off at the same time: 10am ET/3pm GMT.

Here are the choices that Fox Soccer Channel has to choose from:

Chelsea v Bolton
Everton v Newcastle
Middlesbrough v Manchester City
Sunderland v Arsenal
Tottenham v Liverpool

And here are the choices that Setanta Sports has:

Wigan Athletic v Manchester United
Portsmouth v Fulham
Derby v Reading
West Ham v Aston Villa
Birmingham v Blackburn

Which ones would you pick? As you can see, it’s not an easy decision. Seriously, this is the actual list of matches that both Setanta and Fox Soccer Channel have to choose from. Almost all of the teams still have plenty to play for whether it’s a place in Europe, trying to escape relegation or attempting to win the Premier League title.

If I was Fox Soccer Channel, I would choose Chelsea against Bolton at 10am ET followed by Spurs against Liverpool on tape delay at Noon ET. Later that day or night, as time permits, they can show Everton against Newcastle.
Setanta Sports has a luxury that Fox Soccer Channel doesn’t have — being able to show matches concurrently on both Setanta Sports and Setanta Xtra, the overflow channel. If I was Setanta, I’d show Wigan against Man United on Setanta at 10am ET, and Birmingham vs Blackburn on Setanta Xtra at the same time. Then, at Noon ET, I’d show Portsmouth against Fulham on the main Setanta channel and West Ham against Aston Villa on Setanta Xtra.

The challenge is that it’s very difficult to know which games will feature all of the drama. The Chelsea and Man United matches are the easy ones (as long as both teams are still fighting for the title on the final day of the season). Predicting which relegation matches will be the ones to televise is a different matter entirely especially because they’re so unpredictable. Such was the case a few years ago when Norwich needed to win on the final day of the season, but lost 6-0 against Fulham instead.

Which matches would you choose to broadcast and why?

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  1. The Gaffer

    May 6, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    My predictions came true. Fox Soccer Channel selected the matches I thought they would, while I came very close with my predictions for what Setanta would show (they threw me off by not using Setanta Xtra).

    See the schedule here:

    The Gaffer

  2. Jeff Hash

    April 30, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    And for the flip side…

    Setanta USA
    1- Wigan v Manchester United
    Xtra 1- Portsmouth v Fulham
    2- Derby County v Reading
    Xtra 2- Birmingham v Blackburn

    I know what I said a post ago about the UEFA Cup, but with the 5 matches Setanta has to work with here, it has to be all about the relegation race (after the obvious Man United match). I know a lot of people are taking the Derby-Reading match for granted, but I think that has a lot of potential given how on edge Reading will be since they MUST get a result. Pompey against Fulham is the 2nd live choice, however, due to the American interest in whether Fulham lives on or goes out now. Since I think the Derby match is one to put front and center, and with the focus on relegation, that leaves Birmingham v Blackburn as the delayed match on Xtra.

  3. Jeff Hash

    April 30, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    I tried coming up with my own choices based on this list. Here is what I came up with as my choices:

    1- Chelsea v Bolton
    2- Everton v Newcastle
    3- Tottenham v Liverpool

    I disagree with you the order of 2nd and 3rd. My arguement would be that while Liverpool has the Champions League (and 4th) wrapped up, Everton could still be fighting for that lone UEFA Cup spot to come out of the table. Neither Newcastle nor Tottenham really have anything going for them, so Everton’s UEFA Cup chase gives them the slight edge.

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