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What a Typical Saturday Looks Like For a European Soccer Fan in the U.S.

If you want an idea of what a somewhat typical Saturday looks like for a soccer fan who lives in the United States and who follows European soccer, take a peek at the above image and click on it for a larger and easier-to-read view.

The awe-inspiring chart shows all of the live European soccer games available to U.S. residents via television and the Internet. There are probably more European matches available via niche satellite channels and illegal Internet streams, but these are all of the easily accessible options via cable and satellite along with Internet subscriptions. The games were played on Saturday, October 29, 2011.

What’s incredible to me when you look at the above chart is:

  1. You have 10 hours of continuous live European soccer coverage available to you,
  2. There are seven leagues to choose from (the color coding is pink = Premier League, blue = Bundesliga, green = Serie A, yellow = La Liga, grey = Championship, purple = Eredivisie, and orange = Ligue Un), and
  3. There are 24 games shown (representing 36 hours of actual game time, or 48 hours of soccer coverage — in just one day).

And these are just the live games. There are a few European games shown on delay later. And the above chart doesn’t include all of the games from other continents that are shown later in the day.

For many of you die-hard readers, the above facts won’t come as a surprise. But seeing a typical Saturday (other than the extra early Premier League match) displayed visually made me step back and think about things about a little more than usual.

It’s no wonder that sports fans who watch European soccer are fatigued by the time the domestic leagues are shown on television (or in person) later in the afternoon or evening.

It also makes me appreciate more the wealth of soccer viewing choices we have available.

While I watched four of the above games live on this particular day (and watched highlights from three others), there’s only so much soccer I can watch before my family starts giving me strange looks. It’s always good to get some fresh air and take a break from soccer, but it sure is tempting to watch as much as you can.

Reviewing the above chart also gives me a better appreciation of why there is such friction and disagreements between fans of the Premier League versus La Liga versus Serie A (and other leagues). The reality is that no one soccer fan can consume all leagues so it’s only natural for fans to gravitate to one over another. And the more you watch one league, the more you appreciate it and the less informed you may be about other leagues because you can’t watch (or be an expert on) everything.

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  1. toonatnoon188888

    November 3, 2011 at 5:33 am

    lol this isn’t new information this is a graph of my life from friday night to sunday afternoon.

  2. harry

    November 2, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Great. I thought it was just me going nuts trying to keep up with games over the weekend!!

  3. tom

    November 1, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I agree with ‘The Day MLS wil rival EPL’:

    “The game is for the European fans who walk on their legs to the ground, not for those of us thousands of miles away who walk 10 steps towards our remote and flip on the TV.”

    pretty much sums up my feelings and most genuine football fans’ feelings too.

  4. JC

    November 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Now look at that chart and move the start times up by 3 hours (a.k.a. PST)….and you have my crazy weekend existence. 🙂

  5. The Day when MLS will rival EPL

    November 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    why should they play a regular season game in Europe, Jason?? Aren’t friendlies enough for you? I mean come on, that’s being disrespectful to the European supporters who pay hard money to watch their teams…they are the TRUE supporters. People outside of Europe who follow the top-flight European teams are glory-hunters. The game is for the European fans who walk on their legs to the ground, not for those of us thousands of miles away who walk 10 steps towards our remote and flip on the TV. They have a tradition of hundreds of years of supporting their clubs, some of them formed when Americans were fighting a civil war. and you expect the teams to come play their competitive matches across the ocean. I guess the English club supporters and European supporters have a legitimate reason to be paranoid by pseudo-fans who only go for the top quality brand names and expect those teams to dump their life-long supporters to pander to them.

  6. Jason

    November 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I think we have the best in terms of choices compared to cities in Europe. In fact I believe we here in the USA have available more EPL games than they do in England. Go figure.

    When I first moved here in the late 70’s the only soccer of note on TV was PBS with Toby Charles with a game on delay. How things have changed.

    The only problem I have with all these games shown live for close to 10 hours is that I don’t get any work done as I’m watching so many games on the weekend. Good problem to have. Fortunately I’m no longer married so no wife to contend with. There’s a thought if you want to watch soccer all the time 🙂 . Just kidding.

    The only thing better would be to have the European teams come here to play a regular season game. Now that would be heavenly.

  7. broom_wagon

    November 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I’d been stranded before where a few years ago, I was only able to watch the Mexican League on the channels we got, it is pretty good but then, we got Fox Soccer, more MLS games were on and I did not watch the Mexican League much, now, I’ve got a friend whose into it so here I am back watching it, they at least have 3 games every Saturday and at least one more on Sunday, Univision and the other channels. Mexico is certainly a place I would not go nowadays but I watch the games and it seems the people there forget about the problems in their own country. Some of the games are good. That one stadium in Torreon hosted Mexico/Brazil, the friendly and it was good, Ronaldinho was there. That same stadium had a game postponed about 6 weeks before due to gunfire outside of the stadium. They still have a good game going on there and are producing top players, of course, Chicharito who played for Guadalajara is a big star at Man Utd. It’s a good quality of football/soccer and then, they frequently show MLS games that don’t get carried by the other networks as well. My friend’s team is the Pumas so I’ll watch them, otherwise, it’s usually too time consuming. They are in their last week of football for this phase and then they have some sort of tournament of the top 8 teams.

  8. Dennis Murray

    November 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve committed to only watch the EPL, and some of the Champions League. Even within the EPL, I’m still picking and choosing the matches I bother to DVR and catch up on.

    I also take a big chunk of my Saturday morning in Fall and Spring to coach my two kids’ soccer teams and part of Sunday afternoon to play on my 7v7 team. Wonder what the convergence is between people who watch European leagues, play adult, and coach kids is compared to other sports’ fans?

    • Ray

      November 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      About 75%.

  9. Brian

    November 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I moved from London (I’m originally from Belfast) to USA in 1984. There was all but nothing on TV then. Occasionally some game or other was shown but they would break for commercials in the middle of play! “You won’t miss anything, we’ll be right back” – can you believe that! My wife stopped me watching because of the damage it was doing to my blood pressure!

    Finding out the results was even difficult. The SF Chronicle would list Saturday’s results in the Sunday paper but it was space available. They has no qualms about dropping it if they wanted the space for something else to put there. Incredibly frustrating especially at the end of a season

    So basically the sport had no respect from the media. No wonder it didn’t find a following.

    It’s great to be able to watch games now and the plethora makes up for the dark years. However having a DVR is definitely godsend.


  10. ILLAIM

    November 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm


    I’m an American soccer fan who really started to get into the sport during the 2002 World Cup.
    Over the past decade, (with a little help from FIFA ) I’ve taught myself to fully understand the game, and have come to love it immensely.

    In 07 given my contrarian nature, I decided to become a Manchester City supporter, given that almost everybody I knew that was into soccer was Man U fan.

    Over the past few years I’ve been granted an immense level of entertainment and enjoyment via the EPL, and as you have displayed, the options of matches available to view are aplenty.

    While it might be agervating somewhat to haft to wake up at 7/8am to watch a particular match, there is almost at least one good match avaible for viewing in the U.S Saturday and Sunday.

    This past Saturday, I started off watching the Man U vs Everton game then switched over to Chelsea vs Arsernal, and rounded off my morning watching the City game.

    7am till Noon, nothing but Soccer.

    There are so many good games availibe via FSN, ESPN,2,3, I almost don’t care anymore if there are any good NCAA/ NFL games on Sat or Sun anymore because the EPL more than covers my sports gambit.
    I will agree with you tho that the plethora of games available almost forces one to focus on one league. It took me a good 2 years to get an in depth understanding of the EPL, and as much as I would like to, I don’t have the time to get to know Serie A, Ligue 1, The Bundesliga, and La Liga like that.

    At best, just look at Real Madrid, Barca, Bayern Munich

    Oh, yeah I’m not even mentioning the replays Comcast Sports Net provides or the glorious Premier League Review Show

  11. Serpico127

    November 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I’m glad to know that I am not the only crazy soccer fan. Thanks to my wife who puts up with my obsession: overpriced 4-4-2 magazine, paying a small fortune for trip to DC for the ManU v Barca, buying overpriced replica jerseys, and yelling at the tv early on saturday morning. I hate to say it, but I have “gotten sick” right before church to watch an 11:00am game. Am I the only one?

  12. Conrad

    November 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

    That graphic is a nice picture of my Saturdays…i try to take in 2 EPL and 1 La Liga match per Saturday, and of course, I have the Live Scores page of each league going the whole day until all games are completed. Once the matches are finished, I switch to watching college football in the evenings or an MLS match if that’s going on. Damn, I love my weekends.

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