For the first time since 1988, Aston Villa won’t be playing in the top flight of English football. The last time the club was relegated from the top division to the second flight was in 1987. The Villans soon returned to the top flight, now known as the Premier League, where they’ve been for the past 28 years. But now that Aston Villa has been relegated from the Premier League to the Championship, Aston Villa supporters may be wondering where and how they can continue to watch one of the most historic clubs in English soccer.
First, here’s the stark reality of Aston Villa playing in the Championship — you’re not going to be able to watch as many Villa games as you did when they played in the Premier League. We estimate you’ll be able to watch 10 Villa games live in the US this season.
The realities of the situation is that one, most of the Aston Villa games won’t be shown live on television anywhere in the world (the Championship isn’t as popular as the Premier League). Two, for the matches that are televised live, Aston Villa’s Championship matches will be competing against matches from other leagues including the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and elsewhere, so even if Villa is being televised, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to find the match on TV but you may be able to see it on beIN SPORTS Connect (more about that later).
Thankfully, we’ll provide you with all of the tips you need to watch as many Villa games that are televised.
Tip 1 — Subscribe to a TV or streaming network that carries beIN SPORTS
beIN SPORTS is the exclusive rights-holder to the Championship in the United States. No other network can legally show the games on US soil, so your first step should be to do everything you can to get beIN SPORTS today. There are two main ways to get beIN SPORTS. Either you can subscribe to the channel on TV via DirecTV or DISH or your local cable provider, or you can subscribe to the channel via streaming providers such as fuboTV and Sling TV. Both streaming services offer free trials so you can kick the tires to see which one you like best.
On a typical week in the Championship season, you can expect beIN SPORTS to televise 3 live Championship matches per weekend. Whether one of them will feature Aston Villa is a crap shoot, but it’s likely that Aston Villa will be featured more often than other Championship clubs due to the popularity of the Villa Park club.
Tip 2 — Bookmark our Championship TV schedule page
While we should be thankful that beIN SPORTS has the rights to the Championship and therefore provides soccer fans like us an opportunity to watch the entertaining league, beIN SPORTS is almost always making last minute changes to their programming schedule even days before games are scheduled to kick off. So the best way to stay updated on when Aston Villa will be shown on US TV via beIN SPORTS is to bookmark our Championship TV schedule, which is updated weekly (sometimes daily) throughout the entire season.
Tip 3 — Be sure to add beIN SPORTS Connect to catch all of the matches
On a busy weekend during the soccer season, beIN SPORTS often has so many rights to so many games that it cannot fit them all on beIN SPORTS (English language) or its Spanish-language beIN SPORTS en Español networks. When there are so many games from other leagues available, beIN SPORTS will bump Championship games from beIN SPORTS to its streaming platform beIN SPORTS Connect.
beIN SPORTS Connect offers 9+ streaming channels of overflow games.
By subscribing to both beIN SPORTS and beIN SPORTS Connect, you’ll ensure that you’ll have access to all of the Aston Villa games that are televised each season.
To get beIN SPORTS Connect, the easiest way to do this is by subscribing to fuboTV, which is the only streaming provider that provides access to beIN SPORTS Connect.
Tip 4 — Watch Aston Villa on the review/highlight shows
For those weeks when Aston Villa won’t be shown on live television, the next best thing is being able to watch the highlights of the games on television.
For this, you have two choices. First, you can watch the SkyBet Championship highlights show on beIN SPORTS, but the broadcast is usually shown randomly on Mondays at no set time. Plus, the show is only 30 minutes long, which means the broadcast has to jam in highlights of 12 matches in that time frame (not including TV commercials).
Second, instead of waiting until Monday to watch the highlights on beIN SPORTS, you can watch Football League Tonight on Saturday nights via Channel 5 in the UK. The highlights show reviews every single goal scored in the Championship, League One and League Two. The program, which used to be shown on BBC 1, can be watched on demand via Channel 5’s My5. But in order to watch it outside the UK, you need to subscribe to a free VPN service so Channel 5 thinks you’re watching it from the UK.
Last but not least, you may be able to catch some highlights via Aston Villa’s YouTube channel or the beIN SPORTS website. Unfortunately, neither of those sources are consistent or reliable, so trying to find Villa goal highlights there may be hit or miss.
Tip 5 — Hope for a good run in the FA Cup and/or Capital One Cup
By supporting a club outside the Premier League, often the best hope to watching your team on television is to hope for a good run in the Capital One Cup and/or FA Cup. It’ll increase the likelihood they’ll be shown on US television.
beIN SPORTS has the exclusive TV rights to the Capital One Cup in the United States, so the same tips detailed in tips 1 and 3 apply to the League Cup games, too.
For the FA Cup games, many of those matches are televised by FOX Sports. Games are shown across FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2GO.
Tip 6 — When all else fails, try radio
Some of Aston Villa’s games may be broadcasted on radio via BBC Radio 5 Live, talkSPORT Radio or local radio such as BBC West Midlands. If the broadcasts are blocked outside the UK, you can subscribe to a free VPN service to bypass the blocked content.
Do you have any tips about how to watch Aston Villa matches in the Championship on US TV that are not included above? Please only include legal options. If you have a tip, let us know in the comments section below.