Five Ways to Catch Premier League Football in the United States

A New York subway train wrapped in Arsenal ads, part of NBC Sports' huge marketing campaign to draw attention to their coverage of Premier League football. (Photo: AP/Mark Lennihan)

A New York subway train wrapped in Arsenal ads, part of NBC Sports’ huge marketing campaign to draw attention to their coverage of Premier League football. (Photo: AP/Mark Lennihan)

We all know that the Brits give the Americans a hard time when it comes to football. Whether we are lamenting their use of soccer (a word actually coined in England) or their so-called misuse of football (again, coined in England and historically associated with rugby football), it is often said that Americans don’t care about the beautiful game.

From a British point-of-view, it is easy to imagine, then, that moving to America would put an immediate end to your football experience. Not true! With the start of the 2013/14 Premier League season just a few days away, football here has perhaps never been as popular. Here are five ways to catch Premier League football in the United States.

On television and via live streaming
Believe it or not, the expansion of football in the United States has been such that you can actually watch live Premiership matches on your own television. As a matter of fact, from the start of the 2013/14 season, NBC is scheduled to televise every minute of every match from the top flight on its various platforms, including web and mobile streams of all 380 matches through NBC Sports Live Extra.

NBC Sports spent $250 million to acquire rights to air Premier League play for the next three seasons and has supported it with an expensive marketing campaign starring Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis.

Watching NBC Sports’ coverage does, of course, require the purchase and installation of cable, but whether you’re looking for Cardiff vs. Hull or Manchester United vs. Chelsea, this is the only way to watch it all. Unless, of course, you are happy spending three-to-four days out of the week doing number two on this list.

Down at the pub
That’s right: America has pubs. And what could be more British than to watch the match over a pint of lager (note: neither pint nor lager are common words in the U.S.) and a plate of fish ‘n’ chips? Though most establishments aren’t as authentic as the typical moniker suggests, pubs with English, Irish or Scottish themes almost always show live Premier League action, not to mention FA Cup and Champions League encounters. One of the major benefits of watching the match down at the pub is hearing an American yell “come on, ref! He was never offsides.” (Note: Americans like to pluralize the word offside).

On the radio
Failing options 1 and 2, you can always do things the old fashioned way: listen to it on the radio. Football fans in America (and around the world) can listen to live coverage of the latest matches by tuning in to global independent broadcasters like TalkSport. Here you can get live audio commentary straight to your computer, television and, crucially, mobile phone. The latter is a particularly useful football source during long weekend road trips, which, in a land as vast as the United States, is inevitable at some point.

Online text commentary
Sometimes, no matter your country of residence, it’s just an unfortunate fact of life that some of the key games of the season — the top of the table clashes, the relegation dogfights, the passionate local derbies — happen to coincide with your workday. That’s why online text commentary was invented. And, because the internet is accessible in almost every nation on the planet, you can quietly read about your team’s exploits from your office in Pasadena!

Online video highlights
Of course, there are many things that text commentary does not offer. Chief among them is visuals. Thankfully, even if you were tied all day to your office in Pasadena, you can still catch all of the day’s goals when you get home. While Match of the Day is not available to Americans, online highlights can be found at licensed networks, such ESPN and FOX Soccer.

What’s your tip to catching Premiership matches in America? Tell us below. And join us Friday at 1 pm ET for a live Premier League preview on Twitter using #MindTheChat. Follow @MindtheGap_BBCA for more.

  • Chris J LFC

    Almost every medium to large city in the United States has Irish or English pubs and every one that I have been in supports an EPL team. The pub I go to will open at 645 am for the Liverpool game, they open as early as needed. Every Pub sells Fish and Chips as well as Pints of Lager here in the US. Yes it is common among some folks, you might be right about the daft ones. We are not all dafties to the UK culture on the skids. Most Americans are boorish when they hear those words I can admit. But I belong to a small niche of people that know the game as well or better than our European counterparts. Don’t count out the few who are brilliant to save the rest. But yeah, for the most part Americans are pretty ignorant to the glorious game of football.

    • MAKEMYDAY100

      You mean “Soccer” to the Yanks!!!

  • dw

    You don’t mention the live internet “streams” of dubious legality that are widely available :) In reality, they are usually the easiest way to get hold of a match.

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  • MAKEMYDAY100

    Fox “sports” channel…. CH 220 on Direct TV(Satellite) in Arizona!!

    PS: Been a LFC supporter for the last 50 yrs… Bill Shankly mate!!