Thursday, May 1, 2008

Why I don't watch the Premiership

The short answer: I’m Italian.

The long(er) answer: Here in Canada, basic cable subscribers like me get two Premiership games a week. The first is shown on Saturday morning on Rogers Sportsnet. The second game is shown Sunday morning on The Score.

Us basic cable types rarely get a chance to see any of the big teams. Last week, for example, neither network aired the Manchester United vs. Chelsea showdown. And I really am not interested in watching Fulham every week. Who gives a shit about Fulham? Fulham fans, probably, which only hammers my point home further. (Not that I have any idea what Fulham fans are all about, mind you. I already told you: I DON'T WATCH THE PREMIERSHIP.)

On the other hand, I get three quality Serie A matches a week from TLN, a shoestring Toronto-based network that, based on the commercials aired at half-time, shows nothing but soccer, The Sopranos and The Godfather Parts I, II & III. (Did you know the third one sucks? It really, really does. The part when Sophia Coppola dies is hilarious.) All three TLN games are shown Sunday. Only one of them is live (usually the 2:30 p.m. “prime time” match). The first match, typically aired at 9 a.m., is usually a replay of a Saturday game and the 11 a.m. match is usually a replay of something that was played at 9. Confused yet? If you are, you're stupid.

On TLN, I get to see the big clubs—Juve, Inter, Roma, Milan—week in and week out. (Some fans of lesser sides might complain that the Regginas and Livornos don’t get enough air time, but really, who the fuck likes Reggina or Livorno anyway? They're like the Fulhams of Italian soccer, but with more attractive female supporters.)

I wonder how long this whole TLN thing will last. It seems only a matter of time before some specialty channel buys all the rights to Serie A games and guys like me are left in the dark. I guess I’ll just have to shill out more cash if I want to keep following this game. And I suppose that if I do end up paying for the specialty channels, I may give English soccer a try. But, as a matter of principal, I won't enjoy it.


AsOne said...

Are you kidding me? Between the two networks you are almost always guaranteed to see one of the Premiership's big four teams play on a given weekend and they have the best (non-Italian) players in the world on their sides. Plus, the title chase in the Premiership has had more drama. You're crazy not to follow along.
Sadly, it's true that specialty channels have taken games away from Canadians. It used to be that Saturday morning featured a Premiership game at 7:30, 10 and a replay at noon. A pox on Setanta Sports for taking that from us. Thumbs up to ShowSports Arabia, though. Here in the UAE, fans of the big four can see their team play just about every weekend, though Italian and Spanish soccer is scarce. And of course we've been seeing a lot more of the Premiership teams this year, with four teams in the Champions League semis to Serie A's zero. I enjoy both leagues, though the Premiership is what I know best, but you're missing out if you're not following the Premiership.

terzo tempo said...

Asone, Serie A still has a close finish between Inter and Roma. Roma are only 3 points adrift. Any slip up by Inter could cost the title. I don't see how different that is from the EPL's title race between Man U and Chelsea.

The EPL is basically the whore of the soccer leagues. Just keeps prettying itself up with broadcasting perks and selling itself to where the money and market it opening up: Asia. Korea, Japan, China, and the UAE all have their own soccer leagues, shouldn't they have at least local fan support? England is poaching potential local fans. Their idea for having games held outside of England is testament to that. If Chelsea is playing Liverpool in the UAE, who's going to watch the local top flight teams?

The EPL is Wal-Mart. Sucking out the business from local teams and siphoning it back to England. Boo.

Just for the record, I am opposed of any league holding league games in another country. The only thing I do not mind, is having friendly games between European teams and local teams.

I.e. Toronto FC vs. Juventus.