English Sports in America
One Saturday, the 'fan of the match' at Highbury was an American tourist visiting for a game. He won a match ball, a chance to meet some players, and a few other things as part of the club's promotion. On a whim, the clubs PR office decided to contact the sports editor of the tourists hometown newspaper to let him know that this local had obtained this recognition. The response from the sports editor. "What the hell is Arsenal?"
Common language and ancestory doesn't necessarily mean we watch the sames sports as Americans. In the USA, there are four major sports:
- NFL (typically on Sundays) Pro
- College (Saturday) amateur, under 22. More popular than the NFL in terms of attendance.
- High School (Friday) amateur, under 18.
- football2football American football site
- College (Very popular in March)
- High School
- MLB (Pro)
- Minor Leagues (owned by the pro teams, lower quality play but cheaper tickets)
- Colleges (Spring time only)
- homerun-baseball Baseball site
- Minor Leagues (smaller cities, predominantly in the NE and Northern states
There is also NASCAR racing (which has become widely popular, followed with a passion rivaling and exceeding F1 in some places), Football/Soccer (MLS teams average about 15,000 per game, played during the Summer months), and a zillion others.
With that said, there is some coverage of English sports here in the US. Followers of a Premiership side will get quite a fill of coverage in the US, though not from the mainstream media or sports outlets.
Fox Soccer Channel (owned by Sky) is a dedicated soccer channel with coverage of the EPL, Italian and other matches. On a given Saturday you will find 2 premier league games along with Sky Sports News wrapping up all the action from the Premiership on down. FSC has now added an HD channel but it's not yet available on all carriers.
Fox Soccer Plus also shows premier league games on Saturdays and Sundays and has Carling Cup, some FA Cup, some UEFA Champions League and one or two Championship matches a week on their station. You'll also get rugby coverage on Fox Soccer Plus.
ESPN shows some Premiership games live and when they do you have the glory of watching in HD.
GolTV is a primarily Latin American soccer channel, but they do have the rights to the German Bundersleigh and some Italian and Spanish matches as well. GolTV also has exclusive Liverpoolfc.tv footage, a 3 hour program showing full games and highlights along with ArsenalTV, which shows highlights and interviews as well.
There is no terrestrial radio coverage of any UK sports in the US, but subscribers to satellite radio (XM or Sirrius) can often hear match coverage live from the UK. The BBC no longer provides short wave service to the US, and most Internet radio feeds are either subscription based or blocked due to rights restrictions.
Many of the larger clubs, like Man Utd, Arsenal, Newcastle have official supporters clubs set up in the USA and can help with ticket requests (should you be going back) or provide you information on 'which pub is showing which game on which date' so you can find the game if on travel.
UK Elite provides soccer coaching in the US by qualified British teaching staff
Fox Soccer Plus has rugby coverage, and once in a very very great while you'll see something on FSC (they used to show much more rugby before becoming 95% soccer). Although for the true rugby fan, you can now get big matches (including Guiness, Heineken, and internationals streaming in the internet (for a fee) at Mediazone.
Most live Cricket has gone pay-per-view, with a full test sometimes costing as much as $100 to watch. DirectTV satellite system will offer some big test matches, usually involving India or Pakistan or the Windies. Crictime is a good alternative to watching matches online, usually with many good quality streams for free, especially for those wanting to watch The Ashes.
Speed TV shows almost every Formula 1 race, one practice session and qualifying mostly live (some on tape-delay) Schedules can be found HERE. Starting with the Canadian GP, that and the next 3 Grand Prix races have in recent years been show on the Fox national channel, while the practice and qualifying have remained on Speed.
The NBA is experimenting with a new TV channel on many cable systems that will offer occasional coverage of basketball from the European leagues.
FTA is 'Free to Air' satellite, which is either the 1 meter (ku band) and 3 meter (c band) dishes you occasionally see in the states. While not as popular as in Europe, there are quite a few people using FTA dishes to catch 'wild feeds' of matches (i.e. feeds being sent from Europe to US cable companies). Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Russian, and other smaller leagues can sometimes be seen on FTA channels. Globecast satellite service offers a pay-per-view selection of many European channels, including Setanta, and many websites will alert you to sporting matches on such and such channel and satellite. It should be noted though that many European Channels that are FTA in Europe use satellites that are 'over the horizon' and unable to be viewed in the US.
Internet audio feeds are available from many clubs, and the BBC puts out an audio feed as well (but they limit it to UK users only). Some promising new peer-to-peer television technologies like Sopcast and TVAnts are used by websites like http://myp2p.eu and allow you to watch feeds of footie and other sports, though often the commentary is in Chinese or Arabic.
With very few exceptions, you will not find any coverage of European sports in an American newspaper. If lucky, you might find a small paragraph in the section titled 'Other Sports News' that highlights the score of one or two games. Your best bet is the Internet for more detailed coverage.
So I'm moving and my spouse is worried he won't see any sports on tele. What should I do?
Ok, your first question is cable or satellite. Both have pluses and minuses, but once you decide on which way to get your content you move to the next questions:
Do you have Fox Soccer Channel? (EPL, French, FA Cup, some Friendlies, some Serie-A, Sky Sports News)
Do you have a Fox Sports -- <your area> (EPL matches, on tape delay during the week)
Do you have GOL TV? (ArsenalTV, Liverpool TV, German Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga)
Do you have Speed Channel (F1, some motoGP)
Do you have Versus (Tour de France, some other cycling)
Do you have the NBA Channel (European basketball)
Do you have ESPN & ESPN2 (UEFA Champions League, US friendlies)
Do you have ESPN Deportes (Spanish service, but offers extra UEFA Champions League matches)
Do you have BBCAmerica (they had limited coverage of the Six Nations in 2010)
Does your cable company subscribe to espn360.com now called espn3 (wide variety of sports streamed online including cricket)