Without having the luxury of BT at home, a trip to the local pub was in order to see the start of the Premier League season last Saturday afternoon. While there, a passionate Liverpool fan told me he was going to “settle in for the day”, watching Liverpool vs. Stoke at 12.45, Arsenal vs. Aston Villa at 15.00 and Swansea vs. Manchester United at 17.15. With this in mind, and due to several female family members already expressing that they had reached a saturation point with football last Sunday, I started thinking just how much Premier League can you actually watch?
The televised fixture list’s only goes up to December 1st but for 12 Saturdays between last weekend and then (there’s 16 all together, some of which will be used for international breaks) you can ‘settle in’ for three televised matches at 12.45 and 15.00 and 17.15.
Between the 17th of August and the 1st of December there are 42 live matches on Sky Sports and 25 on Setanta Sports/BT. For Sky Sports every team is shown by October the 6th and at least twice by December 1st.
There is 6030 minutes of Premier League action to see in total (not considering any additional time!) which works out at just over 100 hours of football or over 4 days’ worth of action. To put that in perspective there is approximately 13 game weeks from the start of the season until December 1st. That's 11700 minutes of football or 195 hours. This means that 51.5% or just over half of all the minutes played in the Premier League between the first weekend and December the 1st can be seen live on T.V.
The concern for those that don’t like football is that this doesn’t take account of any other competitions, like the Champions League or Europa Cup, not to mention other European domestic leagues or International campaigns.
My advice for those not too bothered with the beautiful game is not to worry. Abstinence usually makes the heart grow fonder and while most football fans tuned in for as much football as possible last weekend after the summer break, as the season progresses the law diminishing returns will likely take hold, bringing an inevitable switch in preferences away from ‘settling in’. The optimism and overconfidence of most fans that look into a new season often doesn’t take long to wane.