It’s a beautiful thing to be able to watch “The Beautiful Game” wherever you are located and now you can by watching live soccer broadcasts on a computer or mobile device. That’s right, “real football” fans can watch English Premier League (EPL) and Champions League soccer live streaming over the Internet. We’re just past the mid-point of the English Premier League season, but you can still watch soccer live or completed full matches from a couple of different streaming video sites. English football supporters who want to watch soccer online have two legal and virus-free viewing options available to follow their favorite clubs – a paid soccer-and-rugby package carrying nearly every EPL and Champions League match, or a streaming ESPN service that shows select prime matches.
If you’re just tuning in to the 2012-13 EPL season, here’s what you’ve missed: Manchester United have a solid lead over defending champs Manchester City; Chelsea sacked their manager while still in the top four; and frequent contenders Newcastle United and Aston Villa are flirting with relegation. If you’re just tuning in to the world of English soccer, here are some key lingo phrases: Games are called “fixtures,” a “pitch” actually refers to the playing field; and grown men commonly use the term “footy” with a completely straight face.
WATCH SOCCER LIVE ON FOX SOCCER 2GO
The most comprehensive online streaming soccer package is FOX Soccer 2Go, a paid service offering live and on demand video of more than 270 Premier League matches this season – plus every single Champions League game, select Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) games, and an assortment of rugby league matches. FOX Soccer 2Go is available for $180 for a full 12-month subscription, or $20 a month for the monthly subscription. (There are just over four months left in the current Premier League season, but an annual subscription would carry into next season). To watch soccer on a smartphone or tablet, the free FOX Soccer 2Go app plays all these games on an iPad, iPhone, or Android device for service subscribers.
Many matches on Fox Soccer 2Go are broadcast live. However, the Champions League games and those matches broadcast on the British Sky Sports and U.S. FOX Soccer television networks are available only after the match’s conclusion. If you’re not keen on the early morning wee-hour start times in your respective time zone, games are also available on demand for seven days afterward for EPL matches, and only three days following FA Cup matches. Additionally, FOX Soccer 2Go offers the original Sky Sports UK broadcast rather than a replacement version with U.S. announcers – the right call, as far as many international fans are concerned.
VIEW LIVE SOCCER ON WatchESPN
If you’re a casual fan who only needs to see a few of the week’s top matches live, you may already have access to them – at no additional subscription cost. The ESPN streaming site WatchESPN offers between two and four of the week’s biggest EPL matches live, plus select matches from the Brazilian Serie A, Coupe de France, German Cup, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and MLS Soccer. WatchESPN is available online as a free courtesy to ESPN subscribers with an active basic cable account, but it’s not available to those who don’t currently subscribe to cable TV. Mobile viewers with current cable accounts can watch soccer on a tablet or smartphone via the free WatchESPN app, available at no cost in the Android and iOS app stores.
ESPN’s soccer match broadcasts are original ESPN productions, but the match coverage is first-class. You’ll frequently get the outstanding play calls of the legendarily listenable Ian Darke and his insightful partner Steve McManaman. Some Premiership matches are available for an entire week after they’re played, whereas other matches are only available live, with the Spanish-language ESPN Deportes versions of the games also available live and on demand.
UK residents can catch the top matches live on Sky Sports online, but that service only functions if you have a British or Irish IP address. If you don’t like all these online rules and restrictions, take heart – all of the TV networks’ EPL broadcast deals will expire this coming May, and NBC has the U.S. rights for next season. NBC has long broadcast American football online free of charge.
Will NBC broadcast EPL games for free on the web? How do you feel about FOX and ESPN soccer coverage? Which team is your pick for this year’s League Cup? Throw your red cards and yellow cards in the comments section below.