By Nick Harris
SJA Internet Sports Writer of the Year
30 December 2011
England’s Premier League is, by far, the nation’s most successful sporting export, watched live each week in more than 200 countries, and earning from foreign TV rights alone £1.437bn for the current three-year overseas deals (or £479m a year) as reported by sportingintelligence last year here and here.
But who exactly watches? And where? At home? In pubs or bars?
What channels carry the games? How much does it cost to subscribe? Why do foreign fans tune in?
Is is just popular in a few key markets, or can you really find PL fanatics in Tonga and Papua New Guinea and Gambia and Peru and all points in between? Find out what we’ve discovered so far (A-Z of nations, and listed by continent).
Over the coming months, we aim to find out, inviting PL viewers from around world (from as many of the 200+ different countries as possible), to share details of a single game watched.
Elsewhere in this series, find out how the League is viewed in:
KENYA and AZERBAIJAN and INDIA and SWEDEN and the CZECH REPUBLIC and SERBIA and AUSTRALIA and MONTENEGRO and ISRAEL and MALTA and the U.S.A and CANADA AND PAKISTAN and the UAE and MALAYSIA.
Without further ado, here ‘s a view of what it’s like to watch the Premier League in . . . . .
Name: Kolade Kasim.
Game watched: Chelsea 2 Man. City 1 Date: Monday 12 December 2011. Time: 9pm local time. (8pm UK).
Where: Ikoyi Club, Lagos, Nigeria.
Who else was watching: Friends and fellow squash players.
TV Channel carrying the game: SuperSport, Africa’s premier sports channel carried on DSTv, owned by MultiChoice, based in South Africa but with a strong presence in Nigeria.
How much does it cost to watch Premier League games: DSTv Premium, which has over 70 channels, is approximately N10,000 a month, US$60 (£40).
What’s the local tipple and how much does it cost: The favoured drinks are Star, Harp, Gulder and Guiness Stout which costs about N200 for a 70cl bottle (just about US$1.50). Teetotalers like me have a choice of non-alcoholic beverages to choose from – energy drinks, malt drinks, simple sodas.
What’s the popularity of the English Premier League in the country where you live: The English Premier League (EPL) is essentially the number one European league watched by most football-loving audiences in the country. I feel its mainly mainly because of the way the EPL is marketed world wide and the success of the likes of Kanu and Okocha in the EPL.
I suspect Arsenal have the largest following in Nigeria (mainly due to Kanu), with Man Utd coming very close (the Governor of Lagos is an ardent supporter). Liverpool (who I support) and Chelsea then follow, not necessarily in that order though.
A rival cable company, HiTV outbid DSTV about three years ago for the Nigerian rights to show EPL matches, but DSTV got the rights back last year and HiTV seems to be barely surviving since then. This is to show how popular the EPL is here.
We also have viewing centres, which are neighbourhood centres where one pays to watch matches for about N50. Eateries and bars also have DSTV to draw more patronage.
Any other observations: I suspect in the next couple of years, Nigeria will be a destination for more Premier League clubs during the off-season. Man Utd and Portsmouth have been here and there is talk of Arsenal coming in 2012. The prayer however, is that it translates into more exposure for the local clubs and administrators.
The talent is available, all the players need is a very conducive environment to play and develop. Who knows, maybe a Liverpool or United feeder team might soon berth here.
This feature will be updated on a regular basis. Sportingintelligence invites readers who watch the Premier League overseas to send your own experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org, answering the questions posed above, and including a JPEG of yourself. We cannot guarantee to use all submissions (although if we’ve not had one from your country it’s almost certain we will) and we’ll be appealing via Twitter from time to time for viewers from specific nations.