Like to start today by saying how great this is city is with five boroughs, 302 sq. miles, 24 hour transit service and 8.3 million people, you would think with statistics like that there would be more demand for the most popular sport in the world and demand for arguably the best football league. However, I know of only about 15 bars that show football and only four that allow all supporters clubs. One of them, Smithfield NYC, we call home.
Strange to consider that the PremierLeague is more of a cult-like fascination on this side of the pond, especially with ESPN, Fox and now NBC all involved with showing live coverage of the games. This just encourages pundits to believe that the audiences will just come flocking to their televisions, making them big stars!
However, running a supporters club that depends on these networks to work with you and I have gotten the opinion theyonly care about providing Man Utd., Liverpool , Arsenal and as of late Man City, and if it wasn’t for 12.30pm or 5.30pm kick offs, we would never see a game, though that been said, I am always reminded by UK visitors that we see a hell of a lot more games live on TV than you do in the UK
This will all change though with NBC winning the right to show 380 games for $250MM over 3 years, the vast channels that are owned by NBC, one of the biggest networks in the USA,hopefully will show games live and that will generate a more of a interest in the game in USA. (unless they start tape delaying like the did with the 2012 Olympics).
A lot of bars don’t have a budget beyond basic cable fees so this will allow for them to maybe open early and have supporters venture out on a Saturday morning to catch one.
What Fox Sports and Fox Soccers has done in the past couple of years is have live games one at a time, so there is always a 3pm kick off shown as well as the early and late game, more recently all games are live on the app and internet pagegivingpeople here a taste of as many games and clubs as possible.,This has been great in ensuring we get to see as many of the games as possible, pretty much every league game has been available to watch.
For this reason, this is why we call Smithfield NYC our home,because understand and show as many games as possible across 3 floors and 15+screens. Take last year in the Championship,they would get as many games as possible, where other establishments don’t care about Championship football, let alone open for games against the glamour clubs like Doncaster,Huddersfield, Barnsley etc . For the Playoff Final in May atWembley (you might have seen the flag waving from the top tier) Smithfield NYC was packed to the rafters, with 200+ , from all over the local and not so local area, guys travelledfrom partsof New England and Pennsylvania to be part of the crowd.Because of moments like this, our supporters club has grown enormously, visiting fans actively come and join us for a gamewhenever they can, and any Hammers moving to NYC are amazed that we exist in such a way.
Most americans have not really come to terms with the game as a whole, many still don’t understand the basic, not just the offside rule, the idea of 90mins of the most entertaining game can end 0-0, and that’s not called zero-zero. . The way to really get them involved is for show as many games, and let them evaluate and see games, good quality games, let them chose if they fully willing to be engulfed in the game.
Now my interest in this is more in a social prospective that when you have people able to watchgames, they have a change to beable grow into fully dedicated fans who makes a lifelong commitment towards The Club. These are the people who willplan their holidays around games in East London, have life long bonds with fans they meet along the way, people who will give back to West Ham United.
Hopefully we can see more Americans making the trip across to the Boleyn Ground whilst they still have the chance to see West Ham play there.