The Premier League is the most-watched league in the world, attracting approximately 643 million viewers each year, which trumps the 76 million and 10.5 million that tune into Spain’s La Liga and France’s Ligue 1, respectively. But what is it that makes England’s top division so much more compelling to watch than the rest?
Global fan bases
Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League and its leading teams have worked hard to nurture a global sports fan base that is not solely reliant on “legacy” fans for revenue. The lucrative TV deals that the league has attained with broadcasters across Europe, Asia, North America and other regions allows almost every game to be shown live. The biggest clubs are adept at broadening their reach even further too via social media and other online platforms.
The Premier League had six participants in the now-doomed Super League, which is twice as many as from any other top division. The latest Deloitte Money League for 2022 also shows that five of the top 10 wealthiest teams in world football are in the Premier League, with Manchester City leading the way with more than €644m in revenue. Manchester United (€558m), Liverpool (€550m), Chelsea (€493.1m) and Tottenham (€406m) are not far behind.
Best players and managers
The lucrative nature of the Premier League helps it to attract the best players and managers plying their trades today. Arguably, it currently has the top three managers in world football with Pep Guardiola at City, Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool and Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, while United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and City’s Kevin de Bruyne headline a crop of megastars and talent on the pitch. Other leagues have great players as well, but it’s the sheer number of stars in each position that sets the Premier League apart.
The most exciting football betting stories often involve massive underdogs overcoming title challengers, which is a common occurrence in the Premier League as it’s so unpredictable and competitive. This is in contrast to the Bundesliga, for example, where Bayern Munich are expected to win the league every season. Leicester City’s incredible title triumph is perhaps the greatest underdog story in sport as the team rose from being 5,000/1 outsiders at the start of the 2015/16 season to Premier League winners nine months later.
England’s top-flight wouldn’t be the most watchable if the actual product was not good enough, but it has this covered too with exciting matches being played out regularly at full, state of the art stadiums. The number of big clubs means there is always a memorable derby or top of the table clash to look forward to with Liverpool versus Manchester United and Arsenal versus Tottenham, among others, regularly serving up classics and lots of goals.
The success of the Premier League extends to European competition where its teams enjoy even greater exposure in the Champions League and Europa League. Liverpool is the most successful English side in Europe with 13 trophies in total, ahead of Chelsea with eight and Man United with seven. The presence of English teams in the latter stages of the Champions League each year enhances its prestige and makes it a more attractive destination for leading managers and players.