How Soccer Matches Are Broadcast

How the Live Broadcast of Soccer Is Constructed

Watch live soccer matches on your laptop, smartphone or tablet. Get the latest soccer data and news to help you stay informed.

Soccer is booming around the world. The Women’s World Cup has just ended and club teams are getting into full swing. Here’s how to catch every game.

How it is televised

There are a few different ways to watch soccer on television in the United States. The best way is to use a streaming service, which provides access to live TV channels without the need for a cable subscription. These services typically cost less than traditional pay-TV services and sometimes offer free trials.

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Commentary on televised soccer matches employs both spatial and temporal conventions to construct match narratives. Unlike newspaper reporting, television commentary has the ability to report on events in real time and establish connections between them. This can be done through a number of techniques, including framing that leaves actions partly out of frame, the use of cut scenes, and the concept of border moments.


In the US, ESPN and Fox Sports offer a range of live soccer games. In addition, beIN Sports, NBC Sports, Univision, and NBC Universo all offer coverage of top leagues in Europe and South America. NBC’s Peacock service also streams English Premier League matches, and its sister channel NBCSN airs MLS games.

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A match’s narrative is constructed through the combination of commentary and footage, which together establish a set of visual principles that are retained and incorporated into the viewers’ understanding of the game. These principles engender a fluid sense of temporality that is shaped by the commentator’s use of language.

A viewer who attends a soccer match can miss a lot that is happening on the field and in the stands. The TV broadcast, however, allows for more in-depth analysis of the players and other events. For instance, the commentator can mention that a player is shaking hands with an opposing team member, or that the crowd is going wild.

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In addition, the television broadcast can show events that would not be possible at an attended match, such as Ballack’s maniacal ranting or Ochocinco’s wink to the crowd. Followers of the sport are also exposed to current affairs, such as oil, terrorism, media, and partisanship. These issues are reflected in the broadcast, which is becoming an increasingly important part of the sport’s image.


The way that a soccer match is broadcast on television draws attention to the visual aspect of the sport. This can be seen in the commentaries, which often highlight the physical movements of players and the spatiality of the game. In addition, the commentary also discusses the relationship between the match and its corresponding context.

Likewise, television producers often crop moments that would not occur at an attended match. These may include a player’s wink or a typhoon of fury from the crowd. These moments are meant to create a connection between the audience and the players on the field.

Big Tech companies have also entered the sports industry by acquiring media rights and streaming matches. For example, Amazon’s recent purchase of UEFA Champions League matches allowed it to offer a premium service for its subscribers and reach new audiences through Twitch, a platform for video game live-streaming. Moreover, the company is using these rights to promote its other business interests, such as cloud services and e-commerce.

Time and space


The televised narrative of soccer is spatial and temporal, and the resulting unfolding story is inherently limited by the timeline of the match itself. This can make it difficult for broadcasters to innovate in a way that is meaningful to the soccer fan, especially when a standard broadcast feed sticks with a lowest-common-denominator formula.

With the rise of legal sports gambling in states across the country, soccer fans can look forward to betting-integrated broadcasts that will likely feature live second-screen tactical camera feeds from top matches in UEFA Europa League, Bundesliga, La Liga and more. The growth of these platforms also allows for broadcasters to focus on building a quality portfolio of matches that can attract new viewers while catering to existing fans.


NBC Sports Group has exclusive EPL rights in the US, but it might be wise to go all-in on driving soccer fans to their streaming platform Peacock Premium by offering English-language and Spanish-language versions of the same broadcast. This is a strategy that other leagues like Serie A and Liga MX have already implemented with success.

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