Watching football on TV vs watching football in person – which is better?

Chris from EPL Talk recently made the trip to see Netherlands play Italy in Euro 08, and made some very interesting observations. To summarise:

  • The crowds seem quieter in person than they do on TV.
  • The view is terrible (compared to TV, that is).

I have to say I agree with Chris on both accounts – I’ve heard enough people make the same claim about ‘quieter fans’ and without the benefit of multiple replays the viewing experience is bound to be less than optimal. Match day can an exhilarating experience for someone who’s never seen a match live, but the same could be said for those who see football on TV with all slow-mos and replays for the first time.

Chris wraps his arguments up with this:

Part of the appeal of being at a live match is one of bragging rights by fans. “I was there mate.”

But seeing a match in person also appeals to our celebrity culture, where we can say that we saw players like Del Piero, Buffon, Matterazi and others in person. It’s almost like the Hollywood culture where people get more of a kick from seeing Paris Hilton in person than on screen.

However, the movie watching experience is far greater than seeing the movie shot in person. Just as movies are able to add special effects and make the actors appear much larger in size, TV is able to heighten and capture the excitement of a football match and make it an even better experience than being at a match.

With all other things being equal, It seems that the closer you get to the action, the experience becomes more emotional and less analytical. And the farther away you get from it, the less ’emotional’ the experience becomes as you gain a wider and clearer perspective on what’s going on in the game.

Read the whole article, and then tell us what you think in the comments below.

Scolari Watch - Chelsea finally have a top manager
Transfer Rumours (14 June 08): Berbatov for Manchester United, Arsenal's Nasri move a no-go?, Gomes to Tottenham, and more


  1. KyleAusGooner 14 June, 2008
  2. Raed 14 June, 2008
  3. Andrei 15 June, 2008
  4. Marco Pantanella 15 June, 2008
  5. Oldham Fan 16 June, 2008
  6. Haydar 16 June, 2008