Can Serie A become more popular than the Premier League?
The less than impressive viewing figures of Italy's top league doesn't do justice to the quality of the football being played
The English Premier League is the most viewed football league in the world, with many experts believing that the world economy is worth more to the Premier League than England itself.
Although Juventus’ win over Inter in April came closer to the seven million views mark, that was only one match, with the Premier League consistently reaching over four million views a week per game, Serie A only brings in around 2.9 million views per game a week.
The Premier League doesn’t have the best teams or quality of football, and none of them have their own unique playing style barring Arsenal, so how has it gotten to be so big worldwide? Well Sky has pumped money into it and it is now shown in 16 countries worldwide, and if it is the most accessible, it will get the most views.
Also with the most popular African player, Didier Drogba, playing for Chelsea for such a long time, it has raised the Premier League’s profile in the African nations, as well as big stars like Yaya Toure and Michael Essien also flying the flag for their home nations in England’s top flight.
Where the Premier League has had countless investors and sponsorship deals, Serie A has kept itself from relying on outside bidders, much like the Bundesliga and Spain’s Primera Liga, as they can be often unreliable, and have realised that if Sky ever encounters financial troubles, the Premier League will also suffer.
The main thing holding Serie A back are incorrect, out of date generalisations that people cant seem to see past. It is claimed that Serie A is too defensive, while it was the highest scoring league from 2006-2009, and has been in the top three ever since.
Also with teams like Napoli, Fiorentina, Roma and Udinese, Serie A has a crop of the most attacking teams in the world. With Stevan Jovetic, Edinson Cavani, Antonio Di Natale, Mario Balotelli, Pablo Osvaldo, Giuseppe Rossi and Stephan El Shaarawy, Serie A also has some of the best attackers in world football.
Another thing that may hold Serie A back from overtaking the Premier League, is the arrogance and snobbery of England’s top flight. With fans often claiming that the Premier League is the best league in the world, they put down other leagues by saying things that are incorrect or try to use opinionated statements as facts.
Although the Premier League is one of the most followed leagues in the world, some of its fans also make it one of the most hated.
Something that may prove to help Serie A is how Napoli and Fiorentina gained a lot of neutral support after their recent Champions League campaigns, as millions of people around the world saw their attractive playing styles and praised them.
Fiorentina’s free-flowing passing style is a common sight in Italy’s top flight, and if Serie A games became more widely televised, more and more people could start supporting Serie A sides.
Although it is true that there are not as many world-class players plying their trade in Serie A, there is still Totti, Pirlo, Balotelli, Klose, Hernanes, De Rossi, Lamela, Jovetic, Montolivo, Chiellini, Insigne, Hamsik, Cavani, Vidal, Asamoah, Lichtsteiner, Di Natale and Balzaretti, who are all world class talents.
Can Serie A really overtake the Premier League in worldwide views? Yes it is possible, but for it to start, the majority of Premier League fans must acknowledge the fact that there is better quality football outside of England.
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