Soccer Fans Everywhere Rejoice As Leagues Return To Play

As the whole world has self-quarantined, soccer fans everywhere have been eagerly awaiting the return of major league play. Situations across the globe have gradually improved over these past three months, allowing for soccer to reboot. The beloved sights of soccer have soundly returned to television screens everywhere as leagues resume operations.

Bundesliga became the first major soccer league to return, beginning in May. This much-needed stimulant has eased the hunger of soccer fans worldwide. Since then, the German league has seen impeccable growth in viewership and overall interest. In the first soccer game played since the pandemic began, the Borussia Dortmund and Schalke match netted a whopping 1.4 million views. Being the first league to return, Bundesliga has reached new audiences in the hundreds of thousands with non-stop action every weekend.

This success can be attributed to the safety protocols that have been enacted to protect players and corresponding staff. Bundesliga has ensured safety through a variety of regulations such as:

  • Consistent sanitization of soccer balls
  • No fan attendance
  • Temperature testing for players and staff ahead of matches
  • No handshakes throughout the duration of a match
  • Various social distancing guidelines

Bundesliga has served as a model as many leagues have begun to return. La Liga joined Bundesliga last week as the second major soccer league to resume operations. With similar safety protocols adopted, the future of the 2020 season remains bright. La Liga resumed with a bang of 4.5 million total viewers in its first weekend back.

La Liga has taken an unorthodox approach in partnership with EA Sports and VIZRT to enhance the experience for viewers. The companies have worked together to provide CGI audiences during the match. While there are some bugs to sort out, this angle has never been seen before.

Bundesliga has filled the stands in other capacities, providing fans the option to have uploaded an approved image of themselves to be placed in stadium seats during games. The German league has also fiddled with augmenting auditory experiences of games with fake crowd noises. Fans have mixed reviews about this newly added in-game feature, however, for the time being, it will do.

The Premier League joined Bundesliga and La Liga in resuming play yesterday after a 100-day freeze. The English league looked to replicate much of the safety measures taken by other leagues ahead of its first day back. The first match was no disappointment for EPL, as millions of users tuned in for their signature event. In the second matched played yesterday between Manchester City and Arsenal, Sky reported an average of 3.1 million viewers throughout the match. We can expect to see EPL retain audiences in the millions through this weekend in its first weekend of play.

In light of three major soccer leagues returning, we will closely examine the actions and responses taken as events continue to unfold. To stay aware of matches to watch, visit our client’s website, SOCCER.COM for your top 3 matches of the week per league. Follow the link here for more. Also, make sure to check out our client, beIN Sports, and their free La Liga streaming platform, beIN Sports XTRA. Click here to get signed up today.

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Carson Boykin

Assistant Account Executive, Sports