Premier League 2016-17 season: Your guide to TV, web streaming and more
New Delhi: The new season of the Premier League, in England, starts on 13 August. In case you are an avid Premier League fan in India, and don’t wish to miss out on live coverage or small updates related to your favourite players and teams, it is time to brush up on a few basics related to TV coverage, online streaming of games and even some apps and games for your smartphone which will provide a solid second-screen experience.
Television network Star has the Star Sports line-up of sports channels. At present, it has 8 channels, including 4 high definition and 4 standard definition channels. It has now added two new channels to the portfolio, called Star Sports Select HD 1 and Star Sports Select HD 2 for exclusive coverage of all international sports events including English Premier League. The Premier League matches will also be available on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD 4 channels until 31 October, after which they will be available only on the two Select HD channels. This means no standard definition broadcast of the football matches from the Premier League from November onwards.
On direct to home (DTH) service TATA Sky, the Select HD 1 and Select HD 2 will be available within the HD channels pack which comes for Rs.175. In case you haven’t subscribed to any of the HD channels, maybe now is the time to change your mind. In case you just want these two channels a la carte, you can get them for a monthly subscription of Rs.75 each.
The other DTH provider, Airtel, is yet to provide any official update on the pricing or the channel pack of the two channels, but the two channels have been added to its Digital TV platform. However, if you subscribe to the channels separately, you will have to pay Rs.60 each.
It’s interesting to note that Tata Sky has also added a ‘service’ called Star Sports Add-On Service HD, on its platform. This is essentially an HD channel which will broadcast matches, not shows on any other channel. Tata Sky also had this last year to cover some matches of the Premier League as well as the German Bundesliga.
The Premier League telecast will be no longer available on StarSports.com. All the 380 matches of Premier League will be available on Hotstar Premium, a subscription-based service which was started in April 2016. As of now, Hotstar Premium only streams English movies and popular TV series such as Game of Thrones for a monthly subscription of Rs.199. Star is yet to announce whether the sports coverage will be included within the existing premium account, or there will be separate subscription pack for it.
Premiere League App
Available on iOS, Android
This is the official app for English Premier League. It provides details on all upcoming fixtures and the entire schedule of the tournament. In addition, it shows the stats of teams and how they compare against each other. You can also access player details, their entire carrier, passes completed, tackles made, goals saved or goals scored for each and every player, making it the go-to app for all EPL fans. News and media section will keep you posted about what the critics think.
FIFA 16 Ultimate Team game
Available on iOS, Android
If you are gaming on smartphones or tablets and like football, FIFA 16 Ultimate Team is the best available option out there. Developed by EA Sports, it offers all licensed players, teams, team jerseys and stadiums. You can create you own team, hire a manager and compete in various leagues and qualify for EPL and other top football leagues. The game offers console-like graphics while players look like their real-life counterparts. The game is free to download but involves optional in-app purchases to speed up things for you. It works online, takes up to 2GB of storage after installation and works best with mid-range smartphones.