#PLSeasonReview Events like BPL Live are bringing the Premier League matchday experience to a global audience
Premier League Season Review 2014/15
Events like BPL Live are bringing the Premier League matchday experience to a global audience http://bit.ly/PLSR-global-fans
#PLSeasonReview Events like BPL Live are bringing the Premier League matchday experience to a global audience bit.ly/PLSR-global-fans
The Premier League is the world’s most watched football league; all 38 match rounds are broadcast to 725 million homes in 185 countries. We also want our fans across the globe to get closer to the excitement and drama – and through in-country events like the Barclays Asia Trophy and Barclays Premier League Live, they can.
In December 2014, over 20,000 Premier League fans flocked to Mumbai to watch Manchester United v Liverpool being broadcast live at a Premier-League-themed fan park. Nine Premier League clubs made the 7,000km journey to India to man club tents at the fan festival. Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Liverpool, Everton, Hull City, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion all contributed to the occasion by hosting interactive games, offering merchandise and chipping in with coaching sessions for local children.
“I was astounded when my cousin told me the Premier League was coming to Mumbai. I had to go, so I travelled 800km on an overnight train from my home city to get there. It was so good to mix with all those supporters and see a tent devoted to my beloved Liverpool. I can’t believe I met Robbie Fowler in the flesh. It’s a shame about the result but that’s fine, win or lose, we support Liverpool. It's wonderful to have that acknowledgement that this culture exists in India. The experience was unforgettable.”
Rachin, 23, Liverpool fan at Barclays Premier League Live in Mumbai
The large turnout in Mumbai reflects the soaring popularity of the Barclays Premier League in India, where the competition has been broadcast since 1995, by ESPN Star, and since 2013/14, by Star India. “Football is an aspirational sport and India has a committed fan following for the Barclays Premier League,” said Star India chief operating officer, Sanjay Gupta. “BPL Live is a great initiative to take fans closer to the game, its iconic clubs and legendary heroes.”
The event began with a football match on the specially-built artificial grass pitch between Robbie Fowler's Barclays Premier League Legends, including Emile Heskey, Dean Windass, Graham Stuart and Lee Trundle, and the All-Stars side representing Bollywood. Abhishek Bachchan, Aditya Roy Kapur and perhaps the biggest name in Indian cinema, Ranbir Kapoor, took part in the match, which was won by Fowler's side.
“It is through initiatives like this that the Premier League is really going to make a huge difference to football in India,” said Bachchan, the Indian actor, and avid Chelsea fan. “We are experiencing a footballing revolution.”