How to watch every Arsenal match on TV this season (sorry, this only applies to the USA)

I know that I’m not supposed to publish here today but I woke up this morning to yet another announcement of yet another streaming service putting Arsenal matches behind their paywall. This was for FA Cup matches, which will only be available on ESPN+, and that takes Arsenal fans to what I think is the fourth paywall service that we need to subscribe to in order to watch every Arsenal match.

(Extremely old man voice) When I first started watching Arsenal on TV back in the 90s we had just one channel and the matches were more of a “Match of the Day” format; shrunk down into bite size pieces that they could play between chunks of Hurling and other “weird sports” like Aussie Rules Football (a game that was obviously invented by a drunk person).

Back in these dark days of football I had to pay-per-view the FA Cup final. I want to say the price was $50 but that could just be me, a middle-aged man, remembering things all wrong. 

Along came Setanta and before long I was able to watch every single Arsenal match, live, on TV (through my cable package) from either my home or occasionally a local pub. I remember bragging about that. I probably shouldn’t have.

Now, everyone wants a piece of this lucrative product (you are the product!) and they have found that we (the ones being sold) are willing to pay for the right to be sold! Just like Facebook has found that people are willing to work for them for free, the cable companies have realized that Premier League football fans in the USA are happy to shell out $3 a pop to watch a match full of advertisements which are being sold to the advertisers because they know that we are watching! It’s turtles all the way down.

For Premier League matches, most of them will be on NBCSN or one of the NBC channels. This you can see through your regular cable package. I use YouTubeTV which costs me $50 a month or $500 total. I’m not including my internet costs here which is another $500 because I would have internet regardless of whether I watched Arsenal but I wouldn’t have YouTube TV.  

NBC will be putting a number of their matches behind their online subscription only package, NBC Gold Premier League Pass.  For that privilege, I will have to pay an additional $50. We are now up to $550. 

FA Cup matches will only be available on ESPN+, which is $5 a month, so, depending on how long we are in that competition, that’s another $5-25. Let’s just say we go all the way, we are now up to $575.

The good news is that ESPN+ will also have the League Cup matches so that’s a huge savings! 

And then finally, we have the Europa League matches. Those will only be available on the Bleacher Report Live service. Two Champions League matches will be available on TNT per (week?) but all the remaining Champions League and Europa League matches will be behind their B/R Live paywall. Interestingly, they have an ala carte pricing model and you could get away with buying just the Arsenal games for $3 each. If Arsenal play 14 matches again this season (we are guaranteed 6 matches) that’s another $42. The UEFA League pass is $80, and I will probably skip that. 

That takes my total outlay to watch Arsenal on TV to $617 or about £480. 


Post Script: hey, you really need to check out Grimbo’s new project called “VetsGrow”. Grimbo (also known as Matt Grimshaw) is a Gooner and was a contributor to this site back in the olden days. Now he’s an American, a motorcyclist, and a documattarian. And he’s working on a documentary film about veterans growing their own medicinal marijuana to help with PTSD and other ailments. I am a staunch advocate of medical marijuana and support this project 100%. You can check out Episode 1 below and make sure you subscribe to see the whole story.. grow! 


  1. This suggestion comes with the requisite legal disclaimer:
    You can download Mobdro for Android and watch pretty much every team and every match. You can hook up your phone or tablet to your TV or use a “casting” appliance like Google Chromecast to wirelessly to transmit from your device.

    Mobdro is not officially available on the Google Play store for obvious reasons but it is downloadable from any web browser at

    The downside is that you have go separately to an individual channel’s website or a TV guide to get a schedule but that’s easy enough to live with for the price (free). So far I haven’t experienced anything dodgy on my phone. You can also stream from a PC or laptop with an Android emulator like Bluestack.

    1. Appreciate the info on the tv schedule website. All these years being a Gooner in Toronto and I never knew… thanks.

  2. Reposting this comment from Tim’s last article, in case folks have moved on from that and didn’t see it (just because I don’t want those interested to miss the linked article!).

    By the way, for those who haven’t seen it (hope Tim doesn’t mind me posting a link to someone else’s Arsenal related tactical content):

    This guy pretty much nails it.

    He better articulates what I was trying to say above, and makes a great case for thinking the truth is somewhere in between Tim’s take and my take with respect to Ozil’s and Ramsey’s respective positions, Emery’s initial tactics/formation, etc.

    (I.e. Ramsey started as a 10 in Emery’s favored 4-2-3-1 rather than at CF, but because of the high pressing tactics he ended up looking like part of a de facto 3-man forward line a lot, whereas Ozil ended up more on the right in midfield–though whether that was mostly due to a clear instruction from Emery for him not to press, or because he was pegged back by Mendy while Walker would drop into a back 3 on the other side for City’s buildup, is an interesting further question.)

    Everyone should read the whole thing (think he’s a bit too complimentary of pressing under Arsene, though).

    1. Ok, so that’s a very nice break down of why Ramsey was deployed forward. The problem, as I state in my article, is that it was a massive failure. Not only did Man City break our lines easily the press neutralized many of Ramsey’s strengths and highlighted none of our strengths. I disagree with the author that Aubama was just kind of having a super bad night. He was shunted off to the right and had zero partner to play with. He was clearly told to stay positionally disciplined and did what he was told. It wasn’t until Unai brought on an actual forward and freed up Ozil that Auba had good attacking possession.

      I also disagree with the assessment that Guendouzi was poor. Emery’s attempt to play out through the back was a horrible joke. Cech nearly scored an own goal and Guendouzi was often passed hospital balls that played straight into City’s press. As soon as City saw us splitting the center backs they must have been licking their lips: Xhaka has the first touch of a clydesdale and this was Guendouzi’s first real match. They just literally pressed us slightly and squeezed the middle and Guendouzi was made to look quite pedestrian. The example that guy used to show how poor Guendouzi was was actually prefect: he claims that Guendouzi “dwelt on the ball too long” but exactly at the moment the pass hit his foot a defender was there closing him down. He tried to turn but Xhaka was off somewhere probably adjusting his damn shin-pads, and after he lost the ball, he actually won it back, made a decent pass and then turned to his teammates to ask where the —- they were.

      This was a massive tactical blunder by Unai Emery and one which I hope I don’t have to bring up again and again as the season goes on.

      1. Another thing Cech wasn’t making use of was lofted balls… lobs to (near) unmarked Arsenal players beyond those who had pressers on their backs. This is what the really good sweeper/keepers do. It’s neither a pass along the ground nor a punt upfield.

        One thing Guendouzi will get better at (because he clearly has it in his skillset; it’s just not that well developed yet) is turning and ferrying the ball securely out of the back midfield. Oh for a Santi who provided ball securtity in a crowded midfield, and could pass as well with right or left foot. All things considered, the youngster played well. Xhaka had a ‘mare (as any Clydesdale would, I suppose).

        1. Yeah, agree with both those points, though I do seem to recall Cech did try the lobbed pass a few times, without much success.

      2. Tim,
        Completely agree with all of that, especially the Guendouzi bit, whose development is going to be so exciting to watch this season, if Emery keeps showing faith in him and giving him minutes.

        But I don’t think it was a huge tactical blunder from Emery. (Given how Mendy and Walker were playing, one thing he could have done was switch Ozil and Miki early in the first half, so that Miki was doing more of the legwork in midfield and tracking Mendy, while Ozil got to play higher up the pitch in number 10ish positions, closer to Ramsey and Auba. This was pointed out by someone on twitter I can’t remember–maybe the Oscar chap who wrote that article?) Rather, I think Emery tried some interesting tactical things that didn’t come off because of (a) poor execution on the day from the players, even our best ones (this will improve), and (b) he got outfoxed by Pep and Arteta, but there’s no shame in that. Pep is a genius and he’s working with better players who have learned his methods over a longer period of time.

        And I think–particularly with the playing out of the back thing–that Emery knew it would be a baptism by fire but he’s determined to stick to his philosophy from the outset and trusted that this would be a valuable teaching moment as the players learn what he wants from them over time. I think Torreira and Leno would have made this work better than Xhaka and Cech, but for various reasons (Torreira not being match sharp and new to the team; Emery wanting to respect Cech’s good preseason and seniority within the dressing room) I don’t think it was crazy to start who he did. I hope he’ll at least replace Xhaka with Torreira for the Chelsea game…

  3. This is my take. Ozil is not good in pressing, crucial to our offense and cannot be dropped. You cannot press weak because that’s more dangerous than no pressing since you end up committing to the action and being bypassed. Ramsey was used for his energy but in my opinion primarily to hide Ozil. If Ozil requires a free role always for leading our attacks then we MUST need a guy to cover the position he vacates. Add this to the problem of someone already having to cover for Xhaka’s mistakes. Huh! Feel for Guendozi…

    1. There is a minor problem with the way some of the Arsenal players tackle or try to tackle in a press.
      One of the ways of the tackling is to hold your position, with balance on both feet, around 5-8 feet from the opponent having the ball. You are controlling the directions in which the opponent has freedom to turn or move the ball. The other way is to move within 3-4 feet of the opponent and try a direct engagement with the added risk of being dribbled.
      Both styles have their places and occasions. The first method is useful in forcing the opponent into a particular part of the field where the second method comes into play. In Arsenal forward line, only Mikh has the second style (Lac is the other one). May be that’s the reason Mikh was staying up more than Ozil.. All the other Arsenal fwds defend by maintaining positions and not by engagement. All teams pressing has a combination of first and second type of tacklers. I am not organized enough to mention the details for all the other good pressing teams. But this is something you can try and see during the games.
      Btw, our coaches did not call this pressing when we were learning .. some 35 years back 🙂

  4. claude, sorry i couldn’t reply to you yesterday. first, there is a huge difference between playing against the best team in the land who are trying to score goals and playing against a team away from home that has a two goal lead with ten minutes remaining. one game, xhaka had to deal with while another game, torreira had to deal with. like i said, i liked what i saw from torreira but he hasn’t been tested yet. no worries, his time is coming.

    btw, when everyone was singing the praises of how awesome xhaka was at the end of last season, there was one guy who said that xhaka only looks good because arsenal are playing against bad teams. that was me. there’s a reason wenger took the crazy decision to play cazorla as a cdm. it’s because his shiny, new, swiss, £35 million cdm couldn’t read the game. as for the silva goal, elneny likely would have made that play. coquelin, certainly would have. but people were more impressed with xhaka’s passing than the fact that he was so ineffective off the ball. 1-0 down is a much different game than 2-0 down. i gave xhaka the benefit of the doubt when he first arrived, saying he just needed time. well, he’s been at the club long enough and i threw that out over a year ago.

  5. Tim agree 100%. Emery tinkered too much too soon.I wish he tinkers less against chelc.juust tweaking and organizational awareness for now

  6. oh, as for ramsey. i don’t care about his stats. they landed outside of the top four in consecutive years. vieira has never been second on any arsenal team in goals or assists but he’s won far more trophies than ramsey. also, vieira’s always finished first or second in the bpl while ramsey has never finished that high.

    i just watched france win the world cup and their center forward didn’t register a single shot on goal for the entire tournament. however, giroud was very effective and it’s unlikely that france would have won without his contribution. it’s not about stats, it’s about doing with the game asks; it’s about doing what your team needs. tim just posted a thread about arsenal potentially having two 20+ goal strikers in their team. if you have that, do you really need goals from ramsey? the last time i saw two 20+ goal scorers in the same bpl team was in ’99 and they won the treble. they also had a balanced midfield behind them. screw stats!

    1. bottom line, arsenal’s attack sucks when ramsey’s an attacking player. he proved in van persie’s last season that he lacks the skill, guile, or aptitude to be a #10. put him back in midfield and tell him to provide leadership and balance. let those other guys score goals.

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