Sky Sports compiles 126 reasons why pubs are looking forward to the big kick-off

2nd August 2016

Pubs with Sky Sports can look forward to more football than ever before this season, including 126 matches from the Premier League.

To celebrate, Sky has compiled 126 reasons for pubs and pub-goers to look forward to the 2016/17 Premier League season with Sky Sports.

126 Reasons to Celebrate

Sky reveals 126 reasons why the Premier League is good for bars

1 126 matches – 10 more than last season and 3 times more than any other broadcaster

2 Friday Night Football is exclusive to Sky Sports this season, giving pub goers the perfect opportunity to kick start their weekend in style with live Premier League football

3 Zlatan has landed in the Premier League! His post-match interviews with Geoff Shreeves are sure to be entertaining

4 Soccer Saturday remains the number one way to keep up to speed with all the latest scores and developments from around the grounds on a Saturday afternoon, with an added dose of humour from Jeff Stelling and the boys. Just don’t expect Merse to pronounce Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s name any time soon!

5 The opening game of the season is exclusively live on Sky Sports and is part of 4 live games over the opening weekend as fans head to the pub in eager anticipation of the big kick off

6 Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday…More Premier League games across more days of the week than ever before.

7 Mourinho’s back in the Premier League with Manchester United, and it’s surely only a matter of time before he uses his pre-match press conferences on Sky Sports News HQ to initiate his mind games

8 Every team will feature on Sky Sports at least before the end of September, meaning pubs can appeal to more people and keep more customers happy

9 Pep Guardiola – he’s won the title with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich in his first season in charge. Can he repeat the feat at Manchester City?

10 The full story of the season – As things progressed in 2015/16, it was clear that Leicester City were becoming the story. Sky Sports showed the title winners 13 times throughout the season.

11 Monday Night Football helps attract customers in an otherwise quieter day for trade, featuring a big Premier League game (Chelsea v West Ham, August 15, Sky Sports) plus the best analysis of all the weekend’s games.

12 Bank Holiday bankers – All the big Bank Holiday games have switched to Sky Sports as of this season, meaning it has all the games on those days people are eagerly heading to the pub, including the busy Christmas and New Year period.

13 More of the biggest matches – this season, pubs with Sky Sports can benefit from an increase in its number of match picks (Sky has gained that no longer belong to BT Sport to bring its total to 26), meaning more of the games that tell the biggest stories of the season.

14 Super Sunday – two matches back to back, in the busiest day of the week for football in pubs

15 Klopp’s first full season at Anfield – can he meet the expectations of the Liverpool faithful?

16 Can Spurs finally finish above Arsenal? – It’s a question asked in pubs across North London and beyond every season. Every season Spurs look like they’ll do it, and every season they find a way of not doing it. But they are a side on the up. Maybe this time…?

17 Everton’s new found riches and Koeman at the helm brings renewed optimism to Goodison Park

18 Southampton’s latest regeneration – more players out the door (to Liverpool again), and a new manager, but it’s never done them any harm in the past. Can they keep on improving?

19 N’Golo Kante’s switch to Chelsea is bad news for Leicester and very good news for Chelsea. From relative unknown to one of the best combative central midfielders in Europe, Kante was instrumental in Leicester’s title charge, and Cheslea will be looking for a similar effect from their new £30 million man.

20 Burnley are back at the first attempt, having been relegated with two games to spare back in 2014/15. Sean Dyche will be looking for his side to learn from previous mistakes and cement their place in the Premier League. He’ll certainly be getting his point across – as shown in his customary gravelly voiced post-match interviews.

21 Joe Allen at Stoke – The Welsh Pirlo joins Mark Hughes, another Welsh hero at the Bet365 Stadium. But can he do it on a wet Tue….never mind.

22 Goals galore – There were 302 Premier League goals shown live on Sky Sports last season, meaning 302 celebrations in your venue and 302 reasons to get another round in

23 Olympic dreams for West Ham – Slaven Bilic enjoyed a successful first season in charge of West Ham, and in a new stadium they will fancy themselves to push on (West Ham v Bournemouth, August 21, Sky Sports)

24 Moyes is back with Sunderland – can he provide much needed stability on Wearside?

25 Arsene Wenger leaving it late in the transfer market – one of the enduring sights of the opening day is Arsenal fans complaining at the Emirates that Wenger hasn’t spent enough money. Will we witness it again, or will he get his proverbial cheque book out before we get underway?

26 Crystal Palace – made some shrewd signings but can they avoid the awful run that nearly landed them in a relegation fight last season?

27 Mourinho v Guardiola – a rivalry rekindled. All eyes will be on the Manchester derby. (Manchester United v Manchester City, September 10, Sky Sports)

28 Tottenham’s young crop of English talent – Walker, Rose, Dier, Kane and Alli may not have set Euro 2016 alight, but there’s no doubting Pochettino’s group of young and eager English players are central to Tottenham’s brand of attacking football.

29 Is Vardy likely to have another party? He may have committed his future to Leicester but with Kante gone and Mahrez rumoured to be leaving, can Leicester get anywhere close to repeating last season’s incredible story?

30 The ‘other’ North-East derby - Newcastle may have been relegated to the EFL Championship, but there’s still a derby to get excited about with Middlesbrough being promoted to rekindle their rivalry with Sunderland (Sunderland v Middlesbrough, August 21, Sky Sports)

31 Chelsea and Liverpool aren’t in Europe this season – two of the biggest teams for being sure of a packed pub, with the Premier League the only competition they’ll be guaranteed to feature in live on TV

32 Watford – They have a new manager in Walter Mazzarri and will be hoping Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo can rekindle their partnership up front to help build on a solid return to the Premier League last season

33 Award-winning coverage featuring the best pundits in the business, only on Sky Sports

34 West Brom – the only West Midlands side left in the Premier League, Tony Pulis’ men will be hoping to hit their stride early and get the region’s pubs packed on match days

35 Saturday lunchtime kick offs now on Sky Sports giving you the perfect opportunity to get people in early, with some huge fixtures already scheduled for the slot

36 Antonio Conte’s touchline theatrics – he lives and breathes every touch his players, as we saw at Euro 2016. Can his passion stir Chelsea and get them firing again?

37 Swansea – They’ve recently been taken over and are flying the flag for Wales after the international side’s impressive showing at Euro 2016. But they may need every ounce of that Welsh spirit, with many tipping them to struggle.

38 Life after Steve Bruce for Hull – the manager’s gone and they’ve lost key players to injury or being sold. It might be a struggle for Hull, or they may pull of plenty of upsets

39 New Season beer available to pubs to take advantage of the excitement around the start of the new campaign and boost sales

40 Big head-to-heads – Last season Sky Sports showed 63 matches involving top4 sides, meaning more of the big matches that draw the big crowds to your venue

41 Memorable moments – Leicester lifting the trophy, Tottenham’s final day meltdown at Newcastle, Vardy breaking the consecutive matches goalscoring record and Van Gaal’s ‘dive’ – it all happened exclusively live on Sky Sports, and 2016/17 will be no different.

42 Arsenal’s traditional opening game struggles – lost to Aston Villa in 2014/15 and West Ham in 2015/16. Their opening game of the 2016/17 is a daunting tie at home to Liverpool. Expect a packed pub to see if history repeats itself (Arsenal v Liverpool, August 14, Sky Sports)

43 Carling, the official beer brand of the Premier League and the partnership between Sky and Molson Coors deal means pubs can show all the big matches with up to 33% off their Sky subscription by stocking Molson Coors beers

44 High intensity, pressing football is bang on-trend, with Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp leading the way. Energetic, fast paced football will have customers on the edge of their seat and coming back for more (Tottenham v Liverpool, August 27, Sky Sports)

45 Food sales – Friday night, Saturday lunchtime, all afternoon Sunday roasts, and Monday evenings all provide the perfect opportunity to boost food sales while Premier League football is on

46 Ultra HD – Sky Sports will be bringing Ultra HD to pubs this season, and with a picture 4x as sharp as regular HD, as well as improved sound quality, you can make your customers feel closer than ever to the game itself

47 Big odds –Leicester were 5000/1 to win the 2015/16 title at the start of the campaign. Maybe those punters in Hull (1500/1 to win the 2016/17 Premier League title) might get lucky and have a few quid to put behind the bar come May!

48 Flair at Stoke – Bojan, Shaqiri and Arnautovic are capable of producing some unbelievable moments and have added flair to a Stoke side not often associated with the word in previous years.

49 Some of the very best managers in Europe going head-to-head week in, week out – With the arrival of Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte, plus the return of Jose Mourinho, some of the top managers in the game are all set to battle alongside the likes of Arsene Wenger, Claudio Ranieri, Mauricio Pochettino, Jurgen Klopp and Ronald Koeman.

50 The trend of footballers bleaching their hair. If any of your regulars take one look at Aaron Ramsey and decide to copy him, the drinks are on them.

51 Making new ‘discoveries’ – there’s bound to be someone in the pub who claims he knew Riyad Mahrez would be a star from his early days at Quimper Kerfeunteun back in 2010. Finding the new star player is a joy each season. As is claiming you already knew about him.

52 New tweaks to the rules – the first couple of weeks of the season inevitably ends up with strong debate in the bar about whether it’s offside under the new interpretation of the laws”. Everyone’s got an opinion, everyone thinks they’re right. Either way, they’re going to need another round while they debate it.

53 Kneejerk reactions – Lost the first game of the season? Sack the manager. Striker not scored in 2 games? One season wonder. New signing out of sorts on his debut? Overpriced rubbish. If there’s kneejerking to be done, you can bet it’ll be done in the pub.

54 Last chance for Tottenham to bring silverware to White Hart Lane before they move out and make way for their brand new 61,000 seater stadium. Whether they can or not remains to be seen, but the Spurs faithful will cherish every home game they have left

55 Jim White’s Deadline Day excitement – Deadline Day brings rumours, done deals and strikers sat in their car outside Loftus Road, and Jim White is part of the furniture in those final hours as the deadline draws near on Sky Sports HQ. No matter how eventful the day actually turns out to be, Jim makes it an event itself, and well worth having on all day in your venue.

56 Fantasy Football team scouting – Why not set up a Fantasy Football league for your regulars? It’ll encourage them to watch more matches so they can stay on top of who’s in form and needs to be transferred out

57 The on-screen pint glass – it appears in order to show to undercover inspectors that your venue is a legitimate Sky Sports venue. Those pubs caught showing Sky Sports and/or Premier League without a commercial subscription will have action taken against them. It’s all part of protecting your business and the investment you make.

58 Martin Tyler’s commentary – He’s the best in the business and one of the nicest men on TV. No pre-written puns, just pure passion. Makes the biggest moments truly memorable on Sky Sports. Agueroooooooooooooooooooooooo…

59 David Beckham’s TV advert – Sky made a point of including the pub as a focal point of its new TV advert starring David Beckham, putting out of home venues at the forefront of fans’ minds ahead of the big kick off

60 Sunderland breaking the mould of their traditional season trend – We all know the drill. Sunderland have a shaky start, struggle through the busy Christmas period, then make a managerial change around February/March and then become unbeatable to stay up. Maybe, just maybe, with Moyes in charge they’ll steady the ship this season.

61 The Premier League is the most important competition when it comes to attracting people to pubs. For example, the out-of-home audience for Manchester United v Leicester City last season was nearly 3 times as many as it was for Arsenal v Barcelona.

62 Putting your venue on the map - By showing the Premier League in your venue with Sky Sports, your pub will be automatically listed on Sky Sports Pub Finder, to help drive football fans through your doors and put you, quite literally, on the map in your local area for live sport.

63 Guaranteed money-making opportunities from August to May - The Premier League is the only competition that gives pubs the opportunity to show English teams throughout the season from August to May and therefore make more money.

64 Olivier Giroud’s up and down form – nothing will frustrate the Arsenal fans in your pub than Giroud missing a 90th minute sitter one week, then bagging a hat-trick the following week. They’ll laugh, they’ll scream and they’ll probably rant about it over a few drinks.

65 Dimitri Payet’s free kicks – He scored plenty of them in the 2015/16 season and is one of the best in Europe at a dead ball situation. Experience the near complete hush of your pub (especially West Ham and terrified opposition fans) as he lines up a 30 yard strike.

66 Marcus Rashford’s rise through the Manchester United ranks got everyone talking in pubs up and down the country. Can he continue his meteoric rise?

67 Free WiFi in pubs – Sky offers free WiFi from The Cloud to all pubs in the UK with a Sky Sports subscription, meaning not only can fans in your venue debate the big Premier League talking points with their mates, but they can do it online too!

68 Sky Sports Preview magazine is sent to all UK and Ireland licensed customers, keeping them up to date with all the live fixtures for the month ahead, meaning you can plan for those big Premier League days and nights

69 Manchester United’s pulling power – the glory days may have deserted them in recent years, but Manchester United still remain hot property for pubs. They appeared in 8 out the top 10 most watched games in out-of-home venues last season, while Sky Sports showed them a total of 19 times in the Premier League

70 Middlesbrough signing Alvaro Negredo – the former Manchester City man could be a big hit. Fabricio Ravenelli became an icon on Teeside in the 1996/97 season. Can Negredo do the same and get customers excited every time he plays?

71 Matches live at the same time on the final day – With Sky Sports showing three games at the same time on the final day of the season, you can be sure to bring your customers the full picture of the day as it happens. Even better for those venues with multiple viewing cards.

72 Can Swansea avoid the curse of Leroy Fer? He’s been relegated for every Premier League side he’s played for, so Swansea will be hoping fate doesn’t strike again.

73 All the crazy goal celebrations – The ‘Dab’ is likely to have been overdone by the end of August, but there will be plenty more crazy celebrations to get chins wagging. You never know, your customers may end up copying them during Friday Night Football in your pub.

74 Pre-match build up and post-match talking points – 79% of Sky pub customers say that their own customers tend to spend longer in their venue when they show live Sky Sports content on TV. So with all the pre-match excitement, and plenty to discuss after the game, that’s great news for pubs, with customers staying longer and spending more money.

75 Last minute winners – There’s nothing like the joy of a last minute winner to trigger one more celebratory drink in your pub, and your venue to forever more be associated with “THAT last minute winner against United”, to keep people coming back.

76 Avoiding second season syndrome – Bournemouth and Watford both performed above expectations last season to comfortably avoid relegation. There will now be more pressure and a certain degree of expectation on them to do just as well. Can they respond?

77 Can Arsenal get the Emirates crowd off their seats or will it be another frustrating season for the Emirates faithful? It’s been 12 seasons since Arsenal claimed the title, and the natives are growing increasingly restless. Can Wenger finally prove the doubters wrong, or will it be an unlucky 13 for the Gunners? (Arsenal v Liverpool, opening weekend, August 13, Sky Sports)

78 Who will catch Allardyce’s eye? A new England manager brings renewed hope of getting into the squad. There’ll be plenty of interest in English players young and old and who can step up and get the fans back on side after a disastrous summer.

79 Eden Hazard has set his sights on winning the PFA Player of the Year Award. He suffered a major dip in form last season, but showed signs of his best at Euro 2016. With Conte at the helm at Chelsea, can the Belgian rediscover his touch and fire Chelsea to a title push?

80 Capital of Culture 2017 - In a big year for the city, can Hull retain their top flight status? And what says ‘English culture’ more than watching football in your local pub at the weekend with your friends?!

81 Avoiding European hangovers – Tottenham have been known to suffer a dip in results after the play in Europe midweek, but should be getting used to it nowadays. But how will Leicester cope with being in European competition? Ranieri will have to find a way to juggle both competitions while finding consistency of team selection.

82 “And it’s LIVE!” – Martin Tyler’s catchphrase is always the last signal you’re given that we’re just a couple of minutes away from kick-off. Just enough time to get another drink in at the bar…

83 Laying down an early marker – Arsenal v Liverpool, Tottenham v Liverpool, Manchester United v Manchester City, Chelsea v Liverpool, Manchester United v Leicester – all big games at the top of the table in August and September on Sky Sports. The perfect opportunity for teams to make an early statement of strength.

84 The atmosphere of the Kop – When it’s truly on song, there are fewer finer sounds in English football than the Kop in full voice. Turn up the volume in your pub to hear it in all its glory.

85 Goal-line technology replays – A centimetre either side of the line is guaranteed to initiate a collective “OOOOOOOOOOH” from your customers every time. Without fail.

86 Fairytales – Leicester City proved that anything can happen. So yes, it is okay to dream. And dream big.

87 Highly contentious penalty decisions – Whether on the receiving end or having one in your favour, there are few things that get heavy debate going in the pub than a debatable penalty decision.

88 Absolute screamers – Think Vardy’s goal against Liverpool. The type of goal that gets you out your seat in utter amazement. Possibly spilling your drink at the same time.

89 Round the clock coverage– if there’s a development happening, Sky Sports News HQ will have it covered. Sky Sports News HQ is the perfect way to fill the gaps between games in your pub.

90 Derby Day – few things rival the anticipation and excitement around the biggest derbies in English football – Manchester, Merseyside, North London, Tees-Wear – they are the games that get pulses racing and people through the doors of your venue, no matter where you’re based.

91 The ‘return’ of the Premier League big guns – Manchester United and Chelsea will be determined to get back in the hunt for the title, and any games involving those two sides are always likely to pull in a crowd

92 Leroy Sane – At £37 million, he is the summer’s biggest transfer (so far). Can the German bring added sparkle to Manchester City matchdays in your pub?

93 Xhaka can? – At £32 million, Granit Xhaka represents a significant investment for Arsenal, especially by Arsene Wenger’s standards. He impressed in parts at Euro 2016, but Arsenal fans will be hoping he can hit the ground running.

94 Ozil’s assists – The Arsenal man has made the assist an art form. Often a beauty to withhold, they will get Gunners in your pub purring.

95 Crazy scorelines – Spur s 4-5 Arsenal, Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal, West Brom 5-5 Manchester United. The Premier League can produce some of the most incredible results that will stun your customers

96 Chelsea faith in youth? – Despite Mourinho’s protestations to the contrary, Chelsea haven’t been famed for giving youth a chance in recent seasons, but in Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah, Antonio Conte may have the next generation of Chelsea star already at his disposal

97 Goalkeeper howlers – The may not be funny to be on the receiving end of them, but you can’t help chuckle at your mates in the pub when they go in your favour.

98 The good, the bad and the downright ugly new kits – It shouldn’t matter, but it does. There’s nothing more embarrassing than inviting your mates to watch your team with you in the pub, only to remember you’re away and wearing THAT awful kit.

99 Portuguese winning mentality – Fresh off the back of his Euro 2016 success, can Jose Fonte bring the winning feeling to St Marys and take Southampton to the next level?

100 Poster boys – Sky Sports venues benefit from free monthly fixture posters to advertise the big games in their pub, plus free customisable posters available to select and download online.

101 Managers losing it – “I’m not one to criticise referees, but…” is always a good indication you’re in for a fun post-match interview. Another reason to leave the volume turned up long after the final whistle.

102 Dream substitutions – There’s nothing like a sub coming on and scoring within a minute to restore your faith in the fact that the manager does indeed know what he’s doing

103 Sergio Aguero – He’s scored 102 Premier League goals in 5 seasons, yet has never won the PFA Player of the Year Award. Can he destroy defences again to stake his claim for the much deserved accolade?

104 David De Gea – he’s still at Manchester United despite Real Madrid fluttering their eyelashes at him for years. The United stopper is arguably the best in the league, pulling off saves that can be as important as goals for his side.

105 Upsets – Unless it happens to you, a good upset is a joy to behold. And the Premier League consistently produces them. What chance Bournemouth spoil Mourinho’s party on the opening Super Sunday of the season?

106 Every game matters –Newcastle v Norwich and Everton v Sunderland may not have been up there as the best matches on paper, but with both matches producing pulsating 6-2 scorelines in front of the Sky Sports cameras, it proves that no match in the Premier League can be written off.

107 Henrikh Mkhitaryan – The Armenian, signed from Borussia Dortmund this summer – will add some much needed star quality back to the Manchester United midfield

108 Paul Pogba – Will he, won’t he? Either way, it’s already getting people talking in pubs everywhere.

109 Vincent Janssen – The Dutch international striker will provide some much-needed back-up to Harry Kane at Spurs, who – let’s face it – looked like he needed a rest at Euro 2016.

110 Graeme Souness – The no-nonsense Scot says it like it is in his post-match analysis. Says what fans in pubs are largely saying

111 Middlesbrough signing loads of players – They’ve made 9 signings so far this summer, so for their sake they had better start well. Or else Deadline Day could be a very busy day on Teeside.

112 Jordan Ibe - £15 million is a lot of money to pay for a relatively unproven 20 year old, despite his potential. But Bournmouth have faith. Can he upset Mourinho on the opening weekend?

113 Double hat-trick – Just 5 players have scored 5 goals in a single game – Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Jermain Defoe, Dimitar Berbatov and Sergio Ageuro. Can anyone achieve the double hat-trick?!

114 There’s an opera stars on the pitch – Andrea Bocelli sang on the pitch as Leicester City claimed the title. Will it become a new tradition for famous singers to accompany the trophy on to the pitch?

115 Every minute of a title win – Wes Morgan joined John Terry and Gary Pallister as the only outfield players to have played every minute of every game in a title winning season for their club. Can anyone join these highly esteemed ranks?

116 Anthony Martial – He lit up Manchester United after joining from Monaco last summer on Deadline Day for a cool £36 million. Can he outshine Zlatan at Old Trafford?

117 Stoke’s atmosphere – It can be an intimidating atmosphere at the Bet365 Stadium, helping their side across the line on several occasions. Will Manchester City fall foul to it in week 2? (Stoke City v Manchester City, August 20, Sky Sports)

118 Unbelievable Jeff! – Kammy’s ‘blink and he’ll probably miss it’ approach to Soccer Saturday reporting

119 Jermain Defoe – The former England man found a new lease of life under Sam Allardyce last season. Can he reproduce last season’s form and upset his former side at White Hart Lane? (Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland, September 18, Sky Sports)

120 Wayne Rooney – Roy Hodgson played him in midfield at the Euros, but Mourniho has other ideas. All eyes will be on how Rooney gets on under his new boss

121 Pub quiz trivia – the Premier League is always a good topic for a pub quiz. For example, did you know that last season, Romelu Lukaku became the fifth player to score 50 Premier League goals before the age of 23, following Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo? No? You do now.

122 Respect for the refs – a clampdown on player behaviour towards referees this season means pub-goers can spend more time debating the real things that matter

123 Squad rotation – Liverpool used 34 players in the 2015-16 Premier League campaign, and were not alone in rotating players, giving pub-goers plenty of knowledge of pretty much every player at their club.

124 It’s a stats game now – Cesc Fabregas completed 2829 passes last season, and Scott Dann made the most blocks with 45. With stats playing more of a role than ever in today’s game, pub-goers can arm themselves with everything they need to look knowledgeable in front of their mates

125 Records are there to be broken – Petr Cech has 137 Premier League clean sheets. Joe Hart has 119 and youth on his side. Can the Manchester City keeper close in on the record?

126 Anything can happen – and last season proved it. Pubs with Sky Sports will be able to bring their customers the full picture of the season as it unfolds.

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