The low scoring, low entertainment disappointment of Euro 2016 is already fading from memory.
The football season is upon us, which means goal fests, managerial meltdowns and enough entertainment to distract us from our Netflix subscriptions.
This year, it’s all change when it comes to the beautiful game on your box, with a new, three-year Premier League TV package coming into action.
But whether you want to make like a top flight scout and watch every match being broadcast or just fancy catching the odd game to keep you clued in down the pub, there’s a deal for you.
'I'm all about the Premier League'
If Mourinho v Guardiola, Leicester’s title defence and Zlatan’s ego all get you excited, then Sky Sports is what you need.
It’s showing three times as many Premier League games as BT, with 126 matches screened live throughout the season across its myriad sports channels.
That includes 10 fixtures aired as part of its new Friday Night Football offering, starting with Manchester United v Southampton on August 19th.
If you already have Sky you can upgrade to Sky Sports for £27.50 a month. New customers get a Sky Sports bundle for £47.50 a month, plus a free LG 32–inch TV.
Set up Sky Go on your iPhone, iPad or Android phone and you can watch games on–the–go too. For sheer quality when it comes to English football, this is the best bet.
See all the early-season live Premier League games on Sky here.
'I want the Champions League and the odd Premier League game'
BT Sport will be showing 42 Premier League games this season, including marquee fixtures such as Arsenal v Chelsea.
But it really comes into its own if you want European football. It has exclusive rights to the Champions League, with options to watch all the goals as they go in a turbo–charged highlights show.
For Leicester, Spurs, Arsenal and Man City fans then, this is a must. Europa League games are also available.
If you have BT Broadband, you can get BT Sport for free. Pay £16 a month and you can snare BT’s Ultra HD channels, giving you views every bit as good as those inside the stadium. For football hipsters and those who love the game beyond these shores, this is just the ticket.
Get a closer look at the early-season games BT is showing live here.
'I want everything: Premier League, Champions League, La Liga, the lot'
Sky and BT’s rivalry means that if you want both sets of Premier League packages you need to shell out extra on top of your regular deal if you want to go with either of their services. Virgin Media, however, has an alternative all–in–one solution.
Its Big Kahuna sports package comes with all seven Sky Sports channels and four BT Sport channels, plus 200Mbps optical fibre broadband.
Best of all, it’s just £45 a month for a year, rising to £85.50 for a further six months. That means you’ll get plenty of football well into the 2017/18 season too.
'I just want to watch the odd game'
Long gone are the days of watching The Big Match on ITV every Sunday. However, despite monthly packages requiring careful budgeting, there are options for fans who don’t want to shell out but still need their football fix. Step forward Now TV.
Sky’s budget set top box costs £14.99 up front. Get one and you can then buy day or week passes to watch Sky Sports, taking your pick of the biggest Premier League games. Day passes cost £6.99, while you can get week–long ones for £10.99.
The latter should come in handy if there’s a big midweek fixture you simply cannot miss. If money’s tight but you can’t miss your team, this option is a winner.
'I want FA Cup games’
The FA Cup is exclusive to BT and the BBC. While the latter has the pick of the games and dedicated highlights showing all the action, you won’t get to see every match in the world’s oldest cup competition unless you sign up for BT Sport.
If you have a top–end 4K TV, you can watch it in Ultra HD on BT’s dedicated Sport Ultra HD channels. This package starts at £16 a month as part of BT’s wider TV offering.
'I want blood-and-thunder lower-league football'
The sheer entertainment on offer in the lower leagues (restyled as the ‘English Football League’ this season) means no self–respecting football fan should ever dismiss them. Sky is what you need if your team has dropped down from the Premier League (hello there Newcastle, Aston Villa and Norwich fans).
It’s showing a total of 127 games from across The Championship, League One and League Two throughout the season, as well as the all–important play–offs.
With big games including Villa v Nottingham Forest, these games are worth the £45 a month alone. Throw in some Premier League action and your entertainment for the next nine months is sorted.
Already looking ahead? Take a look at some of the innovations Sky is bringing to its football coverage this season here.