TV is about to get better — the new season is closing in!

To many people, summer is a time of sunshine and beer gardens, holidays and fun.

To football fans, however, it represents a time of thumb-twiddling while they wait for the new season to begin in earnest.

The summer of 2017 has been a particularly tough one because, even though the Confederations Cup took place in Russia, that competition wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea. The eventual winners, Germany, won the tournament by leaving a number of their star names at home, which speaks volumes for how seriously they took it.

All eyes now are very much fixed on August 12, when the English Premier League season begins.

To get the most out of football on TV this season, the best thing to do is arm yourself with the information of who’s showing what and when they’re showing it.

Can anyone dethrone Chelsea? Who knows, but it will be fun to watch

Chelsea are the Premier League champions, but the chasing pack are all strengthening in a bid to wrest the title away from Stamford Bridge.

Sky Sports and BT Sport share the TV rights for English football’s top division, and the champions will fancy their chances of starting out with a win as they host Burnley on the opening day of the season.

Match of the Day and a cold beer is what Saturday nights are all about

If you’re not in a position to catch as much live football as you’d like, Match of the Day (BBC1, Saturday nights) is the perfect highlights package of the day’s action. Match of the Day Two, on Sunday nights, is also a great option for football lovers everywhere.

For those who can’t wait until August 12, the Championship starts the weekend beforehand, with an exciting clash to get us underway on Friday, August 4 between Sunderland and Derby County at the Stadium of Light. Sky Sports have exclusive rights to televise live Championship matches in the UK, but Channel Five also screen a Football League highlights show on Saturday nights, called Football On Five.

Romance of the Cup

The FA Cup begins on August 5 with preliminary round action. The big guns of the top two divisions don’t enter until the third-round stage.

Lincoln City went all the way to the quarter-final last season, just to prove that the FA Cup can still make for fascinating and heart-warming viewing. BBC and BT Sport have the broadcasting rights for the FA Cup.

The draw for the Champions League group stages takes place in Monaco on August 24, by which stage it will be clear how many British teams have made it this far.

Europe’s elite go head-to-head

Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Manchester United are guaranteed inclusion while Liverpool must win a two-legged playoff round. For Scottish champions Celtic, the task is considerably tougher: they must negotiate three rounds before arriving at the group stage.

The Champions League is televised by BT Sport across their multitude of channels on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the same broadcaster televises Europa League action on Thursdays. ITV screen Champions League and Europa League highlights shows, immediately after the day’s action is complete. You can compare all football TV deals on Broadband Choices so you don’t miss the action.

El Clasico has something for everyone

La Liga has produced the winners of the Champions League for the past four seasons, and the top division in Spain kicks off on August 11. Sky Sports has exclusive rights to broadcast La Liga in the UK and, once the fixtures are announced, fans will immediately look out for the El Clasico fixtures between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The race to Russia

The qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia is at fever pitch, and it will conclude in the coming months. England are in a strong position to qualify, but there might still be some nervy moments in store for Gareth Southgate’s team as Slovakia and Slovenia are breathing down their necks.

Exciting conclusions are in store for the likes of the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales. The Republic will face Wales in Cardiff on October 9 in a match of huge importance. Catch all of the action on Sky Sports.

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