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EFL To Reach Out To Global Audience With Live Streaming Service


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Simultaneously shafting UK-based fans of the clubs across the 3 divisions.

https://www.efl.com/news/article/2016/efl-live-streaming-platform-ifollow-unveiled-for-global-fans-3703898.aspx

 

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The innovative new service will enable overseas EFL fans to follow their team’s entire 2017/18 season

The EFL has today unveiled iFollow, an innovative digital live streaming and content platform that will revolutionise the way football fans overseas can follow their EFL teams. 
  
iFollow will, for the first time in English football, enable EFL fans based outside the UK and Ireland to watch their team during the regular EFL season. With an estimated 270,000 EFL fans based outside the UK, iFollow will allow clubs to enable their supporters to follow the action wherever they are in the world. 
  
Kicking off at the start of the 2017/18 EFL season, overseas subscribers will pay the equivalent of £110 per season for the service which will provide coverage of up to 46 live games per club. More than 1,500 matches will be available in HD quality, with iFollow showing every EFL league match live unless that match has been selected by the EFL’s overseas broadcast partners. 
  
Fans based in the UK and Ireland will still also have access to live audio commentary, highlights packages and exclusive content as part of the new offering, rebranded to replace the EFL’s existing PlayerHD platform. 
  
At launch, the vast majority of EFL clubs have opted in to utilise the iFollow platform and those who have not will have access to the same live streaming opportunity and will provide their fans with access through their own club digital services. 
  
Research commissioned by the EFL suggests that there is significant demand for a service like iFollow amongst fans based overseas. A survey of over 1,600 such fans showed that 73% would be very likely or quite likely to subscribe to a live match streaming service and almost half would be happy to pay an annual subscription fee to do so. The findings suggest over 55% of the EFL’s fans are located in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand where the potential audience for the iFollow platform could reach into the hundreds of thousands. 
  
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey commented: “The launch of iFollow is a notable development and will revolutionise the access thousands of overseas fans enjoy when following their EFL team. 
  
“The new iFollow platform represents a potentially significant new revenue stream for Clubs, while enabling enhanced engagement with existing fans now living abroad. 
  
“iFollow will also present the EFL with an important opportunity to stimulate the interest of new groups of supporters who follow our clubs overseas, which in turn will help support the growth of our competitions on the international stage.” 
  
The live streaming of matches will be available from the start of the 2017/18 season in conjunction with a brand new digital presence for clubs via official websites and apps, together creating the largest sporting digital network in the world. US-based company NeuLion, a market leader in online video delivery, whose clients include the NFL, NBA and the Premier League, have developed the integrated streaming service alongside UK company Realise who have built the club websites. The two suppliers were appointed by the EFL in July 2016 following a competitive procurement process.


 

 

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Fuck me, that would have pissed me off if we were still in that league next season.

Why can't things like this just be available for everyone? If they aren't chosen for Sky coverage or TV coverage of any kind why can't fans just watch them online? 

 

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So lets get this straight, people abroad can watch our leagues yet fans over here can't?

Nowhere near enough is said about this going on. It's not so much a problem with people abroad getting coverage, but where is this for local fans?

We really are made mugs of in this country. Saw the Premier League or FA (can't remember which) recently criticise people who stream illegally. What do they actually expect?

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1 minute ago, Dan said:

Nowhere near enough is said about this going on. It's not so much a problem with people abroad getting coverage, but where is this for local fans?

In the stadium. 

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1 minute ago, Dan said:

And when it's sold out?

Is that a problem for most lower league fans (not a dig, I genuinely wouldn't know)? 

It should be made available to fans here though. If you don't go it must be terrible see/hear what's going on in a game. 

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6 minutes ago, Asura said:

I know the 3pm premier league games are not telecasted but arent these cup games telecasted in england? just curious

It's a rule set up 50 years ago. Although it was challenged by Virgin Media a few years ago.

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9 minutes ago, Asura said:

I know the 3pm premier league games are not telecasted but arent these cup games telecasted in england? just curious

Regardless, 3pm to 5pm on a Saturday, no football at all is allowed to be broadcast. Whether that's English football, european or across the world, no domestic football is allowed in these times.

Even cup games on Saturdays, to be shown on TV, are moved to accommodate this rule. 

In the earlier rounds of the cups where there are more matches scheduled, only a few select ties are shown. As BBC & BT share FA Cup coverage, when it gets to the quarter-finals at least, majority of games in the round are shown because the TV companies share about 5 ties between them. 

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20 minutes ago, ScoRoss said:

It's a rule set up 50 years ago. Although it was challenged by Virgin Media a few years ago.

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20 minutes ago, Stan said:

Regardless, 3pm to 5pm on a Saturday, no football at all is allowed to be broadcast. Whether that's English football, european or across the world, no domestic football is allowed in these times.

Even cup games on Saturdays, to be shown on TV, are moved to accommodate this rule. 

In the earlier rounds of the cups where there are more matches scheduled, only a few select ties are shown. As BBC & BT share FA Cup coverage, when it gets to the quarter-finals at least, majority of games in the round are shown because the TV companies share about 5 ties between them. 

They should atleast broadcast it with a delay of 30 mins or so even if they want to encourage fans to watch them in the stadiums

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Personally I don't want all the games to be available to some local armchair viewer.

Local fans who don't bother going now, probably don't bother with streams much, would suddenly be "experts" and start acting like they are on par with the actual match goer.

I have no problems with people who aren't living locally watching the games, or people with no money. Its often the only way for them. But I know some real quite shitty local fans, fair weather supporters, the kind of fans who would probably be Man Utd fans if they weren't bullied in school the moment they started having inclinations towards Fergie.

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I do believe that fans who don't have access to every game week in week out should be able to view the games, some people are unfortunate with locations etc.

There's plenty of streams kicking about for the PL matches so that will be fine next season, surprised there's not more for the Championship really.

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8 minutes ago, HoneyNUFC said:

would suddenly be "experts" and start acting like they are on par with the actual match goer.

I have no problems with people who aren't living locally watching the games, or people with no money. Its often the only way for them. But I know some real quite shitty local fans, fair weather supporters, the kind of fans who would probably be Man Utd fans if they weren't bullied in school the moment they started having inclinations towards Fergie.

Sounds like Makarios.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 22/07/2017 at 7:24 AM, Aaroncpfc said:

If they give us everything for free what are Sky and BT meant to bid against each other for? You're all selfish for not thinking of the poor agents, directors and committe members here who would stop making so much money.

Not for free mate, £110 for the service.

Can safely say I'll give that a miss out here.

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41 minutes ago, Danny said:

Not for free mate, £110 for the service.

Can safely say I'll give that a miss out here.

At that price I cannot for the life of me seeing the project being a success.

I expect after that they'll have a complete overhaul of the product. The production and the staff around the project will change, but they'll still keep the same price.

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  • 1 year later...

so this is happening. £10 a match for the privilege, on top of what some may pay for Sky anyway (your club's match won't be streamed if it is on Sky, though).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45248695

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The English Football League will stream matches live online in the UK and Ireland for the first time on Tuesday.

The service, for midweek games outside of bank holidays and not shown live on Sky Sports, will cost £10 per match.

Fans will be able to view a game via their team's digital platform iFollow, used by 58 of the 72 EFL clubs.

Overseas supporters have been able to stream every non-televised game online since the start of of the 2017-18 season.

Seven of the 10 midweek Championship games will be available for streaming on the iFollow platform, including Ipswich's trip to Derby on Tuesday and Wigan's visit to Stoke on Wednesday.

Aston Villa, Leeds and Sunderland are among the 14 EFL clubs not signed up to iFollow, but will have the opportunity to deliver a similar service, as QPR and Bristol City will do for Tuesday's game at Loftus Road.

Matches played between 14:45 and 17:15 on Saturdays will continue to be blocked from live streaming.

Seven matches will be available to watch via the iFollow platform on club websites (kick-off 19:45 BST unless stated):

  • Derby v Ipswich (Tue)
  • Rotherham v Hull (Tue)
  • Sheffield Wednesday v Millwall (Wed)
  • Blackburn v Reading (Wed)
  • Norwich v Preston (Wed)
  • Bolton v Birmingham (Wed, 20:00 BST)
  • Stoke v Wigan (Wed, 20:00 BST)

 

 

 

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I was thinking £10 per game seems excessive but if you’re a fan of one of those away teams over the next couple of days, you’d likely spend £25+ on a match ticket to go to this match, plus your travel there and probably a day or two off work. So a good deal really. 

But that’s if the coverage is decent. 

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38 minutes ago, Smiley Culture said:

I was thinking £10 per game seems excessive but if you’re a fan of one of those away teams over the next couple of days, you’d likely spend £25+ on a match ticket to go to this match, plus your travel there and probably a day or two off work. So a good deal really. 

But that’s if the coverage is decent. 

I subscribe to iFollow for the entire year with Pompey. Coverage is very good, and while you can't watch the Cup games (only live radio), being able to watch every Pompey match has been fantastic. 

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I went through exactly the same thought process as @Smiley Culture there. Plus, if they make it too cheap, people won't bother going the match. I'm sure they could've made more money by offering a more attractive pricing structure and maybe a subscription model, so I actually give them credit for not doing that.

I noticed yesterday that Sky are showing loads of Championship games this season. They've got 4 on tonight and 6 tomorrow, one a night on the main channel and the rest behind the red button. They're still streaming the red button ones on iFollow from the looks of things, which is quite good.

Edited by Burning Gold
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So Sky are pushing the Championship heavily in the absence of La Liga then? I’ve not got a problem with that, it’s a thoroughly entertaining level of Football. 

I like the idea of showing numerous games at once, giving a match choice facility. Being able to switch off if say Birmingham v Swansea was a dull and then having the choice of watching other games is only a good thing. 

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On 03/05/2017 at 22:08, Cannabis said:

Disgusting. 

It's our countries league yet we get shafted. The Canadians/Americans get all of the Premier League coverage and we get none. 

 

What are you on about?

 

Pretty sure UK has better internet than 70% of the world, and as such, nobody is stopping you from utilizing the streaming service as well.

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1 minute ago, AMG said:

 

What are you on about?

 

Pretty sure UK has better internet than 70% of the world, and as such, nobody is stopping you from utilizing the streaming service as well.

Premier League matches, all of them, are readily available on several Canadian/American TV channels at 3pm i.e. we're shafted due to the shitty rule of no football to be aired on UK channels between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday.

Doesn't matter about internet service or availability. That's not the point being made. Nobody is stopping us, correct. But I'd rather have matches accessible on clear HD coverage on TV as opposed to a relatively shitty pixelated, SD service with commentary in a different language and with a delay of about 2 minutes.

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Just now, Stan said:

Premier League matches, all of them, are readily available on several Canadian/American TV channels at 3pm i.e. we're shafted due to the shitty rule of no football to be aired on UK channels between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on a Saturday.

Doesn't matter about internet service or availability. That's not the point being made. Nobody is stopping us, correct. But I'd rather have matches accessible on clear HD coverage on TV as opposed to a relatively shitty pixelated, SD service with commentary in a different language and with a delay of about 2 minutes.

Pardon my ignorance, but why is that a rule? 

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4 minutes ago, Eco said:

Pardon my ignorance, but why is that a rule? 

The blackout rule was introduced during the 1960s when Football League chairmen believed televised matches had a negative impact on attendances at matches being played at the same time.

Supporters of the rule believe removing the blackout would "threaten the sanctity" of the traditional Saturday 3pm kick-off. Recent findings from the European Court of Justice suggest that the blackout period has little or no impact on attendances and, in fact, may restrict the European Commissions desire for cross-border access to audio-visual content.

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12 minutes ago, Stan said:

The blackout rule was introduced during the 1960s when Football League chairmen believed televised matches had a negative impact on attendances at matches being played at the same time.

Supporters of the rule believe removing the blackout would "threaten the sanctity" of the traditional Saturday 3pm kick-off. Recent findings from the European Court of Justice suggest that the blackout period has little or no impact on attendances and, in fact, may restrict the European Commissions desire for cross-border access to audio-visual content.

We have blackout rules here also, but they are weird. So whereas I can watch every regional game here in Atlanta either home or away. However, if I wanted to watch the sports teams in Chicago, I could only do it if it were national televised OR I paid extra for the sports package. 

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I’ve never known anything different in regards to the 3-5pm “blackout” and I really don’t feel that strongly about it. You don’t miss something you never had, do you? 

I’m sure if I wanted to, I could find a stream every matchday for [insert Premier League team] and watch the games anyway, so would I want to have to pay for something I already watch? Would I want to be filling the coffers of The FA or the Premier League? Not really, the money is better off in my pocket than theirs. 

The way people watch television is changing these days and I suppose the “blackout” should end but then again, if it does, won’t people just continue watching how they’re watching Football now?

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