Live Streaming of EFL and NFL Announced
Thursday, May 11, 2017
U.S. and U.K. football kick-off live streaming
by Mark J. Burns | Published: May 10, 2017 | VenuesToday.com
The English Football League (EFL) just made it a lot easier for their overseas fans to keep up with the action. On Wednesday, it unveiled a new live streaming platform called iFollow. The platform represents an opportunity for EFL fans outside the U.K. and Ireland to view their favorite teams' games live.
The announcement comes on the heels of research conducted by the EFL which showed over half their fans reside in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
“The new iFollow platform represents a potentially significant new revenue stream for clubs, while enabling enhanced engagement with existing fans now living abroad,” said EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey in a statement. “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.”
Streaming will begin at the start of the 2017-18 EFL season and subscribers will pay an annual fee to watch the up to 46 live games. Not all of the league’s teams have opted in to the service and those who haven’t will provide their own digital services.
The live streaming of matches will be available from the start of that season in conjunction with a new digital presence for clubs via official websites and apps. NeuLion developed the integrated streaming service alongside U.K. company Realise, which built the club websites.
Not to be outdone by their European counterparts, The National Football League (NFL) continues its splicing of digital rights as it locked in a global partnership with Verizon to live stream the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens from Wembley Stadium in London next season. The overseas Week 3 match-up on Sept. 24 is part of the NFL’s recurring International Series.
As the the league’s exclusive digital partner, Verizon will live stream the game across its platforms including AOL, go90 and Complex. The lone game cost Verizon $21 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, which also first reported the live streaming news.
The Ravens and Jaguars will also be available on the NFL Mobile app (web/mobile) to Verizon customers along with the NFL app on Xbox One and Windows 10. Television stations in both of the local markets will also air the game in addition to Sky Sports in the U.K.
Over the past two seasons, the NFL has continuously experimented with different live streaming partnerships, first inking a one-game deal with Yahoo for a regular season match-up again in London during 2015. Twitter and the league partnered around a live streaming package this past season, with the social platform paying a reported $10 million across 10 regular season games. For this upcoming year, Amazon recently became the league’s live streaming partner for a reported $50 million.