Catching up on events that happened last week, the EFL (yes, we’re still in it) announced their new global initiative iFollow which will allow EFL club supporters overseas to watch their team’s every league game on a subscription service.
Currently, 61 of 72 EFL clubs have signed up to the EFL Digital platform, but Aston Villa are one of the clubs that have opted out.
Villa confirmed to MOMS at a meeting last week, that they will have their own digital platform subscription service available for oversea Villa fans next season, something they have since confirmed on their website.
MOMS was told, the club is looking to also offer one-off games as well as the seasonal subscription option for all the games.
This will obviously come as good news to Villans especially based in countries such as the USA, Australia and Ireland, key areas of Villa support.
It may also give the club an avenue to push in the Asian markets, although the Premier League is king there in terms of attracting a groundswell of new fans.
It could be argued that the EFL have been a little slow in the uptake of capitalism on such a streaming service considering other sports have been doing it for several seasons now. The NFL, NHL and NBL have all established web-based streaming packages, while in Australia, rugby league and Australian Rules followers can subscribe to NRL and AFL streaming.
Villa have obviously broken off to maximise the revenue potential of doing such streaming themselves, as well as having more control of the marketing to the club’s global supporter base.
Outside of Villa, hopefully, it will create a useful additional revenue stream for clubs especially in the lower two divisions of the EFL.
“The new iFollow platform represents a potentially significant new revenue stream for clubs,” EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said, when iFollow was announced last week. “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.”
We await further news of the kind of service Villa will offer overseas fans instead.
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