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Ifollow Revenue

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Natasha Whittam
Norpig
boltonbonce
Sluffy
BoltonTillIDie
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1Ifollow Revenue Empty Ifollow Revenue Thu Jun 30 2022, 23:19

BoltonTillIDie

BoltonTillIDie
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

It’s been confirmed today that Bolton made £500,000  from streaming games on ifollow.  

Not bad that, all helps pay the bills!

2Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Thu Jun 30 2022, 23:30

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

How much Bolton Wanderers made from iFollow last season & 3pm Saturday domestic blackout stance

Neil Hart confirmed that Wanderers made £500,000 in gross revnue from the streaming service across the 2021/22 campaign

Bolton Wanderers made £500,000 from the iFollow streaming service last season and the League One side is keen to continue using the platform for all games apart from 3pm Saturday kick-offs and maintain the domestic blackout for those fixtures.

Wanderers supporters and those of other clubs up and down the Championship, League One and League Two became very much accustomed to watching matches via the service in the 2020/21 campaign. It was down to the action taking place largely behind closed doors owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ian Evatt's side were among the most watched sides in League Two last season via the platform as they achieved automatic promotion to League One. In the 2021/22 season, there were no domestic broadcasting or live streams of 3pm matches on Saturdays in the EFL as the position moved back to something resembling pre-pandemic rules.

There were domestic streams allowed of midweek evening games or matches taking place on Saturdays not kicking off at 3pm that had not been chosen for broadcasting by Sky Sports. Matches which start at 3pm on Saturdays can be viewed by an international audience live on iFollow, but not by a domestic one.

Speaking exclusively to the Manchester Evening News , Wanderers chief executive Neil Hart explained that the Whites had a gross revenue of half a million pounds over the course of last season thanks to the iFollow service and was a 'fantastic' source of revenue for the club. He believes that football ought to be made as accessible as possible and streamed as much as can be done within broadcast and commercial agreements.

Wanderers chief executive Hart believes streaming games does not impact attendances for matches and fans attending stadiums to watch live football. He believes that streaming can act as a valuable source of revenue at times of the year when colder or inclement weather conditions, particularly for midweek games, can make watching the action via a stream perhaps more appealing for some supporters.

Hart said: “My view on iFollow and the whole streaming debate is - and I’m a fairly young chief executive at 42 years old, so I might have a different view to someone who might be 20 years older than me - my view is very much around we’ve got to be making football accessible. We’ve got to be streaming it as much as possible really.

“I understand the blackout on Saturday at 3pm and that’s fine, but outside of the 3pm Saturday window, I just want to make football accessible. I do not believe that will impact on bums on seats in stadiums. It’s a totally different experience, live football vs watching football on a screen and I think you’ll always get your crowds and your attendances attending those matches.

“I’m not fearful from a Bolton point of view that streaming matches would reduce our attendances. Last season, iFollow did fantastic for us, it did half a million pounds - 500k - of gross revenue into the football club. That is unbelievable, it did not impact attendances, it did not impact ticket revenue. In fact, what you find is you find season ticket holders, obviously when we go away and we’re playing Plymouth away or Gillingham away on a Tuesday night, they can watch the game and pay their £10 or they might have their match pass.

“Of the half a million pounds, interestingly, 60% of that came from an international audience outside of the UK, which is very interesting as well. We had some debate internally around streaming home matches. We played Crewe on a Friday night, should we stream that?

"I remember we played Cambridge on a Tuesday night and we asked should we stream that? So we streamed that and we did £25,000 from that game through streaming, because people just won’t come out for a Tuesday night, one degrees, in January when they might not have a lot of money, the weather is terrible, but accessing it via a stream and paying benefits the football club and the viewer and supporter, so I’m just in favour of making football accessible where possible that does not breach broadcast agreements.”

There is debate within the game whether the domestic 3pm Saturday blackout which prohibits matches being broadcast live to a UK audience ought to lifted or not. In Bolton's division of League One indeed, Plymouth Argyle owner and chairman Simon Hallett has come down in favour of this being abandoned and games kicking off on a Saturday at 3pm to be streamed domestically.

Asked about the subject, Hart said his own personal view is that he would like the 3pm Saturday domestic blackout to be removed. However, he stressed that from an overall Wanderers position, the club is happy for this to be maintained and for the 3pm Saturday domestic blackout to continue, but for every other game to be able to be streamed.

Hart believes ditching the 3pm Saturday domestic blackout is not a realistic prospect for football right now, owing to commercial and broadcast contracts and complexities surrounding this issue. He does not believe abandoning it is likely to happen in the short term and stressed that Wanderers are happy to keep the 3pm Saturday domestic blackout as it is but to be able to stream fixtures outside of that.

He said: “My personal view is that I would like to see it removed. I would like to have the domestic blackout removed but I don’t think that is possible, particularly at the higher level of the game, which obviously filters through the pyramid. I just don’t think that is a realistic proposition for football at the moment.

"I am okay with saying ‘okay, because of broadcast and commercial contracts and the complexities around it, let’s leave the Saturday 3pm games, let’s black them out, that’s okay, but every other fixture, let’s stream it’.

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3Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Thu Jun 30 2022, 23:41

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

This bit made me laugh...

“Of the half a million pounds, interestingly, 60% of that came from an international audience outside of the UK, which is very interesting as well"...

...plus this bit...

"...the domestic 3pm Saturday blackout which prohibits matches being broadcast live to a UK audience..."

Surely he most have figured out why that is???











VPN's....!

4Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Thu Jun 30 2022, 23:47

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Sluffy wrote:This bit made me laugh...

“Of the half a million pounds, interestingly, 60% of that came from an international audience outside of the UK, which is very interesting as well"...

...plus this bit...

"...the domestic 3pm Saturday blackout which prohibits matches being broadcast live to a UK audience..."

Surely he most have figured out why that is???











VPN's....!
Very Happy Yes, I'm really enjoying Finland. Might cross the pond next season. Surely he gets it. Or does he? Cool

5Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 00:15

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

boltonbonce wrote:Very Happy Yes, I'm really enjoying Finland. Might cross the pond next season. Surely he gets it. Or does he? Cool

To be fair, he doesn't state the breakdown of the viewing figures.

It could be that he's not talking about/excluding the Saturday 3pm kick offs but my guess is that he isn't and the 60% includes them - in which case there's clearly loads of British base fans using VPN's.

I guess if you don't live in a world where people do stuff like this, then you don't automatically see what is probably bleeding obvious to those of us that do.

To me, my common sense would obviously be wondering why 6 out of every 10 viewers are watching BWFC from abroad - surely most people wanting to watch BWFC games (or any local town football club like ours) would still reside in the UK - otherwise the logic would go that if you are a football fan and follow your local team (excluding the clubs like United, Liverpool, etc, with large worldwide followings) then if you leave your home town, then 6 in every 10 would leave the country and only 4 in 10 would locate to somewhere else in the UK.

I simply don't believe that to be the case.

The fact that Hart even mentioned it suggests to me he simply doesn't 'get it' as to why we have so many Finnish fans as we seem to do!

6Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 08:13

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

It is a nice little earner for the club and good for me as i struggle to get to home midweek games now.

I think i probably paid for most of the midweek games either home or away last season as well as my season ticket but it's worth it.

7Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 08:29

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Norpig wrote:It is a nice little earner for the club and good for me as i struggle to get to home midweek games now.

I think i probably paid for most of the midweek games either home or away last season as well as my season ticket but it's worth it.
For the price of your ST you can watch every game, home and away, and save a big chunk in travel costs. Can't beat a live match, but in these financially perilous times, it's a pretty good deal.

8Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 12:55

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Norpig wrote:It is a nice little earner for the club and good for me as i struggle to get to home midweek games now.


Shit fan.

9Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 13:06

boltonbonce

boltonbonce
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

boltonbonce wrote:
For the price of your ST you can watch every game, home and away, and save a big chunk in travel costs. Can't beat a live match, but in these financially perilous times, it's a pretty good deal.
7.45 kick offs are a big help for me now. If I'm on the bus Tyrers should get me to Leigh in time for the last one.

10Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 13:37

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Natasha Whittam wrote:

Shit fan.
You going to pick me up and drop me off then?

11Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 15:16

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Norpig wrote:You going to pick me up and drop me off then?

No problem. Shiffnall Street at 7.15pm every home game.

12Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 15:17

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Natasha Whittam wrote:

No problem. Shiffnall Street at 7.15pm every home game.
Will you have finished your shift by then?

13Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 15:18

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Norpig wrote:Will you have finished your shift by then?

I don't know what you mean. I only suggested that pick up point as I know that's where you spend most evenings.

14Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 15:22

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Natasha Whittam wrote:

I don't know what you mean. I only suggested that pick up point as I know that's where you spend most evenings.
Haven't the ladies of the night been moved on elsewhere? KP will know where  Very Happy

15Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Fri Jul 01 2022, 15:24

Natasha Whittam

Natasha Whittam
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

Norpig wrote:Haven't the ladies of the night been moved on elsewhere?

You're clearly well informed in these matters.

16Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Sat Jul 02 2022, 08:02

Whitesince63


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

Well since many of us aren’t “techy” enough to know about VPN’s etc we just have to turn up, though like Mr Pig, I watched many home and virtually all midweek away games on iFollow last season and probably will again this year depending on the weather.

17Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Sat Jul 02 2022, 08:43

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Whitesince63 wrote:Well since many of us aren’t “techy” enough to know about VPN’s etc we just have to turn up, though like Mr Pig, I watched many home and virtually all midweek away games on iFollow last season and probably will again this year depending on the weather.


I think that is the future and it is happening now.

What I mean is look at how things change, people don't go to the shops now, they shop on line, they don't physically buy music, videos books, they 'download' and stream them now, they don't even bother to meet people in the flesh, they go online or text them!

I think there will be a huge shift away from people going to games (at least for clubs like ours) by people streaming all away and midweek games - and sooner or later home games too.

I used to regularly drive up from London for home games and travel around the country to see away games but as I got older and my ties to Bolton away from the football got less, my enthusiasm to go up and down the motorways diminished and the threats of getting my head kicked in at away matches seem to get greater, until I stopped doing both in the end,

Ok there wasn't ifollow then but who in their right minds would go to watch a home game midweek with the weather and costs of transport these days - or stand with the morons we seem to have these days going to and from the games, in the pubs and on the trains etc, when you'd rather not (least I wouldn't).

It seems blindingly obvious that streaming games will, and has already, changed how many will watch their football club.

It would surprise me at all that in a year or two ST will start to fall for us whilst foreign viewers from Finland, etc, on iplayer will shoot up considerably instead!

18Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Sat Jul 02 2022, 16:39

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson

At 11 euros a game, I think it's worth it, also if the club starts to lose attending fans, then it will still be worthwhile if viewing fees were raised to cover the loss.

19Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Tue Jul 05 2022, 12:07

Whitesince63


Andy Walker
Andy Walker

I don’t think you can really compare football, or any sport attendance with shopping. There’s no comparison between the ambiance and atmosphere of actually attending games to that of watching on TV, though I do accept that during the winter, travelling to and from games can be a factor. At the moment, travel costs is also an incentive to stay at home and I think will have a big impact on attendances this season, certainly in the opening half of the season but I don’t expect it to put off locals too much. On that basis, I’d still consider a doubling of the cost per match good value for those who don’t want to travel distances to watch but what would football really be without good crowds? We need them and should do everything we should to encourage attendances.

20Ifollow Revenue Empty Re: Ifollow Revenue Tue Jul 05 2022, 12:50

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

Whitesince63 wrote:I don’t think you can really compare football, or any sport attendance with shopping. There’s no comparison between the ambiance and atmosphere of actually attending games to that of watching on TV, though I do accept that during the winter, travelling to and from games can be a factor. At the moment, travel costs is also an incentive to stay at home and I think will have a big impact on attendances this season, certainly in the opening half of the season but I don’t expect it to put off locals too much. On that basis, I’d still consider a doubling of the cost per match good value for those who don’t want to travel distances to watch but what would football really be without good crowds? We need them and should do everything we should to encourage attendances.

Obviously that's your view.  I would point out though (whilst not wishing to be seen as sexist) that the women I know love 'going' shopping rather than shop 'on line' BUT they all spend considerably more time now 'on line' than going down town to the shops!  

It's self-evident that there has been a massive sea change in behaviour and that's why town centres are full of closed shops and why delivery vans from Amazon, Tesco and multiple other white vans can be seen frequently throughout the day on most streets.

I reckon the same will be true of football eventually, yes it is an unquestionably a better experience to attend a game than watch it on the telly but conversely it is far easier, cheaper and a great deal more convenient to do so - and most people will go for ease in the end.

It would not surprise me that one day soon the games will be provided on an on-demand service so that people aren't even tied to watching the game live and could say get home say half an hour after kick off and still start the match from the beginning - saves fans getting up in the middle of the night to watch it if they are say in Australia for instance.

Time will tell which of us is right but as long as the clubs don't lose out financially I think it is inevitable that crowds will drop and viewing on Iplayer increase.

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