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iFollow - 2021-22 season


toyahw
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The ifollow season pass came up for renewal about a week ago. Of course I did it. But not with much "buzz" to be honest. More, habit. That's a 150 quid in the club's coffers from me.

Edited by toyahw

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The ifollow season pass came up for renewal about a week ago. Of course I did it. But not with much "buzz" to be honest. More, habit. That's a 150 quid in the club's coffers from me.

You’ve only done that so you can have a moan
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4 hours ago, toyahw said:

The ifollow season pass came up for renewal about a week ago. Of course I did it. But not with much "buzz" to be honest. More, habit. That's a 150 quid in the club's coffers from me.

Does anyone know whether EFL and iFollow made a decision on whether they would stream games again domestically next season?

I just think of my dad who lives down south and watched every game (poor soul) last season. Realistically in normal times he'd go to a few southern away games and maybe a few home games. Also he works half days every other saturday.

My point being that if it's priced properly there has to be a sweetspot of increasing revenues from fans who can't attend in person, but it's not so cheap to decrease the amount of walk ins. 

I think ifollow did a survey on some of this but wasnt sure if anything had been announced? 

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3 hours ago, Hitcher said:

Does anyone know whether EFL and iFollow made a decision on whether they would stream games again domestically next season?

I just think of my dad who lives down south and watched every game (poor soul) last season. Realistically in normal times he'd go to a few southern away games and maybe a few home games. Also he works half days every other saturday.

My point being that if it's priced properly there has to be a sweetspot of increasing revenues from fans who can't attend in person, but it's not so cheap to decrease the amount of walk ins. 

I think ifollow did a survey on some of this but wasnt sure if anything had been announced? 

@Hitcher it's a tricky one.

In "normal times" I'm like your dad as I live in the South East (a 250 mile round trip to VP) and work also restricts a lot of my trips to Burslem. So, for me, the stream allows me to watch the club and also give them revenue which the club wouldn't ordinarily get if I wasn't able to attend a particular match.

However, I understand the flip side that if it's a tenner to watch then that may persuade more local fans to watch from home and the club then lose out ticket revenue and also potentially programme, shop, catering, car parking revenue too.

So, I can understand the League's insistence that games at 3pm on a Saturday should be subject to a UK wide black-out. 

But with all the slow lifting of restrictions, I suspect some sort of compromise for next season will be in place.

I personally think the cost of iFollow should be closer to that of a matchday ticket. Say £20 a game. I know it's probably not a popular thing to say and iFollow is certainly not a perfect service but that would at least solve the problem of the club losing ticket money from fans opting to watch. Perhaps that extra cost could be incentivised?

 For instance: 

  • Season ticket holders who watched streams got a electronic programme last season - how about including one in all streams (including non season ticket holders) if the price was to rise?
  • How about free entry in a competition to win a voucher for another game / to win a shirt etc

Just adding a few extras may make the cost increase more bearable but I think it will have to rise next season if attendances are still largely restricted. It would help a lot more clubs survive financially if was £20 per stream.

 

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If you live outside of the region you cannot listen to Radio Stoke when there is live  commentary on a game. Is it not possible to do the reverse with iPlayer so that locals can’t watch instead of attending in person??

Edited by Jacko51

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15 minutes ago, Jacko51 said:

If you live outside of the region you cannot listen to Radio Stoke when there is live  commentary on a game. Is it not possible to do the reverse with iPlayer so that locals can’t watch instead of attending in person??

Yep, I do wonder if they can do it so fans out of the country can watch is it not possible to make it outside of the local area?

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1 hour ago, robf said:

Yep, I do wonder if they can do it so fans out of the country can watch is it not possible to make it outside of the local area?

There is a market, I have seen more games this season than in 53/54, technically possible to restrict reception on a location basis, but could it be re-broadcast back into local areas? Maybe a market just for away games not usually well followed? Bound to be a fall in attendances but possibly offset by increased online revenue, which would also vary from club to club, and within the various leagues, and dilute the Saturday football experience?  Off-topic maybe worthy of a thread?

Note: Dont be confused, Rob had moved his post whilst I was commenting so I did a split  also.

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4 hours ago, dishydave said:

At the minute if we are allowed less than 50% they will continue to stream games so I would imagine we will get another season at least

Sorry is that less than 50% attendance allowed in person?

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3 hours ago, robf said:

@Hitcher it's a tricky one.

In "normal times" I'm like your dad as I live in the South East (a 250 mile round trip to VP) and work also restricts a lot of my trips to Burslem. So, for me, the stream allows me to watch the club and also give them revenue which the club wouldn't ordinarily get if I wasn't able to attend a particular match.

However, I understand the flip side that if it's a tenner to watch then that may persuade more local fans to watch from home and the club then lose out ticket revenue and also potentially programme, shop, catering, car parking revenue too.

So, I can understand the League's insistence that games at 3pm on a Saturday should be subject to a UK wide black-out. 

But with all the slow lifting of restrictions, I suspect some sort of compromise for next season will be in place.

I personally think the cost of iFollow should be closer to that of a matchday ticket. Say £20 a game. I know it's probably not a popular thing to say and iFollow is certainly not a perfect service but that would at least solve the problem of the club losing ticket money from fans opting to watch. Perhaps that extra cost could be incentivised?

 For instance: 

  • Season ticket holders who watched streams got a electronic programme last season - how about including one in all streams (including non season ticket holders) if the price was to rise?
  • How about free entry in a competition to win a voucher for another game / to win a shirt etc

Just adding a few extras may make the cost increase more bearable but I think it will have to rise next season if attendances are still largely restricted. It would help a lot more clubs survive financially if was £20 per stream.

 

I agree with all of this.

I also wonder whether a ifollow season ticket could work too (at the same price as a regular season ticket). It shouldn't impact the casual walk up attendances as i imagine its only likely to be long distance fans that would buy one. 

Another interesting lens to look at this all through is sustainability. One of the biggest contributers to footballs carbon footprint is away travel. I'm not saying fans shouldnt go to away games (as its a lot of fun and contributes massively to atmosphere in stadiums) but if we are serious about climate change there should be more options for fans.  

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The season pass is ridiculously cheap, at about 3 quid a game. I told them so in the customer survey thing. Probably the first (and only) time I've asked for a price increase.

I really don't think it would have much affect on attendances. I'm grateful for the service because I can't go. If I could I would. Half of football  is the crack not staring at the TV.

 

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The reality is that anybody who wants to watch the games on ifollow, whatever the restrictions, can do quite easily if they look about. I know a few people who get them through IPTV at around £40 for the season. Some of these people cant get to games, others dont want to, and fewer just cant afford the full cost (at least thats what they say).That being the case, there is a strong argument that there should be some kind of legitimate availability for Saturday games. And I think all away games should be available to away fans regardless. Pricing is crucial, but I really don't think that it would affect attendances that much, if at all

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Alright, this is probably a stupid idea, but...

iFollow has been a lifeline for my 87 year old Grandad throughout lockdown. He's been Vale since the 1940s and he watched every game fervently.

I understand the arguments behind the 3pm non-broadcast law, but could the following exemptions not be enabled, if evidence was submitted to each club?:

  • Home address situated over 100 miles from the ground (or whatever, I picked an arbitrary number)
  • Medical condition preventing you from attending
  • Age preventing you from attending

If you can't provide evidence, you can't watch 3pm games. Your account would have the games unlocked only if that evidence had been submitted, each season, and verified by the club. 

My Grandad would happily pay full season-ticket price for complete access. Yes, you'd get the odd few who cheat the system, but increase the price so there's not a great deal of financial gain. 

I'm sure the lawyers would explain why this couldn't happen, but the 3pm law seems such a heavy-handed, antiquated law lacking any nuance for different situations. Depriving people who are unable to attend games in person (for valid reasons) the opportunity to watch their life-long team is absolutely stupid. Just needs a bit of thought.

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I live around 100 miles away. I have not had a season ticket for many years but watch maybe 15 games at Vale Park each year. I go to away games in the north of England, maybe 10 more games. 

With ifollow I paid for every game this season bar Carlisle away. Given that Vale received a percentage of the money I paid for away games (after the first 450 subscribers per game I think) Vale may even have received more from me this year than a normal year. It would be close and if they raised the price closer to that paid when I attend they would definitely make more.

And I could watch more games rather than following the score updates on the BBC because the Radio Stoke commentary is blocked as I live too far away.

 

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11 hours ago, robf said:

@Hitcher it's a tricky one.

In "normal times" I'm like your dad as I live in the South East (a 250 mile round trip to VP) and work also restricts a lot of my trips to Burslem. So, for me, the stream allows me to watch the club and also give them revenue which the club wouldn't ordinarily get if I wasn't able to attend a particular match.

However, I understand the flip side that if it's a tenner to watch then that may persuade more local fans to watch from home and the club then lose out ticket revenue and also potentially programme, shop, catering, car parking revenue too.

So, I can understand the League's insistence that games at 3pm on a Saturday should be subject to a UK wide black-out. 

But with all the slow lifting of restrictions, I suspect some sort of compromise for next season will be in place.

I personally think the cost of iFollow should be closer to that of a matchday ticket. Say £20 a game. I know it's probably not a popular thing to say and iFollow is certainly not a perfect service but that would at least solve the problem of the club losing ticket money from fans opting to watch. Perhaps that extra cost could be incentivised?

 For instance: 

  • Season ticket holders who watched streams got a electronic programme last season - how about including one in all streams (including non season ticket holders) if the price was to rise?
  • How about free entry in a competition to win a voucher for another game / to win a shirt etc

Just adding a few extras may make the cost increase more bearable but I think it will have to rise next season if attendances are still largely restricted. It would help a lot more clubs survive financially if was £20 per stream.

 

I'm in a similar position, living 150 miles or thereabouts from Boslem, so iFollow has given me the chance to see the Vale (painful as last season was) as well as contribute to the club. As I bought my ticket each week, I often thought I should be paying more to the Vale, given the dire financial circumstances the club are facing and the fact that, if I could attend every week, I would be paying double that amount. So I would support an increase too. Always felt like I was short changing the club, every time!

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Why does it need to be done on a geographical basis? There will be people with illness/disabilities etc who live up the road where getting to a game will be an ordeal. I wonder if they should just make it available for all but charge a decent amount. The key is the price point.

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34 minutes ago, Rory said:

Why does it need to be done on a geographical basis? There will be people with illness/disabilities etc who live up the road where getting to a game will be an ordeal. I wonder if they should just make it available for all but charge a decent amount. The key is the price point.

For me the price should be somewhere between the per match cost of a season ticket and the full price of a walk in (as watching it is not the same as being there).

Somewhere there will be someone doing the maths on all this. In a way we have an aging population who have had to get used to the internet. I really think it will happen at somepoint

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