InsiderSport: On The Ball – La Liga, EFL and eToro

From sponsorship to the ever-expanding world of football media coverage, when it comes to the business of football, InsiderSport has you covered. This edition looks at financial trouble in the EFL and the iFollow scheme.

iFollow elevates offering for new season

Subscription based EFL streaming platform iFollow, which allows fans to watch otherwise non-televised football matches and engage in unique content, is set to upgrade its offering for the upcoming season.

The upgrades, set to increase interaction amongst EFL supporters, will see the streaming service now offer live replays alongside its current four-camera coverage of Championship matches. 

It comes after the streaming platform received positive feedback in an EFL fan survey back in July, in which 76% of 26,570 respondents deemed the introduction of the service as positive. 

Luton Town in particular has been hailed for fully embracing the service, and at the time of the survey’s release, Ed Smith, Marketing Manager for the club, revealed: “The service has enabled us to extend our reach way beyond the capacity of Kenilworth Road, especially during a season which has seen home sections of the stadium reaching capacity or near-capacity for well over 50% of the games. A good example of this was an evening clash against Portsmouth in January 2019, when subscribers to our live coverage broke previous streaming records on the platform.”

Smith also revealed how the iFollow service allowed the club to connect with a wider fanbase, reaching an additional 18,000 Luton fans throughout the course of the season. 

Financial turbulence in the EFL

With the EFL season now upon us, the plight of Bury FC and Bolton Wanderers has continued to be a talking point.

Having already received a 12 point deduction before the season has even begun, Bury has also seen it’s League One opener against MK Dons suspended.

Similarly, Bolton Wanderers, who were relegated from the Premier League as recently as 2012, has also been docked 12 points following the club entering administration. 

Read more.

La Liga lacking UK TV broadcaster

With less than a month until the start of the new La Liga season, the league remains without a UK TV broadcaster.

The deadline for platforms to come forward with offers for the rights was on the 25th of July, however despite that date now passing, the league is still yet to be picked up by a UK broadcaster.

Sky Sports previously had a strong relationship with the Spanish top flight, however last summer platform Eleven Sports agreed a surprising three year contract for the acquisition of the rights.

Towards the end of the season, following Eleven’s struggles, which mainly grew from not securing a TV distributor, the rights were eventually split with Premier Sports, as well as ITV.

Joris Evers, head of communications for the league, told FootballEspana: “After assessing all bids and required additional documentation from participating bidders, La Liga has declared the tender null and void because no satisfactory bids were received.

“La Liga thanks all participants in the tender for their interest and shall inform soon about next steps.”

UK broadcaster and football fans, will be watching with keen interest as to how the situation plays out, given that La Liga continues to play host to some of the most watched teams and players in world football.

eToro deepens portfolio of Premier League partners

Everton FC has unveiled Global multi-asset investment platform eToro as the club’s ‘Official Online Trading Partner’. 

As part of the deal, the organisation will gain global exposure through access to Everton’s marketing assets and a presence at Goodison Park on matchdays.

Alan McTavish, Commercial Director at Everton Football Club, commented: “We are delighted to welcome eToro to our portfolio of Official Club Partners. We look forward to developing our partnership and are excited to see what can be achieved by bringing blockchain technology into the world of football.”

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