Fans have chosen to hit out at the EFL for their latest statement which was published on Wednesday over illegal streaming and iFollow.
With supporters unable to watch their beloved club inside stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic, they now have to pay for the league organisation’s streaming service.
However, it’s encountered a problem in some way almost every match-week, causing fans to lose patience and turn to an illegal stream which tends to run better and smoother than the iFollow.
The EFL, alongside all 72 of its member Clubs, has today launched a campaign aimed at discouraging the illegal streaming of fixtures, warning that doing so will take vital revenue away from Clubs.
The outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent behind-closed-doors matches mean that income generated by streaming on the League’s official service, iFollow (or club equivalent service), is more important than ever, and remains one of the only income streams available at this challenging time.
Illegal streaming, therefore, is having a greater impact on Clubs whilst supporters are unable to attend matches. The EFL and its Clubs could potentially lose around a third of income from illegal streaming this season, a figure which is potentially much higher when factoring in every illegal stream.
Statistics show that over half of sports fans consume sports content from pirate services at least once a month. Over 7,000 illegal EFL streams have been detected so far this season, with an average of 170 people viewing each stream, totalling almost 1.2million people. Supporters in the UK accessing iFollow (or club equivalent) via a VPN are also accessing the stream illegally.
Failure to comply with the terms set out when subscribing to iFollow is a serious breach and allows the EFL to terminate the subscription. Clubs streaming through their own services are likely to have very similar rights in their terms and conditions.
The EFL and its Clubs take piracy incredibly seriously, working with a specialist security agency to proactively seek out illegal streams on all formats and taking action against businesses and individuals.
Supporters are therefore encouraged to report any illegal streams, or pubs that may be showing EFL content unlawfully, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. All emails will be treated confidentially.
More information on the League’s official streaming service, iFollow, can be found here.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
As mentioned, fans hit out at the EFL for their latest statement, see what they had to say below…
I watch it legit – via the site. But… I paid almost £500 for my OUFC season ticket, and in return I receive just the EFL home games. Fans are being exploited.
— Simon Parker (@SimonWIParker) November 18, 2020
We are in a lockdown and haven’t been able to see our teams play football live since March mate, not sure if you knew.
— Jordan Marshall (@jordanmarshallu) November 18, 2020
I pay every week for #colu games yet we can’t watch it on a smart tv? Why not? How are 2 of us supposed to watch it on an iPad?? It was working via Appleplay then you stopped it working. Ridiculous as it’s my iPhone, my paid for stream and my tv 😡
— ⚫️Shelley moules (@SonicUtd) November 18, 2020
You’re harming our clubs more than any illegal stream could.
— JP (@treeandcrown) November 18, 2020
Maybe people who illegally stream games simply can’t afford to fork out £80 a month to watch their team in the current climate. Why isn’t there a multi pass option? A monthly/weekly subscription? Logging on to pay £10 every four days is ridiculous.
— GeorgeWeahsCousin (@WeahsCousin) November 18, 2020
— David Jackson (@davidjackson3) November 18, 2020
Maybe if you didn’t rip fans off at £10 a go people wouldn’t be streaming it!
Not to mention the ifollow service is absolutely shocking. The premier League fans were in uproar over £15 a game and we’re having to put up with £10 games twice a week?
— Matty (@mattyg295) November 18, 2020
Tone deaf much? £10 per game is ridiculous, especially for younger fans. EVERY second tier game is FREE to watch online here in Russia.
— Mark Bowen (@MarkBigPotatoes) November 18, 2020
£10 a match. It’s a complete joke. That’s £460 for one club’s league fixtures alone.
By comparison, I get every single game in the NHL – 1,271 regular season games + postseason for about £90 (depending on the exchange rate).
..and you wonder why people are using streams?!
— Stuart Bramley🍏🇪🇺 (@stuafcb) November 18, 2020
Folk on reduced wages, out of work or just plain struggling…
We want £10 a game from you, don’t buy a fire stick for £60. Your club needs your money!!
Get it dropped up to Christmas, it’s not as if it’s world beating coverage is it?
— Luke Mallen (@LJMallen87) November 18, 2020
start making ifollow worth it then
— Reds x (@voldermortsarmy) November 18, 2020
Perhaps people wouldn’t look to illegal streams if your streaming functions actually worked as 9 out of 10 times it doesn’t
— ShrimpersTalk.co.uk 🦐⚽️ (@ShrimpersTalk) November 18, 2020
The iFollow app is awful. Struggling to convince myself to pay for something which performs so badly.
— Liam Glenn (@liam_r_glenn) November 18, 2020
A tenner to watch I follow that works 35% of the time, nah you’re alright. The service is absolutely abysmal. The efl is not fit for purpose and everyone can see it. Absolute chancers, name one positive thing you have done in the last 12 months?
— Adam Milner (@adamtmilner) November 18, 2020
Perhaps you and the @premierleague should stop ripping fans off and make all football more affordable and accessible
— Rob Manns (@RobMannsy) November 18, 2020
Make games free to watch then? Why don’t the spineless EFL pay up and support clubs in need instead of relying on hard working fans yet again….
— The AVFC Faithful 🦁 (@AVFCFaithful_) November 18, 2020
Don’t try and pretend you have our clubs best interests at heart
— Lee Hinton (@LeeAHinton95) November 18, 2020
The only thing that should be considered illegal is you lot charging for a service that doesn’t even work 🤷🏼♂️
— fan of section.80 (@woo__ben) November 18, 2020