The English Football League (EFL) has announced massive revenue worth £42 million through their live streaming platform iFollow during 2020/21. EFL is the governing body of second, third, and fourth division football leagues in England.
While the fans were unable to watch the matches from the stadium due to the lockdowns and closed-door matches, EFL arranged an alternative for the fans to watch the match live. With the help of Sky Sports, EFL made such an arrangement that gave access to all the season ticket holders from the respective clubs to live stream the match via iFollow without any cost. For the other fans, the games were accessible on Sky Sports, and in order to stream the fixtures on TC networks, they were required to buy a single ticket match pass on iFollow.
A total of 1,659 games were streamed live on iFollow during the 2020/21 season, catering to more than 360,000 fans from 175 countries that also included over 160,000 season ticket holders from various clubs. More than 805 million minutes worth of live football was streamed during the period, with 600 million minutes watched on desktop, while the remaining 205 million minutes of mobile devices.
The most followed game on iFollow during the past season was Norwich vs Luton, where the latter was thrashed 3-0 by the now promoted Norwich City. From the EFL Championship, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest and Luton Town were the most-watched teams. Whereas from the other two leagues, Ipswich Town, Portsmouth and Plymouth (from League One), and Bolton Wanderers were the most-watched team, with Bradford City second and Tranmere Rovers third.
Previously in March, EFL secured a £117.5 million financial package from MetLife Investment Management to help clubs in the second-tier Championship survive the coronavirus pandemic. To mitigate the losses, EFL will seek towards carrying on with it iFollow project that which might help them stand firm once again.