Football League investigating PPV live streaming for international market

The English Football League has said it is considering introducing pay-per-view live streaming of its games for international fans.

The organisation, which governs the three divisions below the Premier League – the Championship, League One and League Two – said the move has been made possible through its new partnership with ITN Productions.

In May, the Football League agreed a three-season deal, from 2015-16 to 2017-18, for ITN Productions to serve as its production partner. ITN Productions has the remit to film, edit and deliver all match footage for television broadcasts, along with digital clips and highlights content of Football League competitions for use by domestic and international broadcast partners and club websites that fall under its FLi network.

Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey said the introduction of new technology at the 72 stadiums across the three divisions of the Football League this season allows for real-time broadcasting from all games for the first time. He told the Reuters news agency that pay-per-view streaming could run alongside the League’s existing global television deals.

He said: “It is something that is part of the overall development plan of what we are doing. It is something that is at least two seasons away, purely on the basis of where our international rights sales are at this moment in time but it is a very realistic possibility thereafter.

“You would have an opportunity of being able to watch your club live anywhere in the world. What we have to balance that off against is what would the potential loss be in overseas sales rights for the league as a whole but there is every suggestion that would work.”