English Football League launches streaming service for overseas fans

Britain Football Soccer - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship - Molineux - 25/4/17General view during the matchMandatory Credit: Action Images / Andrew Couldridge

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - The English Football League is launching a streaming broadcast service targeted at overseas fans of Championship and lower league clubs.

International fans of English clubs outside the Premier League will from next season be able to subscribe to a service which will stream all games not distributed to overseas television broadcasters.

The service, called “iFollow”, will provide coverage of up to 46 live games per club and in total more than 1,500 matches will be available in HD quality.

EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said the service represented a potentially significant new revenue stream for clubs and would enable enhanced engagement with existing fans now living abroad.

“iFollow will also present the EFL with an important opportunity to stimulate the interest of new groups of supporters who follow our clubs overseas, which in turn will help support the growth of our competitions on the international stage,” Harvey said.

The EFL estimates that around 270,000 fans of its clubs are based overseas, primarily in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond