League chiefs to hold talks on streaming – The Non-League Football Paper

BEHIND THE LENS: National League chiefs are considering live streaming matches

LIVE STREAMING of National League games looks set to be introduced with the board due to consider a proposal on September 15.

The NLP understands there have also been positive discussions around the current embargo across Step 1 and 2 on highlights packages.

It comes as Wrexham joint-owner Ryan Reynolds tweeted to his 20 million following about the club’s frustration they can’t stream games “domestically or internationally”. Interest in the title favourites is high following the recent release of documentary ‘Welcome to Wrexham’.

But BT Sport – who have a long-running live broadcast deal – hold the contractual rights to National League games.

League chiefs say discussions had already been taking place to allow clubs to stream games on a standard platform, much like the EFL have with iFollow.

It would see clubs allowed to show games outside of the Saturday blackout between 2.45pm and 5.15pm as laid out in UEFA Article 48 and not up against live BT Sport games.

They also insist any deal must be in the interest of all 72 clubs across the three divisions, while title sponsors Vanarama are in support.

National League general manager Mark Ives said: “The National League are completely committed to working with our partners to deliver a unified streaming platform that benefits all of our clubs in the National League.

“We are currently working up proposals that will be presented to the board for consideration. This is not a new discussion. It has been worked up in close consultation with BT Sport over the last few months.

“Whilst commercially we can’t give details at this time until they are confirmed, it is an exciting time that would be of great benefit to the league and its member clubs collectively.”

The National League released a statement on Wednesday detailing their position on streaming after Reynolds used his considerable social media platform to express Wrexham’s view, tagging in all 24 Step 1 teams.

Wrexham have since written to all National League clubs on the matter as they reportedly want to start streaming with immediate effect.

In a statement, the Red Dragons said: “The club can confirm it has written to the other 71 clubs on the matter of streaming. This is to ensure that our position on domestic and international streaming isn’t misunderstood, and to support the collective by donating any proceeds to the National League for wider distribution until a permanent solution can be achieved.”

It is also understood the embargo on highlights is being discussed. As it stands, clubs can’t show footage from Saturday games until Monday morning.

This content was originally published here.

Share this story