FC Isle of Man to move away from 3pm home kick offs
Fan owned FC Isle of Man will live stream all its home fixtures this season by hosting matches outside of UEFA’s blackout window.
The North West Counties Division One South club will play its homes games on Saturday evenings so it can eliminate logistical barriers visiting teams face when travelling from the mainland and broadcast matches unrestricted online.
The club is leading non-league football’s media rights revolution in partnership with TicketCo Media Services.
Last season, UEFA lifted its blanket ban on Saturday afternoon fixtures being streamed while games were held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the restriction has been reinstalled for the 2021-22 season meaning matches played between 2.45pm and 5.15pm on Saturdays cannot be broadcast domestically online.
Ty Smith, Commercial Director at FC Isle of Man, said being able to stream fixtures without restrictions is important to ensure the club can engage with its fanbase outside of the Isle of Man.
“All our home games will take place outside of UEFA’s blackout window this season so matches can be live streamed,” said Ty. “A proportion of our supporters are unable to physically attend matches, meaning the only way they can engage in the club’s home games is via live streaming.
“So many people in the UK and worldwide have a strong affinity to the Isle of Man and we have supporters living in Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Australia, Italy and other countries.
“We’re proud to be a fan-owned club and want all supporters to be able to experience matches at the same time together as one community – that is only possible by live streaming.”
“Supporters living on the island are our primary audience,” added Ty. “If they want to watch football at the highest level on the island, then FC Isle of Man is where they will see it.
“But it is important to also make sure we are satisfying the needs of our secondary and tertiary audiences too. They are those with a strong emotional connection to the island and football purists who want to follow a positive story.
“The two latter audiences wouldn’t be able to access games physically, so it is a no-brainer that we open up matches to supporters on a global scale. TicketCo gives us the platform to satisfy the demand of those supporters and bring in extra revenue by streaming.
“We have fans in Australia who support the club because they visit the island each year for the iconic Isle of Man TT – that passion has now been channelled into following the club’s weekly narrative.”