FA infuriate non-League and EFL clubs by refusing to chip in just £5,000 to help stream first-round cup ties despite repeated pleas
- The FA have refused to contribute to the production costs of streaming cup ties
- Some 21 clubs whose games have not been picked for broadcast will stream
- Despite repeated pleas the FA appear unwilling to contribute to the £5,000 cost
The FA have angered non-League and lower-division clubs by refusing to contribute to the production costs of streaming this weekend’s FA Cup first-round ties.
Sportsmail has learned that 21 clubs whose games have not been selected for live broadcast are planning to provide a live streaming service for fans banned from attending matches in person, but despite repeated pleas, the FA appear unwilling to contribute to the £5,000 cost.
The clubs in question are planning to charge supporters up to £9.95 to watch the live stream so could potentially make a profit, but only if they attract more than 500 paying customers.
Despite repeated pleas the FA appear unwilling to contribute to the £5,000 cost of streams
The clubs insist that their main concern is ensuring that fans can watch such a pivotal match of the season, and feel that the FA should help with the costs.
The FA insist, however, that they have already dramatically expanded their broadcast coverage of the competition to compensate fans for being unable to attend, with the number of first-round televised matches increased from four to 16 of the 40 ties.
Eight matches will be broadcast live by rights holders BBC and BT Sport, with a further eight available via a streaming service on the BBC website.
Eight matches will be broadcast live by rights holders BBC and BT Sport
The broadcast fees payable to each club are £32,500 for main channel coverage and £12,500 for the BBC website, considerably more than the clubs’ own streaming experiment should generate given the costs involved.
In addition, the FA are also paying first-round losers prize money for the first time so every club involved this weekend is guaranteed at least £5,657.
The FA’s position on streaming contrasts with that of the EFL, who are covering all the costs of the iFollow service which is streaming every Football League game that will take place this season, with the clubs taking the profits.