FIFA+ debut to provide greater global connection through football

FIFA have announced the launch of FIFA+, a brand-new digital platform designed to bring football fans together across the globe through having access to the game they love, for free.

FIFA+ delivers live domestic league games from around the globe, match stats, the greatest archive in international football, premium original content, immersive global storytelling, and much more.

Over 29,000 men’s matches and over 11,000 women’s matches will be streamed on FIFA+ in 2022, totalling over 40,000 matches.

“FIFA+ represents the next step in our vision to make football truly global and inclusive, and it underpins FIFA’s core mission of expanding and developing football globally,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

“This project represents a cultural shift in the way different types of football fans want to connect with and explore the global game and has been a fundamental part of my Vision 2020-2023. It will accelerate the democratisation of football and we are delighted to share it with fans.”

FIFA+ offers live coverage from Europe’s top flight leagues to previously unserved competitions from around the world in men’s, women’s and youth football.  From launch, 1,400 matches will be live streamed monthly on FIFA+, and rising rapidly.

Ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, FIFA+ will be home to every FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup™ match ever recorded on camera, totalling more than 2,000 hours of archived content. For the first time ever, this entire archive will be available to fans.

Fans will have the ability to watch full-match replays, highlights, goals and magical moments all in one place. The FIFA+ Archive will launch with more than 2,500 videos dating back to the 1950s, with many more to come throughout the year.

The Match Centre will allow football fans to immerse themselves in rich football data across 400 men’s competitions and 65 women’s competitions. A daily feed of news from around the world of men’s and women’s football will also complement and offer additional updates. Throughout the year, fans will enjoy interactive games including votes, quizzes, fantasy games and predictors.

From launch, FIFA+ will bring the game to life through exclusive, world-class titles including:

  • Ronaldinho: The Happiest Man in the World - An exclusive, feature-length documentary offering extensive access to and never-seen-before archive of one of the most iconic players to have played the game.
  • Captains: Season 1 - A ground-breaking 8-part series from Fulwell 73 (Sunderland ‘Til I Die, All or Nothing: Juventus) following six captains as they lead their countries through qualification for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The series, which will explore each individual’s leadership traits, features Luka Modrić (Croatia), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon), Brian Kaltak (Vanuatu), Andre Blake (Jamaica), Hassan Maatouk (Lebanon) and Thiago Silva (Brazil).
  • Croatia: Defining a Nation – This original feature-length documentary tells the story of how football unites and binds this nation and a group of friends who reached global recognition against the backdrop of the most extreme adversity.
  • Icons – A 5 x 26-minute docuseries showcasing five of the biggest game-changers of the women’s game: Wendie Renard, Lucy Bronze, Asisat Oshoala, Carli Lloyd and Sam Kerr telling their stories in their own words. Produced by Noah Media Group (14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible, Finding Jack Charlton).
  • Academies – The inside story of some of the greatest talent production lines in world football from Shoot the Company. Season 1 tells the story of RSC Anderlecht across 3 x 30-minute episodes.

FIFA+ will be available across all web and mobile devices, and across a range of connected devices soon. It will be available in five language editions (English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish), alongside an additional six languages to follow in June of 2022.

FIFA aiming to raise funds to grow its streaming service

FIFA is looking to raise up to $2.97 billion AUD in order to expand its streaming service FIFA+ by working with the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS).

According to Bloomberg, Football’s governing body is collaborating with UBS Group AG. A formal fundraising process is expected to commence in July, targeting mostly financial investors from the US and the Middle East.

Despite no comments from UBS and FIFA, deliberations are at an early stage with certain details such as timing and fundraising size could change with tFIFA preparing to offer a minority stake in FIFA+.

Launched in April 2022, FIFA+ is a free, ad-supported streaming service that planned to stream over 40,000 live games a year, with at least a quarter of them coming from women’s matches. The streaming service also provided highlights, archive footage, documentaries, docuseries, talk shows and shorts.

Currently, FIFA+ has offered live streaming in smaller broadcasting markets where it was offered for free in countries where it didn’t have the TV rights for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) streamed all of its competitions on the platform while also showing live coverage of the FIFA Club World Cup in some territories.

However, FIFA is currently struggling to find a major broadcaster for next year’s FIFA Club World Cup which is set to be held in the U.S.

According to SportsPro Media, Apple reportedly offered FIFA $1.49 AUD for worldwide television rights for the tournament. But, this is much less than FIFA’s intended $5.94 billion AUD.

It is still unclear how FIFA would use these potential funds to improve its current streaming service, but some potential ideas include technological development, marketing and direct rights acquisitions.

Respondology: Blocking the negative social media noise

From what started out as a simple solution to a tirade of hate messages against sporting icon Serena Williams during the 2019 US Open, Respondology’s software has now become inherent across many business and sporting sectors.

After noticing the issue, the idea sparked behind Respondology’s main drive that is to eradicate online hate. They focused mainly on businesses as it erased unnecessary online bullying that was hindering the company’s success. Respondology provides a technology that is crucial for any social media presence today where cruel and unwanted messages are directed towards many up and coming sporting companies without any repercussions – it allows all these gruelling comments to be filtered out as soon as it pops up.

The technology uses a moderation system in which detection of any harmful content aimed at minority communities within the team or sports business are immediately muted, hence bettering the safety of the business as a whole. 

The company focuses on athletes, influencers, celebrities and brands under varying sectors to clear hate comments in order to promote a kinder social environment for both the influencer and their audience. A main facet of the company are the moderators as before the technology that sparks the filtration system, they evaluate the messages that choose which comments should be hidden. This halts the reliance on artificial intelligence as the differentiation between supportive messages and unhelpful ones are more clear with the presence of a moderator. In addition, the software stems across all social media platforms and matches accordingly with the timing of posts as well as real time analytics of all comments coming in with every new post. 

The main question underlying this software is why there is a demand for it and that is to understand the power of comments on the sporting community such as the players, teams or coaches. Many teams are victims of a slew of online attacks whether it be during a game loss or from rival supporters. This not only harbours a negative space within the online communities but could pose threats to the security to all the actors involved in these spaces. Safety within these communities online are a priority as it reflects that of the safety in real life during actual matches and how they interact socially. Technology such as Respondology acts as a protection against harmful comments that could affect the brand’s character.  

If these comments were to go unnoticed and left unmoderated, it could lead to a negative stance on the brand’s identity. Especially, in regards to comments that are racist, homophobic or sexist; these are simply not situations brands would want to be associated with. Furthermore, they would not want to be connected with ignoring these spiteful messaging as well. From a moral standpoint, Respondology is doing its part to protect the perception of a plethora of sporting clubs but also preventing the normalisation of a negative space within the supporters of these teams that can only occur if derogatory comments are stopped immediately as they appear. It does not even allow for these hateful activities to prosper. 

In terms of business, many brands could lose sponsorship opportunities due to connections with abusive online spaces. As a result, the brand’s revenue will be at stake. Additionally, when comments go unchecked, it perpetuates spam comments which could lead to illegal streaming and ticket scamming sites. These are all issues that are simply flushing money down the drain for most brands. However, by taking precautionary measures, with the likes of Respondology lessens the likelihood of burning money through unlikely means such as online comments. 

Evidently, the use of Respondology covers all the bases that comes with having an online presence; the barrage of hate and toxicity. With this slowly being stopped by this newfound technology, many businesses will continue to thrive without unnecessary harm to their business identity or their company revenue as a whole.

Check out Respondology’s features in full here:

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