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TicketCo Media Services a silver lining for Covid-19 ravaged clubs

TicketCo have come up with a way to turn a negative situation into a positive with their pay-per-view Media Services.

When Covid-19 swept across the world, clubs were left wondering about ways to generate revenue with limited to no fans in attendance.

With countries such as the UK still working towards getting supporters back in stadiums, particularly for the English Premier League, TicketCo have come up with a way to turn a negative situation into a positive with their pay-per-view Media Services.

It’s been just over a year since the coronavirus pandemic made its way to nations other than China, prompting the postponement or cancellation of major events.

In that time, sport organisations and media outlets have had to adapt. We’ve seen new streaming services pop up and the need for pay-for-view type services which TicketCo can provide, to make up for lost matchday attendance.

For supporters at home, they need the best possible viewing experience. As part of their streaming service, TicketCo can offer user friendliness as of utmost importance, a smooth process for ticket purchasing by the end user, versatility to watch not just on TV, as well as high definition quality sound and video.

TicketCo can also work closely with organisations to ensure that everything goes to plan, including a secure URL to the stream that isn’t copied or shared without permission, keeping the match available for sale until it starts & during event, customer data integrating with the club’s customer relationship management (CRM) system, no up-front investment for the broadcasting part of production, the offering of club merchandise, and easy-to-use technology that gives access to graphics.

Just like the clubs and leagues, TicketCo have changed the way they provide their service. It’s now become more important than ever to have a digital element to your craft, where they saw a new opportunity pop up to assist teams that needed a pay-per-view alternative.

TicketCo Media Services has become a video-on-demand solution that aligns with their event payment platform, so the ticket office can cater for online broadcasting. It puts the supporters (end user) at the forefront to deliver them a smooth and enjoyable experience.

TicketCo ensures that fans are able to watch all content on a variety of devices to make sure they aren’t pigeonholed with how they can watch. Having that freedom to watch from a TV, phone, tablet, desktop or whatever it might be promotes good fan experience and less annoyed ones.

There have already been lower league clubs embracing this technology and shows that most clubs are capable of utilising TicketCo’s offering.

TicketCo is a hugely versatile platform and a true disrupter,” FC Isle of Man commercial director Ty Smith said.

“The platform provides the club with cutting edge technology and capabilities that even professional clubs can only dream of.”  

National League club Altrincham FC is another side that has seen the benefits of pay-per-view streaming, being able to provide fans with access to all of their home games this season.

“Club’s that don’t explore live streaming are crazy, to put it simply,” Co- chairman Bill Waterson said.

“Our partnership with TicketCo proves that you don’t have to be a big club to provide a professional service to supporters.” 

TicketCo Media Services is building on the future of media technology through AWS, the leading cloud technology provider. It hoped that lower league clubs can take full ownership of their digital content and monetise it through a platform like TicketCo Media Services.

It can be handled from a league level instead of club level, so that teams can offer their fans a range of packages, including physical home tickets and virtual away tickets, or virtual home and away tickets for anyone wanting to view games from overseas.

Leagues can also think about branding involvement, so that this is relevant for the viewing audience. Graphics can be used in a similar manner to what we see in top leagues on commercial TV channels. It adds another layer of advertising opportunities, as TicketCo Media Services have an ‘up-sell’ functionality that promotes and sells other products to supporters while fans go and purchase their digital match tickets.

Lower league clubs tend to have a very loyal follower base, but this has the potential to grow with an effective streaming provider such as TicketCo Media Services.

By the time the 2021/22 season kicks off in lower leagues across the UK, it’s expected that there will be full online coverage and monetization of every match. TicketCo Media Services see this as a positive aftermath of Covid-19, where a widespread crisis has created an unexpected silver lining for recovering clubs.

Liam Watson is a Senior Journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on international football policy, industry matters and industry 4.0

CONMEBOL: Biennial World Cup ‘unviable’

CONMEBOL, South America’s continental governing body, has been the latest governing body to condemn FIFA’s calls for a biennial World Cup.

South America’s continental governing body has been the latest to condemn FIFA’s calls for a biennial World Cup.

CONMEBOL, the South America Football Confederation, has backflipped on the issue after initially supporting the idea, claiming it is a “highly unviable” idea.

The statement comes following a technical analysis and consultation with football leaders in South America.

The statement issued by CONMEBOL raised a range of issues with the proposal, including strain on players.

“A World Cup every two years could distort the most important football competition on the planet, lowering its quality and undermining its exclusive character and its current demanding standards,” the statement read.

“The World Cup is an event that attracts the attention and expectations of billions of people because it represents the culmination of a process of elimination that lasts the entire four-year period and has its own dynamics and appeal.

“A World Cup every two years would represent an overload that is practically impossible to manage in the international competition calendar. In the current conditions, it is already complex to harmonise times, schedules, logistics, adequate preparation of equipment and commitments. The situation would be extremely difficult with the proposed change. It could even put the quality of other tournaments, both club and national, at risk.”

Other than the risks to players, CONMEBOL suggested that a biennial event would detract from the occasion.

“The idea of ​​the World Cup is to bring together the most talented footballers, the most outstanding coaches and the most trained referees to determine, in a fair competition, which is the best team on the planet. This cannot be achieved without proper preparation, without teams developing their skills and coaches designing and implementing strategies,” it said.

“All of this translates into time, training sessions, planning, games. CONMEBOL defends the search for excellence in the field of play and is committed to increasingly competitive events of the highest quality. There is no sporting justification for shortening the period between World Cups.

“For the approval of a change of this nature, a broad and participatory process of consultations with all the actors involved is essential. It must be the fruit of a frank debate, in which all opinions and criteria are considered. CONMEBOL is and will always be open to dialogue that seeks the best for football.”

FIFA is seemingly determined to move forward with its plans for a biennial World Cup, despite ongoing opposition.

W-League big winners in new CBA, as greater contract freedom for A-League clubs beckons

A new collective bargaining agreement has been struck between Professional Football Australia and the Australian Professional Leagues.

Equity in high-performance standards in the A-League and W-League, a 32% increase in the W-League salary cap floor and an increase in the A-League salary cap floor are the highlights of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) struck between Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) and the Australian Professional Leagues (APL).

The new five-year deal was described as “ground-breaking” by a joint statement between the two bodies, in an announcement that highlights the newfound confidence in the economic environment for professional football in Australia.

Much of that confidence can be linked to the new five-year broadcast agreement with ViacomCBS and Network 10 and it is no surprise that this new CBA has been deliberately linked in length to the broadcast deal.

PFA Co-Chief Executive Kathryn Gill explained that being able to achieve this agreement was a huge milestone for the professional game in Australia, after such a long period of uncertainty in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of the previous broadcasting deal with Fox Sports.

“The players’ vision for the negotiations was economic security and stability for the clubs, the leagues and the players. This agreement is a foundational step towards this objective and our leagues will be stronger as a result,” she said via the joint statement.

“It has been an incredibly challenging time for our game; however, we believe the CBA will provide a platform for our leagues to be re-launched and for a genuine partnership between the clubs and the players to be forged.

“I would like to acknowledge the work of Greg O’Rourke, Danny Townsend, Tracey Scott, Chris Pehlivanis and John Tsatsimas for their efforts and commitment during the negotiations and especially the players who participated so actively throughout.”

PFA President Alex Wilkinson noted the immense sacrifice made by many players to usher the game through the COVID-19 pandemic, which he says helped pave the way for this agreement.

“This generation of players, club owners and staff have been asked to make immense sacrifices to preserve our sport during unprecedented times,” he said.

“As a result of these sacrifices we have been able to take an important step forward and provide greater certainty for the clubs and players and make important progress in areas such as our high-performance environment, player welfare whilst further embedding our commitment to gender equity.”

Under the new CBA, genuine equity in high-performance standards in the A-League and W-League have been entrenched in order to create a “world-class workplace” for all of the country’s footballers.

This CBA will be the first to deliver common standards across higher performance and medical departments across both the W-League and the A-League.

Increases to minimum and maximum player payments are also factored in during the course of the five-year CBA with a particular focus on an increase to the W-League salary floor, providing another massive boost on the back of the recently announced expansion of the competition to also include Central Coast Mariners, Wellington Phoenix and Western United.

There will also be a reformed contracting model that allows for greater capacity in squad investment for clubs, with an allowance for up to two “Designated Player” spots, which will allow clubs to invest between $300,000 and $600,000 in players whose salaries will be excluded from the A-League salary cap.

These “Designated Players” will be in addition to the current exemptions, such as “Marquee Players”.

Furthermore, there will also be greater capacity for clubs to contract youth players with an increase in the cap on scholarship players.

The CBA also provides for guaranteed funding for player welfare and development programs, as well as greater support for the PFA Past Players Program.

APL Managing Director Danny Townsend said the deal was proof that the APL was living up to its promise of greater investment since taking control of Australia’s professional leagues.

“When APL took control of the leagues, we promised it would herald a new era of investment and this agreement shows the progress that has already been made,” he said in a statement.

“This is a clear example of what can be achieved when we work together with a common vision to realise the potential of Australian football.”

APL Leagues Commissioner Greg O’Rourke added the investments would help clubs deliver a much-improved on-field product.

“Players are partners with us in the game and central to its growth. Having all of our partners on-board with the re-imagined future of the game is vital, and this agreement marks an important milestone in our new relationship,” he said.

“There will be immediate improvements across the men’s and women’s leagues, most notably for women’s football, all of which will flow through into improved experiences for players, and ultimately into growing and improving our game.”

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