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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 the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Los Angeles FC teams up with Foundation Fighting Blindness to host vision impaired fans

Major League Soccer club Los Angeles FC is teaming up with the Foundation Fighting Blindness to host blind and low vision fans at LAFC matches at Banc of California Stadium this season.

Leveraging the team’s partnership with audio technology Mixhalo, fans will have access to crystal-clear, real-time play-by-play in English, featuring the call of ESPN LA’s Dave Denholm and the Spanish audio featuring Armando Aguayo on 980 AM La Mera Mera.

All fans at Banc of California can now use their phone, headphones and the free mobile Mixhalo app to listen to Mixhalo’s high-quality live audio for an immersive experience while watching at the stadium.

As the first-ever MLS team to adopt the technology, LAFC announced its collaboration with Mixhalo in December 2020. With fans now returning to Banc of California Stadium at full capacity, Mixhalo audio will be available to all fans at every LAFC home game throughout the remainder of the 2022 season.

“LAFC matches are for everyone,” LAFC Co-President and CBO Larry Freedman told lafc.com.

“We are constantly focusing on improving our fan experience and making our games more accessible to all. We are proud to welcome fans from the Foundation Fighting Blindness community this season to experience LAFC matches in person through Mixhalo’s incredible technology.”

Guests from the Foundation Fighting Blindness community will attend select LAFC home games and have the opportunity to meet with Denholm and Aguayo before the game.

“We are honoured to be partnering with LAFC in making the games more accessible for our blind and low vision community,” Jason Menzo said to lafc.com, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

“We look forward to the technology rolling out into other stadiums, not only in the United States, but globally.

Mixhalo Head of Sports Doug Holtzman added:

“Mixhalo elevates the live sports experience for everyone, and we’re thrilled that vision impaired LAFC fans can enjoy a better experience at matches this season.”

“With live calls from Dave Denholm directly in your ear – it really doesn’t get much better than that.”

FIFA and EA Sports end 30-year deal

As reported by the New York Times on Wednesday, gaming giant EA Sports and world football governing body FIFA have parted ways.

The partnership dated back to 1993, when FIFA International Soccer was launched for the SEGA Genesis.

Their current partnership was set to expire at the conclusion of the Qatar World Cup, with a new deal aiming to branch out into new areas – including NFTs.

It was reported that EA made a ‘significant offer’ for an eight-year exclusivity deal with FIFA for all of its Esports and gaming rights. However, the deal was knocked back, according to Reuters, as FIFA did not want the rights all with one company.

FIFA 23 will be the last game made in collaboration between the two organisations, set to release in late September this year, worldwide.

The FIFA series was estimated at the start of 2021 to have sold over 325 million units, according to ForbesFIFA 18 is the equal 40th highest selling video game of all time, estimated at 24 million units across all platforms.

FIFA confirmed it would still produce video games with third party developers, while EA will rebrand the FIFA series under the title EA Sports FC. The new series would include licensees such as the Premier League and LaLiga, which at this stage has authentic coverage, as all players are face scanned and the full broadcast packages akin to real life are featured in the game.

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