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Colchester chairman statement re ifollow

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psgmariner
September 22, 2020, 7:02am

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https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2020/september/club-statement/

Interesting about the money from the first 500 going to the home team. Rightly or wrongly I think this puts Town in quite a good position compared to others. So long as fans are buying the legal stream.


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Sandford1981
September 22, 2020, 7:46am
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Given how important revenue is currently, surely the club in conjunction with the telegraph and or other media outlets and platforms, could run a story and/or campaign complete with instructions on how, to muster up as many fans as possible taking up passes for our games.


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prestonmariner
September 22, 2020, 8:18am
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Sorry if i've missed this somewhere, but we do have any idea how many passes have been sold for our games so far?


UTM
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pen penfras
September 22, 2020, 8:23am

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Quoted from psgmariner
https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2020/september/club-statement/

Interesting about the money from the first 500 going to the home team. Rightly or wrongly I think this puts Town in quite a good position compared to others. So long as fans are buying the legal stream.


Some interesting things in there.

I'd have thought a percentage of the away bought passes going to the away team would be more fair than the first 500. But I suppose most teams won't have more than 500 viewers anyway. How does this work with things like Salford doing it a different way?

They started selling season tickets much later than us. Shows how it's not just us that's struggling to keep up with the changing environment.

Their fans seem to have taken a lot more refunds than ours. How much did we refund? It does seem like our fans were a lot better than most other clubs in this regard.
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Grantham_Mariner
September 22, 2020, 8:23am

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So how does this work with teams like Salford who are not on iFollow and show games at £5 on YouTube?


For instance last Saturday we get all the revenue from home iFollow, but if Salford sold 1000 on their YouTube chanel do we get anything or do they keep the lot?
When we go to Salford do we keep all the iFollow money as they are not on it?


If the football is bad you can always watch the gulls.
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brigg_mariner
September 22, 2020, 8:59am
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Quite a few of the IPTV dodgy servers have been blocked by ISP's this weekend as well so that should push more people to paying their £10's.


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marinerdazza
September 22, 2020, 9:14am
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I’ve worked out that I’ll be spending far more on iFollow than I would on two season tickets (1 adult, 1 child). I can’t be the only one. And given that Gove has just confirmed that a return to grounds isn’t going to happen anytime soon, this is going to be a season of financial survival, nothing more. I’m pretty sure that leagues one and two will be a bloodbath and unrecognisable next year.
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ginnywings
September 22, 2020, 9:38am

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I was going to start a thread on this subject.

If anyone from the club is reading this, then i would like to make a suggestion that you get your act together with regard to the ifollow streams. I don't know who is ultimately responsible for the output, but every game brings new issues, and apologies from all quarters. It's not good enough and you are losing out on valuable income.

Myself and others would gladly pay the match pass fee for games if the quality wasn't so hit and miss. It has been said by more than one person i have spoken to that they have found great difficulty getting a stable, quality stream, and when they do, there are other issues around the commentary. Given that you can get a top quality 24 hour sport pass for Sky, that gives all sport channels on multiple devices for the price of £9.99, you have some serious competition.

If the service becomes stable and easy to access, you could recoup a lot of the match day income you are currently losing. At the moment, it is just not worth a tenner and there are plenty of people saying the same.
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pen penfras
September 22, 2020, 11:18am

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Quoted from ginnywings
I was going to start a thread on this subject.

If anyone from the club is reading this, then i would like to make a suggestion that you get your act together with regard to the ifollow streams. I don't know who is ultimately responsible for the output, but every game brings new issues, and apologies from all quarters. It's not good enough and you are losing out on valuable income.

Myself and others would gladly pay the match pass fee for games if the quality wasn't so hit and miss. It has been said by more than one person i have spoken to that they have found great difficulty getting a stable, quality stream, and when they do, there are other issues around the commentary. Given that you can get a top quality 24 hour sport pass for Sky, that gives all sport channels on multiple devices for the price of £9.99, you have some serious competition.

If the service becomes stable and easy to access, you could recoup a lot of the match day income you are currently losing. At the moment, it is just not worth a tenner and there are plenty of people saying the same.


I know a lot of people are saying this, so there must be something to it, but I've watched the last 3 matches on a 32 inch tv with near HD quality, no buffering issues, just the audio issue that was on the radio too. It has been like this for every match over the last couple of seasons.

Maybe my connection is better, or something else is going on, but for me, the quality is very good
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diehardmariner
September 22, 2020, 11:27am
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It's too hit and miss for too many people.

I watched the game on Saturday, hard wired from my router and it was fine until about the 70 minute mark and then it buffered a few times.  Audio was fine but pictures paused and had to be manually paused and restarted.  It's not a major issue, but it is enough to put people off.

Let's completely take the fact that it's a tenner in the clubs pocket out the equation.  In any single form of comparison it's not great value.  You're paying £10 for 90 minutes entertainment that's basically one camera angle, commentary that's ported over from the local BBC radio station and little else.  You compare that to, as previously mentioned, what you can get for a tenner with Sky/BT etc.  even compare it to Amazon Prime or Netflix.  Prime probably the better comparison as they do live sport now.

The clubs need to collectively lobby iFollow to make the service better, it's that simple.  This quite simply is their income stream for the immediate future.  They can't afford to offer a substandard service.
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toontown
September 22, 2020, 12:16pm
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And on top of the issues mentioned was the wrong instructions, broken links and very poorly designed website.  I persevered with it but it was really  annoying and in any other context I would have just said sod it. The club no doubt losing money from this too.

The club really has to get it's act together on this.
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toontown
September 22, 2020, 12:33pm
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Looks like they ended up refunding the vast majority to fans at Colchester, whereas most of our fans let the club keep the money didn't they? Some sobering figures in there finance wise if you are a Colchester fan. Wonder what sort of money town are raising in terms of I follow sales.
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NorthLondonMariner
September 22, 2020, 12:41pm
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Quoted from pen penfras


I know a lot of people are saying this, so there must be something to it, but I've watched the last 3 matches on a 32 inch tv with near HD quality, no buffering issues, just the audio issue that was on the radio too. It has been like this for every match over the last couple of seasons.

Maybe my connection is better, or something else is going on, but for me, the quality is very good


Same for me. have watched every game on a 32inch TV via HDMI cable from my laptop and have had no issues at all.
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mimma
September 22, 2020, 1:01pm
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Why are people blaming the club? Surely all the issues mentioned are down to Ifollow which is out of the control of the club.
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Masirah Mariner
September 22, 2020, 1:06pm
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Interesting to read other people’s experiences and opinions on iFollow. As an overseas user for 3 years, the season pass price has gone up from £110 for 18-19 & 19-20 to the current price of £140 for the 20-21 season. That’s a little over 27% increase for this year, but no complaints from me. Times are crazy right now.

Over those 3 years I’ve only had one or two issues around login and do recall the radio coverage dropping out several times, but I accept that it is what it is. From my perspective, It was a streaming service set up for a limited set of overseas club supporters that’s having to rapidly adapt and grow to support an unpredictable and inconsistent market. Comparison with Boxing Day Amazon Prime premier league coverage is like comparing apples and pears when we consider target audience and finance.

Shame to hear fellow fans have had frustrating experiences recently but iFollow has kept me sane the last few years, even if some of the games have been painful to watch. I’ve found the live chat on the iFollow tab through the GTFC OS was always helpful.

I’d appreciate our board making a similar statement / comment to help clarify and understand the clubs position on iFollow. Do our overseas season passes also count towards the 500 home fans referenced etc.

UTM
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WayneBurnettsJockstrap
September 22, 2020, 1:24pm

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Quoted from Masirah Mariner
As an overseas user for 3 years, the season pass price has gone up from £110 for 18-19 & 19-20 to the current price of £140 for the 20-21 season. That’s a little over 27% increase for this year, but no complaints from me. Times are crazy right now.


Does the overseas pass just include the home games or all the away games too?


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pen penfras
September 22, 2020, 1:25pm

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Quoted from Masirah Mariner
Interesting to read other people’s experiences and opinions on iFollow. As an overseas user for 3 years, the season pass price has gone up from £110 for 18-19 & 19-20 to the current price of £140 for the 20-21 season. That’s a little over 27% increase for this year, but no complaints from me. Times are crazy right now.

Over those 3 years I’ve only had one or two issues around login and do recall the radio coverage dropping out several times, but I accept that it is what it is. From my perspective, It was a streaming service set up for a limited set of overseas club supporters that’s having to rapidly adapt and grow to support an unpredictable and inconsistent market. Comparison with Boxing Day Amazon Prime premier league coverage is like comparing apples and pears when we consider target audience and finance.

Shame to hear fellow fans have had frustrating experiences recently but iFollow has kept me sane the last few years, even if some of the games have been painful to watch. I’ve found the live chat on the iFollow tab through the GTFC OS was always helpful.

I’d appreciate our board making a similar statement / comment to help clarify and understand the clubs position on iFollow. Do our overseas season passes also count towards the 500 home fans referenced etc.

UTM


Does that £140 include watching all games live? Home and away? If so, that's absolutely peanuts and imo is very cheap. When you compare it to £460 to watch every league game this season from the UK, it is actually quite baffling why your price is so cheap. Apologies if it doesn't include the matches, but I was fairly sure it does...
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Masirah Mariner
September 22, 2020, 1:41pm
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It includes all League 2 games for Town, home and away. We get BBC Humberside audio for the cup matches - no video streams.

Not sure what offers are available to UK viewers, but it’s something that the board should consider (perhaps collectively with other teams and leagues), following the recent government announcement not to allow fans just yet. Anything to help the clubs finances.

UTM
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arryarryarry
September 22, 2020, 1:45pm
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Quoted from toontown
And on top of the issues mentioned was the wrong instructions, broken links and very poorly designed website.  I persevered with it but it was really  annoying and in any other context I would have just said sod it. The club no doubt losing money from this too.

The club really has to get it's act together on this.


I don't think the club have much control or even any over IFollow.
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diehardmariner
September 22, 2020, 3:05pm
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Quoted from Masirah Mariner
Interesting to read other people’s experiences and opinions on iFollow. As an overseas user for 3 years, the season pass price has gone up from £110 for 18-19 & 19-20 to the current price of £140 for the 20-21 season. That’s a little over 27% increase for this year, but no complaints from me. Times are crazy right now.

Over those 3 years I’ve only had one or two issues around login and do recall the radio coverage dropping out several times, but I accept that it is what it is. From my perspective, It was a streaming service set up for a limited set of overseas club supporters that’s having to rapidly adapt and grow to support an unpredictable and inconsistent market. Comparison with Boxing Day Amazon Prime premier league coverage is like comparing apples and pears when we consider target audience and finance.

Shame to hear fellow fans have had frustrating experiences recently but iFollow has kept me sane the last few years, even if some of the games have been painful to watch. I’ve found the live chat on the iFollow tab through the GTFC OS was always helpful.

I’d appreciate our board making a similar statement / comment to help clarify and understand the clubs position on iFollow. Do our overseas season passes also count towards the 500 home fans referenced etc.

UTM


Sorry but I disagree, the comparisons are fair.

More than ever, people are tightening their belts. Decisions were made before of 'do I have this, or this?' but even more so at the minute.

The comparisons are relevant because if the option is of £10 on the unpredictable iFollow game or a weekend pass for Sky Sports, eventually the good will for those purchasing iFollow is going to fade away.

Let's say on an average month Town will play 6 games, especially once we get into the nitty gritty of this season.  That's £60 a month for six games.  I'm pretty sure if you shopped around you could get Sky Sports, BT Sports and your Amazon Prime package for a month at that price.  Let's face it, that's every Premier League game played.  Plus whatever else you're going to get on those platforms.

I take your point about the intended audience but that intended audience has adjusted.  It's no longer hoping to capture the small number of non UK residents.  It's a capture all approach and the only likely source of matchday income all clubs are going to have this season.  It's not enough to approach a 2020 problem with a 2010 solution.  Other clubs who aren't in the iFollow umbrella seem to have done quite well with their streaming platforms.  Back end of last season I saw clubs as low down as the Conference North and South doing their own streams.

The really sad thing is that unless the product is bullet proof, people won't continue to pay the tenner for it.  They'll either get it through IPTV sources (no income for the club) or just lose faith altogether and take their money elsewhere (no income for the club + potentially decrease of fan base).

This isn't a dig at GTFC.  I think they're probably as frustrated with the service as some of us are.  But the Football League need to enforce that a better platform is provided.
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Morris Minor
September 22, 2020, 3:33pm
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Brigg_Mariner states quite a few of the IPTV dodgy servers have been blocked by ISP's this weekend as well so that should push more people to paying their £10.

Blocked? Really, don't think they can as most of the 'good' IPTV servers are protected anyway.
But good look with that if it's true. May put a few more quid into the club for the club.

  
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ginnywings
September 22, 2020, 4:13pm

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The club may well have no control of the output, but they need to get onto iFollow, as do all clubs and say that as things stand, they need to up their game, as potential vital earnings are being lost. I'm assuming the clubs can opt in or out of iFollow, so they have a bargaining chip to twist their arms.

Apart from this season, where streaming is going to be vital to the clubs finances, it's clear that streaming is going to be a growing area in the future, even when/if things get back to normal.

As it stands it's clearly not worth a tenner for what you get compared to other services out there. It's unique in that it serves a small market of fans only interested in each individual club, and they are prepared to pay for a match pass because of that reason, so will put up with it not being super HD, with multiple camera angles and "expert" analysis. However, it needs to be simple to understand, simple to log on and the stream needs to be stable. There are a few clubs down the pyramid who are doing this themselves and doing a far better job of it than iFollow.

As the film says, "If you build it, they will come"
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Stadium
September 22, 2020, 4:58pm
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Quoted from brigg_mariner
Quite a few of the IPTV dodgy servers have been blocked by ISP's this weekend as well so that should push more people to paying their £10's.


The PL blocking order was renewed in the high court for the upcoming season.
Most IPTV suppliers advise the use of VPN's which nullifies the ISP providers action.














“It’s really difficult isn’t it when the Prime Minister says ‘I might not do that’, and he’s got a Grimsby hat on. Sort your life out Boris!

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toontown
September 22, 2020, 6:09pm
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Quoted from arryarryarry


I don't think the club have much control or even any over IFollow.


I'm not on about the service I follow provide I was talking about the instructions on the gtfc website, and the links on the gtfc website.
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Heisenberg
September 22, 2020, 7:51pm
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Quoted from toontown


I'm not on about the service I follow provide I was talking about the instructions on the gtfc website, and the links on the gtfc website.


Yeah, they do leave a lot to be desired.
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GrimRob
September 22, 2020, 8:31pm

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For years the clubs have had an incentive to make their Ifollow coverage adequate but not too good. That's because they feared not unreasonably that some fans would stay away if it were too good. Now they have the opposite problem and it will take a while for the tech to catch up to what it needs to be. Longer term they have a real problem if the quality does improve will they be able to entice people back to the ground? I am sure we all know people who "support" fashionable teams and know every player and watch every interview but would never dream of going. The sport is at a massive crossroads for sure.


'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  
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arryarryarry
September 22, 2020, 10:31pm
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Quoted from toontown


I'm not on about the service I follow provide I was talking about the instructions on the gtfc website, and the links on the gtfc website.


"And on top of the issues mentioned was the wrong instructions, broken links and very poorly designed website."

Everytime I have used the service I haven't had a problem choosing the game or watching it via a PC linked by an hdmi cable to a 32" TV.
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