Is Live Streaming Games Good for Fans?

Fikayo Tomori Kurt Zouma Antonio Rudiger
GETTY IMAGES SPORT – MICHAEL REGAN

Did anyone watch the game against Villa on Amazon Prime? Early reports on the quality of the live stream have been mixed. For many of the games that were streamed live there seems to have been a slight delay which means live scores arrived to phones before the action took place on the live stream. 

Of course, it’s early days for streaming in the Premier League, so it remains to be seen what happens about quality and availability over time. There are definitely questions to be answered about whether live streaming all games is good for fans or not. Let’s start by asking, why live stream anyway?

The benefit of a live stream 

Live streaming is not a new thing, although it has become more popular recently. It’s already commonplace in the US where the NFL even has its own Game Pass that fans can subscribe to. Outside of sport, live streaming is everywhere.  Gamers make millions by live streaming their play on Facebook and YouTube. Online casinos like NetEnt have got in on the action too. They are competing with traditional gambling by live streaming casino games and sports events. 

There is no doubt that live streaming has its benefits. It brings the live action to more people, wherever they are. It was only ever going to be a matter of time before mass live streaming arrived in football in the UK. Although, it remains to be seen how popular it will be.

Is live streaming good for Chelsea fans? 

The fans are divided over whether live streaming all games is a good thing or not. For Chelsea, it happened against Villa and it will happen again against Southampton on Boxing Day and Brighton on New Year’s Day. It’s a good thing that people have access to the game. It’s a long way from the free access that is being touted though. 

The Boxing Day games are being streamed by Amazon again, which means that you need to pay for a Prime account, unless you are one of the few people that has not taken advantage of their 30 days free yet. The New Year game is being streamed by BT which means a subscription to BT sport is needed. 

Of course, this is still way cheaper than paying out around £900 or more for a season ticket for Stamford Bridge; a cost that many supporters cannot afford. Amazon Prime is also more affordable than a full TV sports subscription package. Maybe live streaming is the next best thing to going to the game. 

On the other hand, Chelsea fans can simply carry on with a TV subscription, or watch the team in the pub, when they are on. It’s early days for mass live streaming yet. It’s too soon to say what choice fans will make. Given the rise in fortunes of the club recently, maybe fans will want to catch more of the action. They may be willing to pay for live streaming on an ongoing basis, should it become available. It will be interesting to see what the future brings.