The Digital Revolution Affecting Live Football

For those of us who love football, to see it on our screens despite the the panemdic we are all dealining with, is just like Christmas (no joke!) Even though the summer period provided us with various tournaments around the world such as the Copa America, UEFA Nations League and the African Cup of Nations – there’s nothing better than having your weekly dose of Premier League or any of league’s football. 

With the rise in online streaming, it’s very easy to access digital entertainment whenever, wherever! It has recently been revealed that Britons have spent an incredible 3.3 billion on digital entertainment, in this half of 2019 alone! The rise and popularity of digital video streaming is unquestionably reaching new heights each year – could it affect live football? Prior to the beginning of the 2019/20 season, Sky announced that fans would be able to watch highlights of all Premier League games (more notably, 3pm kick-offs) on their Sky Football YouTube channel straight after the final whistles. This has left many fans questioning why they are paying for coverage when it is seemingly being broadcast to millions for free. The continuing digital revolution has also threatened to decrease the viewing numbers for fan favourite Saturday night’s: Match of the Day. 

Match of The Day, which has been providing highlights and live games for fans since its first show in 1964, regularly attracts audiences of over 7 million – including BBC iPlayer viewings. Considering the accessibility to football highlights on YouTube, will this affect the demand to watch live football? As part of the movement of digital innovation, the Premier League also introduced VAR at the start of the 2019/20 campaign.The Video Assistant Referee, which has been introduced to help the match referee with decision making with incidents they may have missed in real time; such as a foul or offside decision. Since its introduction, VAR has divided opinion due to the start-stop nature it provides during matches. One thing is for sure: Digital Innovation is making its way in sport.