So when it was announced last summer that the English Football League would start to allow teams to streaming matches for overseas fans, many fans were excited. Fans from places other than the UK (like many of the writers here at TIAT) would now have an opportunity to follow and watch their favorite team online.
The EFL had set up what it calls the “iFollow” service, which streams matches for all of the teams in the Football League, not the Premier League, and allowed season passes, for up to 46 league matches, for a £110 one-time fee. A few clubs, including Leeds United, Aston Villa, Derby County, Sunderland, and a few others opted out of the iFollow service and launched their own service instead.
Leeds fans were skeptical about LUTV as the service had many problems before this season. In late June, the club announced that LUTV would be streaming live matches to overseas customers, but because of international rights issues, LUTV would not be able to stream any matches that were broadcast on Sky TV in the UK. However, Sky matches are often available overseas, as is the case in the United States, as Sky matches are shown on WatchESPN.com. The draw back to the LUTV service was that there was no season pass available, and that the club would be charging £5 per match to watch the matches.
Sounds great, right?
Why, it never works— Alexander Toon (@AlexanderToon94) October 19, 2017
However, their appears to be trouble in paradise.
Is there ANY support for LUTV?? I have tried EVERY game without succeeding to buy the game from Sweden, anyone???— JS (@jonassjoberg) September 26, 2017
LUTV started off rocky, as some of the preseason matches had issues. The match against Borussia Mönchengladbach was supposed to be broadcast via LUTV, but it never worked. Then against SD Eibar, the club broadcast the match over Facebook, due to the problems it had during the previous preseason match.
The club then charged £1.99 for the final preseason match against Oxford United. It was an unmitigated disaster. Many fans, including the writers at TIAT, were unable to connect and missed much of the match, and the club ended up refunding everyone their money.
1. Apologises to the many fans (including me) whom had troubles to watch the live game on @LUFC APP. Our supplier have big responsabilties..— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) September 12, 2017
2. ..we work to improve continuously the service and we ask them to reimburse tonight s pay per view clients.ps:most important we won again— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) September 12, 2017
I fixed it and could watch the game once I have updated the APP , shame there was no notification on the error to explain how to solve it— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) September 12, 2017
LUTV made its season debut when Leeds took on Preston North End, and again, it was plagued with issues. Since then, the service has improved, but it still has problems including the match against Birmingham when even the owner, Andrea Radrizzani, had trouble using the App to watch the match.
So will the LUTV service improve? Plenty of fans have complained, and even the owner has been disappointed in the service when he’s tried to watch it. The stream has not been in HD and the audio has had issues as well, and that’s just been for customers that have been able to get it to work. A number of fans have reported paying the £5 and getting nothing.
So please, Leeds, get LUTV working 100%. A lot of overseas fans are willing to pay the five quid to watch the team play, but we’ll watch over dodgy streams if the service is poor and doesn’t work. Get it together.