Leeds United announced today that the remaining friendlies in Austria will be live-streamed via LUTV, free to subscribers.
Watch #LUFC's pre-season matches with @Borussia and @SDEibar live on LUTV this week. Find out more at https://t.co/qrpk3HbSKP pic.twitter.com/XTIPrFmbS4— Leeds United (@LUFC) July 18, 2017
The overwhelming desire for fans to be able to see the matches in Austria is evident by the lengths to which fans went to try and view the match against Bursaspor yesterday. Not only were fans logging onto the YouTube channel of Bursaspor, completely catching the team and the Turkish club off-guard. UEFA stepped in and ruined the fun for fans of both teams, shutting off the stream after about 10 minutes.
"What did you get knicked for?"— Daryl (@Dazelar29) July 17, 2017
4 counts of murder, you?
"I filmed a pre-season friendly between Bursaspor and Leeds United"#lufc
Many fans then resorted to “watching” the game via a periscope stream of a dedicated fan streaming the match from his phone, until he was shut down. While it is hopeful that the whole scheme was an attempt to bring Turkish football fans together with Leeds United fans in hatred of a common enemy, UEFA, that’s giving them far too much credit.
The reason for the broadcast ban is Leeds United officials have not received the necessary permits from UEFA.— Bursasporum.com (@Bursasporumcom) July 17, 2017
The team seems to have learned from the “mistake” of not having a way for fans to see or hear the match live. While the match against Bursaspor was supposed to be a “closed training match”, once the word hit social media, that effort was obviously blown to shreds. If thousands of fans are searching twitter looking for ways to view a training match that is taking place somewhere in either Austria or Italy, it’s a good sign that demand for streaming exists.
Leeds fans are excited about the new season, the new coach, and the new players. The ownership has taken steps to bring the club back to previous heights, and learning from mistakes is part of the experience. Rather than double-down on efforts to prevent fans that couldn’t travel to Austria to not see the matches, Leeds has found a (legal) way for fans to view the games. And also sell some streaming ads.
So sit back on Thursday and watch the Borussia Mönchengladbach and Eibar games from your couch this week, and you don’t even have to search the dodgy streaming sites for your feed or have your periscope feed interrupted by some guy threatening to call the cops.