Good news for all English Football League fans as the EFL is back on Foxtel / Bein Sports as of tomorrow.
You can still read the below moan about how bad the process was, or read our updated bit here – EFL and Bein Sports/Foxtel agree to new broadcast deal.
Happy days ahead.
Enjoy the original article/moan below.
The 2017-2018 EFL Season kicked off last Saturday morning (Oz time) with all three divisions and 72 teams commencing their long 9 month journey over the weekend, not that you would know it with next to no media coverage across Australia and no EFL on BeIN Sports Foxtel or anywhere.
About the only article on the 2017-2018 EFL we saw from an Australian mainstream sports website was our own submission to the Fox Sports Academy on the upcoming Football League season. That’s all right, most mainstream media only care about the EFL when they suddenly wake up to the fact that three of the teams will be in the EPL in April/May next year.
So it was some surprise when there was no early Saturday morning game, or midnight kick off game, or any EFL. And nothing anywhere to why. A bigger surprise given as Foxtel were still advertising the coverage of the EFL and League (insert new sponsor here) Cup in the week leading up to the first weekend.
Have your say….of sorts
With absolutely nothing coming from BeIN Sports, Foxtel or the EFL the only way to get the dribble of information on the subject is through the Foxtel community. And despite growing dissatisfaction still nothing about the falling through of the deal in any official statement.
Appalling that one has to go to a community forum of Foxtel to get any information, of which just one post was from anyone resembling Foxtel – a moderator of the community.
Some may say that who cares it is only second division and beyond, but look through the community and you’ll see a lot of passionate supporters begging for the coverage. And not to forget that the Championship is the sixth best attended league in Europe and is only a few thousand on average crowd behind the all important Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1 where they can spend a small city council budget worth on one player like PSG and Neymar.
So without the prestige of the Italian and French leagues, the EFL TV deal looks like it has fallen through the cracks. Somewhere on the EFL website it had said that negotiations were still ongoing, quality considering the season had already started, and now there seems to be no evidence that anything is pending, and there’s still no coverage.
2016 $4 price increase looks cheeky in Summer
Most Fox Sports fans will remember the recent price hike. It seemed a little excessive, but a shrug of the shoulders followed as most were thankful for the three BeIN Sports channels arriving replacing the vanished EPL.
Here is a quote from Foxtel below at the time for interest.
As the indisputable home of live and uninterrupted sport, our 12 dedicated channels will soon include a channel dedicated to Rugby League from February, 2017. You will also continue to enjoy every game of every round of the NRL, AFL and Super Rugby regular seasons live, as well as every practice, qualifying and race of the Supercars, Formula One and MotoGP seasons live. Plus the best sport from around the world including football, cricket, tennis, cycling, U.S. sports and much more from our world class channels Fox Sports, ESPN, beIN SPORTS and Eurosport. Link.
Whilst the claim of the indisputable home of live and uninterrupted sport is more than justified during the winter with oodles of home grown football (NRL/AFL) and the outstanding Motorsport coverage, the summer series feels just like that which is used on mainstream TV. A period where the broadcaster has basically given up and is throwing anything on to fill the dead air. And after losing EPL and then showing no EFL they will no doubt be struggling to attract too many the sports pack. Link.
And the fact they added the BeIN Sports was to cover the loss of the EPL to Optus. And so their cover is now slightly or in the case of an EFL fan significantly more inferior.
What can you do?
Like most EFL fans who were awaiting the new season of EFL last weekend, we were blindsided by the lack of coverage first and lack of information since, so any option is tentative in the hope that our beloved three tiers of good times returns as in 2016-17, but with bugger all coming from any side of the process it looks less likely by the day that hard working loyal devoted English Football League fans will get anything on Foxtel this season.
You could spend $188 and get almost every game of your club thoughout the season. Except for the ones that are broadcast on the equivalent of BeIN Sport around the world. For clubs like Leeds, Nottingham Forest and the fallen EPL sides that $188 represents pretty ordinary value as they are likely to get 10 or more TV.
You could wait and see what the repsonse is from Foxtel or BeIN sports and hope that it is all worked out in time to see some EFL 2017-2018.
You could look for slightly less known or legal ways of streaming. But streaming is streaming and none of them are the same as sitting back and watching it on a big TV.
And not only for your own club, a lot of EFL fans are genuinely interested in other team and love the overall packages of the games, that was the beauty of the BeIN Sports deal, you got a handful of games each week so could keep an eye on the entire comp, the EFL $188 deal only has your club. Which is great if all you wish to do i see your team, but the sports nerds here and everywhere will want to see as many of the clubs as possible. Those mad gambling types too, checking their multis at 2am with muted hopes.
One thing lost in the threats of quitting Fox Sports on the above Foxtel Community discussion about the 2017-2017 EFL is that it is not only the $29 a month they would lose with the cancellation of a Fox Sports pack, or the overall Foxtel package, there is also the competitive Internet providing market. With NBN being rolled out across the country, UK Football fans who held on to Foxtel due to the joy of having at least the EFL might say to themselves, I may as well sign up for Optus and get the EPL as well.
That means it is not just the $29 for Sports they’d lose, add the overall packages (min $25) and no Internet provider supply ($60-$100 per month). So although the numbers might be small if you look on the discussion board, Foxtel could be losing $150 per month per EFL football fan. Judging by the sentiment, that is likely to happen. And they may be surprised many people love the EFL in Australia.
So for now it is back to the days of refreshing BBC Sport live scores tab, or one of the many excellent Apps for phones. At least it is a step on the real olden days when you would only find out about your team when the local newspaper printed the Football League tables in their Monday sports results.
But why should we have to settle? Why can’t we just have what we had last year. At a minimum.
And if it isn’t going to happen, which it looks likely that it isn’t, then why not at least Foxtel, BeIn Sports or the EFL themselves step up and announce something or take some accountability.
In the meantime us EFL fans get nothing for the season ahead. Which is what Foxtel BeIn Sports might get in return and deserve given the effort on this so far for 2017-2018.
Three games have been completed in this years EFL Championship and finally a reply from someone at Foxtel.
The link is below for your further reading, but they advise that it is still in negotiations.
The positive is that it hasn’t been officially ruled out yet. The down side is that it may never happen anyway, and given the appalling customer service from Foxtel BeIn Sports and their early season silence showing they don’t really care, who knows how long it will take to officially tell us.
At least they know that people care about the EFL now, we just need them to care about us.
But, we have now passed four of the 46 games, plus two rounds of the League Cup, and the best that any party involved in the rights can do is the occasional post from a forum moderator.
The few English football fans that have hung around on Foxtel will probably bugger off, and for all Foxtel know it may be the way this has played out rather than the actual loss of the rights that will keep them away.
Further Reading from us…