It’s been a couple of years since Cork City topped the table but the club’s fans have stayed loyal and they are in that position this morning in the table of clubs whose fans have paid for the new WatchLOI streaming pass.
The service launched last week and will provide almost all the remaining games in the restarting SSE Airtricity Premier League at a cost of €55 in Ireland, €69 outside of Ireland or €5 game by game.
The difference lies in the games that are being broadcast by eir Sport which are only being put in the bundle if you are out of Ireland. The games that will be shown live on RTÉ are included.
Publishing the table of how many fans have bought so far is a neat trick on the part of the FAI who should generate a bit of competition between the fans who are being encouraged to commit with the games still planned to all go ahead with only 200 individuals including team, players, officials and media in the grounds.
If the service gathers critical mass it could generate substantial returns for the clubs and provide a long term platform for the domestic game to secure revenue streams from fans across Ireland and around the world.
A number of clubs have given access to season ticket holders within the price of their original ticket with Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers the two largest clubs in this regard.
They are still second and third in the list of fans to have signed up with Dundalk trailing in seventh place at the moment.
There are still around 60 hours to go until the first games get underway on Friday night and it has to be hoped that this will prove a winner as it deserves to be.
If fans are apathetic to having the games served up in quality fashion but still pay the same amount each month to see action from the Premier League, then that would dilute much of the confidence and momentum that should be there behind ‘The Greatest League in the World’ We remain confident, even in these very earliest of days.
Watch back our interview yesterday with RTÉ Head of Sport Declan McBennette where we explore the background to the deal and its potential…