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FAI confirm details of WATCHLOI streaming service ahead of league restart

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The FAI have confirmed the details for the WATCHLOI streaming service. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

The FAI have confirmed the details for the WATCHLOI streaming service. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

The FAI have confirmed the details for the WATCHLOI streaming service. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

The FAI have formally announced details of the streaming service that will broadcast League of Ireland games for the remainder of the season.

Last week, Independent.ie revealed that the Irish football authorities were going to launch the service on the same platform that hosts GAAGO, which is a joint effort between RTE and the GAA.

The FAI's partnership with RTE to show League of Ireland Premier Division games and selected cup matches online has settled on the name WATCHLOI.

As detailed last week, a season pass for customers situated on the island of Ireland costs €55 and excludes the live games on Eir Sport.

The pass for overseas buyers will include the Eir games and is priced at €69 and will include the remaining games in the abridged league season and some cup fixtures.

It has been confirmed that viewers will be able to buy individual passes for games priced at €5.

The Covid-19 situation has made it necessary for the FAI to accelerate plans to trial streaming with the season restarting behind closed doors on Friday week.

Individual clubs have detailed plans to buy the various packages for their season ticket holders as compensation for the fact they won't be able to attend fixtures.

The income generated from the overall project will be divided between the 19 clubs in both divisions even though the First Division will not be shown on the service.

"This is a major moment for the league and a fantastic opportunity to promote an enhance the product," said the FAI's Commercial & Marketing Director Mark Russell.

"Working with RTE Sport and GAAGO will guarantee that we will have a best-in-class product which SSE Airtricity League supporters will be able to enjoy around the world."

RTE's Head of Sport Declan McBennett said: "In these uncertain times, when dedicated fans are unable to attend games in large numbers, we are delighted to bring the games directly to them via WatchLOI.

"This is a chance for the whole of the Irish footballing family to get behind the SSE Airtricity League and lend their support in every way to the clubs as the heartbeat of the association."

The FAI included a list of FAQ ahead of the launch:

  • How much is the FAI making from this?
    • €0, the FAI is covering all production costs and all revenue from the platform will be split between the clubs.
  • I only want to watch my club; can I just buy a club pass?
    • No, currently you can purchase a season pass which will give you access to all league matches shown on the platform or you can purchase access on a match-by-match basis for just €5.
  • Will every league match be shown on the platform?
    • On the Island of Ireland, all matches apart from those shown live on Eir Sport are available via the platform. Outside the Island of Ireland, every match is available.
  • Will the matches that are shown live on EirSport be available to watch in Northern Ireland?
    • Yes, you will be able to watch them via EirSport. They will not be available on WATCHLOI.
  • I am a season ticket holder for my club, do I have to pay?
    • Please contact your club in relation to this.
  • Is the current league fixture list correct?
    • No, the time and day of matches will be reviewed constantly to best suit streaming, live TV and the clubs. Fixtures have been set for the first few weeks and the following weeks will be reviewed in due course.
  • I am not based on the Island of Ireland, do I still pay €55.
    • No, you will pay €69 or $79USD as you will have access to more matches than those in Ireland.
  • How many cameras will be at each game?
    • Unless the match is also being broadcast on TV, there will most likely be one camera at each match, but some games will have a two-camera setup.
  • Who are the commentators?
    • The commentators are being provided by RTÉ and most will be easily recognizable to league fans.
  • Will matches be available for catchup on the platform?
    • Yes all matches will be available until after the end of the season.
  • Can I access my account from any device?
    • Yes
  • Can I watch on mobile?
    • Yes
  • If I live in Ireland and I travel abroad, can I still access my account?
    • Yes, you will have access for what you signed up for.

Online Editors