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FAI abandons streaming season passes to protect match attendances

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has ditched its season pass option for its LOI TV streaming service, in order to protect match attendances during the forthcoming 2022 season. 

Matches across the Premier Division, First Division and Women’s National League during the 2022 season – which begins this month – will still be available to watch on the platform, but must be paid for individually. Previously, football fans were able to pay for games in bulk, making the price per match cheaper. 

Premier Division fixtures will be available to stream for €7 (£6/$8) while First Division games will cost €5. Women’s National League games are free to watch upon registration.

League of Ireland director Mark Scanlon told The 42 at the media launch: “First and foremost the most important thing was to keep LOI TV. 

“This was a commitment that we wanted to make because last season it really helped to increase the exposure of the brand of the League in conjunction with the clubs. It took a lot of hard work because there was a big cost to develop it with the clubs stepping up to the plate to help us with the productions and the commentary. We introduced a lot of new commentators and co-commentators.”

The FAI decided to move on from the bulk-buying option as the organisation believed it would affect fans buying season tickets to attend games regularly. 

Scanlon added: “It was something that we really wanted to keep. When we spoke to the clubs at the backend of last season it was a matter of trying to get the right model to get fans back to attend games. 

“This was important – we want LOI TV to be there and all games to be accessible to people which we have provided and I think is quite unique. If you look at most leagues, you won’t see a situation where every game will be available live, particularly domestically. So, we have been able to provide that. The season pass would obviously discourage people buying season tickets for their clubs and possibly hit attendances.”

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