3pm TV Blackout Survey Results

Report to Football Supporters Association (FSA) & MSF Members

Date: 5th September 2021 


Title: Feedback on the reinstatement of 3pm live streaming for  shielding fans. 

Report of Middlesbrough Supporters Forum (MSF) 

Status: For Information 

Background to the survey 

Now that fans are able to go back to stadiums, the 3pm TV blackout has been reinstated.  This has been an important safeguard to protect live attendance at matches up and down the  pyramid. However some fans do not yet feel confident, for covid reasons to return to the  stadoum even a few cases when they have bought a season ticket. 

These supporters would like to be able to pay for a live stream to watch Saturday 3pm kick offs again, as they did in the last ‘behind closed doors’ season. 

Middlesbrough Supporters Forum (MSF) conducted a quick online survey, sharing the survey  link via social media and fans forums. They created the survey using Survey Monkey, and  kept it open for 2 days. 

The results are as follows (107 responses)

Supporter comments received 

Supporter 1 

’The Saturday 3pm Blackout encourages streaming and has no place in times like  today where technology has advanced significantly since the ’60s when it was first  introduced. It would work then, but it certainly doesn’t now. Leagues, clubs and  broadcasters will keep losing millions of pounds in revenue as long as that archaic rule  is still in existence. 

Supporter 2 

While I agree with the principle of the 3pm blackout unless the covid situation gets  significantly worse. However, in the long term would like to see if geography can be  taken into account. Can fans who live a significant distance away have the facility to  watch the streaming (at a price) on the clubs streaming service. This would also allow  fans who live away to financially support the club. 

Supporter 3 

Enable games to be shown “as live” on streaming platforms from 5pm. If the blackout  is removed, it should not cover games on Sky TV etc, only on streaming platforms  provided by clubs, not be available in pubs and protect the matchday ticket price (i.e. not made more appealing to stream). Treat the EFL (and possibly even leagues within  that differently to the Premier League. For me it is important to have fans at matches,  and it is worth bearing in mind that in the depths of winter, if a game is available on  Saturday and the weather forecast looks particularly poor, people will opt for warmth  and dry. 

Supporter 4 

Fans who can’t attend games – either due to location or not being able to afford a ticket  – should be able to stream the games live. It’s income that the club wouldn’t normally  receive. 

Supporter 5 

Streaming is inclusive of all fans in all walks of life. As long as people are paying for it  then what is the issue. Society is supposed to be about inclusion 

Supporter 6

Not all fans live local to the team they support or have ability to travel 250-300 miles  round trips every week. 

Supporter 7 

I live many miles from the club I support, and the driving makes it impossible for  someone of my age. I want to financially support my home time club and would pay  for the privilege of live streaming 

Supporter 8 

I live 2 hours’ drive from the ground, I will still attend matches when I can because its  better, but why shouldn’t I be able to watch matches online when i cannot attend, when  other abroad can do? 

Supporter 9 

Showing all games at 3pm will not affect football gates or revenues Serous football  fans will want to attend every game in the stadium to experience the whole atmosphere  Some fans who are too ill or infirm will get great comfort from being able to experience  the match day experience from their sofas and give them the same excitement as if  they were in the ground 

Supporter 10 

I think streamed Saturday games should be available at the same cost as a match day  tickets. Receipts should be allocated on the same basis as actual match receipts with  the home team receiving receipts up to a maximum of the away capacity 

Supporter 11 

I attend all home games as a season ticket holder, last season I watched all the away  games as well through the live streaming. I would be happy to pay for these games as  well if they were to be made available 

Supporter 12 

We have been isolating since last February. My wife is having medical treatment and  is very vulnerable to infection. No possibility of me attending any event where my  health and therefore her health could be compromised.

Supporter 13 

Increase the price to say £20 to non-season ticket holders, keep the price at a nominal  £1 for season ticket holders. Away games could be charged at £10. All money could  go into a central pool and divided equally between all the clubs at the end of the season 

Supporter 14 

I would suggest that streaming should only be available to people who are willing to  buy either a home season ticket or “home and away” season ticket. 

Supporter 15 

I attend games with my very elderly relative. He is double jabbed and confident to be  around people however is 86, struggles to walk far, has Alzheimer’s, is more  comfortable in his own home to get to the toilet quickly etc. but would never ever not  want to see his beloved Boro. I was lucky enough to throughout lockdown be a carer  for said relative and spent many a cold afternoon / evening sat in his house watching  the streams. Going back has highlighted the new burden we have to physically get  him there. Walking back to the car after the last game he said to me he much preferred  watching the games on TV at home. Maybe it had become a habit but such a shame  there aren’t any options for UK fans who are in similar positions. We’d still pay the  same if the option was there to sometimes stop in and watch it 

Supporter 16 

Also make it available for disabled supporters of clubs who can’t make it to grounds 

Supporter 17 

Blackout is outdated now. If I’m going to the match, I’ll go regardless of television  coverage 

Supporter 18 

The cost should be high enough to recompense the club for lost revenue 

Supporter 19 

More competitive ticket pricing (twenty is plenty – home and away) is the key to  increasing attendances, not the blackout. That said, home season ticket holders  should be the only ones to be able to buy home streaming passes

Supporter 20 

The attendance doesn’t seem to be greatly impacted midweek by a stream being  available and it allows an additional revenue stream for the club from supporters who  cannot attend or cannot afford to attend. 

Supporter 21 

I am a season ticket holder but wary of returning to games. 

Supporter 22 

As a disabled person away days are out of the question for me. 

Supporter 23 

We have season tickets but have not yet attended due to covid rates 

Supporter 24 

Most people can pick up an illegal stream from foreign broadcast now anyway.