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Income From Streaming


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Colchester United Chairman Robbie Cowling has issued the following statement:

I hope everyone is keeping well and enjoying the new season.

The early fixtures have certainly been tough with three consecutive away trips and then our first home fixture against Bolton. However, we’ve had a pleasing start in the league with four points and two clean sheets from our first two games.

 

In terms of fans watching the game, I think the EFL have created a great product and the revenue it is generating is gratefully received. It’s small amounts of income at the moment but I’m optimistic that more of you will want to follow the team both home and away as you discover just how good the streaming option is.

And remember we are back to the broadcast quality cameras now, not the analysis cameras we had to use for the first two pre-season fixtures.

Streaming Revenues
The way it works currently is that the home team keep all of the revenue for the tickets they sell through their own website and they also get the revenue for the first 500 that buy via the away team. For example: for Saturday’s game against Bolton, we sold 452 iFollow passes, (so we keep all of the revenue from those), and Bolton sold 2252 iFollow passes, (of which we get the revenue from the first 500).

This has put a very new aspect on the revenue that is available to clubs this season. Bolton made more money in gate receipts from our home fixture than we did because they had the revenue from 1,752 iFollow passes whereas we had the revenue from 952 iFollow passes. In normal times, we would have expected about £54,000 in home gate receipts from this fixture but we will receive just shy of £8,000, whereas Bolton would have expected about £600 for the 5% commission we pay them but will have received about £14,000 more than that.

We sold just over 300 streams for the away game against Bradford, so we earnt £0.00 for that away game and I expect that to be the case for every away game this season. So based on twenty three away games, Bolton look set to receive about £345,000 from the streaming of their away games this season whilst we can look forward to approximately £0.00.

Perhaps these facts might help some of you that think we should still be in the Championship understand what we are up against.

Club United
Club United will be launched this Wednesday on September 23rd and as it currently stands, 309 fans have contributed £11,322.60 of funds and those who have contributed will be able to determine how they want it to be spent.

To get the ball rolling, I’ve added a project to buy Eddie a new costume and I’ve kick started that project with a pledge of £50 of my own money. I’m sure those fans who have funds allocated to Club United will be able to think of much better projects to spend their funds on but I’ve added this by way of an example project and because Eddie wants to look his best when he does finally return.

To see how it works, simply log into your account at www.colutickets.com this Wednesday. Those of you that have contributed to the Club United fund will be able to create a project or pledge some of your own funds to the project that I created. Those of you that haven’t, will be able to view the current projects, add funds and then create your own projects or pledge your funds to the particular project that you want to support.

Anyone can add funds and anyone with funds can create a project. This could be a really good method for fan involvement and we are keen to make it work, so please give us as much feedback as possible.

Attending Future Games
As I reported in my last statement, the work involved in getting crowds back in to stadiums is enormous and it could be in vain for a few more games if drastic steps are taken by the Government in the next few days to halt what appears to be a second wave of infections. The measures we are taking are very strict, so I believe our stadium will be extremely safe even if there is a general increase in the risk of the virus spreading.

Season Permits were only on sale for a couple of days before the details of the potential second wave were all over the news, so you can imagine what that has done to sales. We had sold 448 in the first two days but then just 92 since. Giving us a current total of 540.

We are still working towards opening the stadium from October and we are likely to be restricted to 1,000 attendees for the first match against Oldham on October 3rd. We will be restricting that game to season permit holders only and that will be the case even if the number of season permits is less than 1,000. We will have to test every aspect of the stadium being open to fans and the first time we do it, we will want to make sure we are on the right track with the season permits.

Once we have that working as planned, we will start to sell the Multi-Match Permits and hopefully that one game against Oldham will give us the confidence to make it available before the Forest Green game on October 20th. Our plan to launch a single match permit may need to wait a bit longer. Hopefully not.

Refunds
We have currently refunded £110,416.90 and £26,817.28 has remained within the club for the time being, with £15,442.94 being transferred to Privilege Cards and £11,374.34 being transferred to Club United.

Other Matters
I contacted our MP, Will Quince, to explain what the club is doing to get fans back into the stadium and how important it is for us to do so. Will has been very supportive and plans to visit the stadium shortly to see for himself the extraordinary measures we are taking to make attending games safe.

Getting fans into stadiums could be the difference between clubs surviving or failing, so getting MPs like Will Quince on board could be vital for football and not Just Colchester United. We’ve lost Bury and Macclesfield and we don’t want to lose any more clubs.

With regards to the playing squad, we are still in the same position with bringing in any new players. We have no available budget unless someone leaves and as it stands, we don’t particularly want to lose anyone of the current squad. Luckily Jevani, Paris and Noah feel like three new signings and the youth players that have stepped up like Marley, Sammie and Miquel are also great additions. Meantime, our recruitment department is making sure they are ready to spend any money that might become available as effectively as possible.

Because Bristol City sold Sammie Szmodics for a small profit, we will receive a percentage of that profit over the next few transfer windows but that will only be spent when we receive it and we haven’t received anything yet. There are no guarantees that any of it will be spent on the playing budget when it does come in because the salary capping system that was introduced recently does not allow the cap to be raised for clubs that receive such income.

So Finally
It been a good start to our league campaign, but I wouldn’t have gotten too downbeat about a lesser start so I won’t get too upbeat about the start we have just had.

What does excite me though is the way that all of the staff at the club have risen to the challenges that the awful virus has thrust upon us and simply got on with doing the very best they can do for Colchester United in its time of most need. It’s impossible to visit a single part of our club and not witness the brilliant attitude of everyone involved. The directors, the coaches, the players and every other member of staff involved at the club. All brilliant.

Up the Us
Robbie

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Just now, Davefevs said:

Saw that on Twitter earlier...great transparency.

I can why some owners weren’t in favour of the different models in Lg1 and Lg2.  Lg1 based on estimate away attendance I think, Lg2 based on 500 cap.

Agree, it was great to see such transparency 

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17 minutes ago, phantom said:

Agree, it was great to see such transparency 

Do we have any idea what cut we are getting given that we are outside of the iFollow circle. I know that we are still related to iFollow (for example RobinsTV cannot be cheaper than the iFollow equivalent) but are we still party to the "500" rule re the "gate receipts" or do we, for example, bank 100% of our own streaming sales?

I don't expect you to know, nor do I expect the club to ever show as much transparency as the ColU chairman has, but it does make me wonder.

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3 minutes ago, ExiledAjax said:

Do we have any idea what cut we are getting given that we are outside of the iFollow circle. I know that we are still related to iFollow (for example RobinsTV cannot be cheaper than the iFollow equivalent) but are we still party to the "500" rule re the "gate receipts" or do we, for example, bank 100% of our own streaming sales?

I don't expect you to know, nor do I expect the club to ever show as much transparency as the ColU chairman has, but it does make me wonder.

The only thing I know if the away fans numbers changed the higher the league. 

If nothing else it would be interesting to see what was agreed higher up the ladder 

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24 minutes ago, ExiledAjax said:

Do we have any idea what cut we are getting given that we are outside of the iFollow circle. I know that we are still related to iFollow (for example RobinsTV cannot be cheaper than the iFollow equivalent) but are we still party to the "500" rule re the "gate receipts" or do we, for example, bank 100% of our own streaming sales?

I don't expect you to know, nor do I expect the club to ever show as much transparency as the ColU chairman has, but it does make me wonder.

No, the 500 rule is Lg2, estimated away Gate is Lg1....I believe Champ is home club gets the lot for a Saturday, and for midweek you get what your club sells.  Happy to be corrected.

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7 hours ago, Davefevs said:

No, the 500 rule is Lg2, estimated away Gate is Lg1....I believe Champ is home club gets the lot for a Saturday, and for midweek you get what your club sells.  Happy to be corrected.

Pretty sure you are correct Dave. I read somewhere that home club keeps the lot. Seems the fairest way to do it in my opinion.

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6 hours ago, Sir Geoff said:

Pretty sure you are correct Dave. I read somewhere that home club keeps the lot. Seems the fairest way to do it in my opinion.

I've messaged Gregor to see if he can find out from someone at the club what the arrangement is at our level

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This is a really interesting piece from Colchester’s chairman, and I thought it merited separate discussion as opposed to being lost in the wider discussion about fans return.

https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2020/september/club-statement/

Essentially, for the streaming the home team keep all the income from home fans buying passes, but only receive income for the first 500 sales on any away passes. The remaining away sales income goes to the away team. 
 

This means that we will liable make money as a club from away games. Before, we’d be on a commission of ticket sales (say 5% of a £25 ticket), so if we sold (say) 700 tickets we’d get £875, whereas by selling 700 passes we get £2000. In reality, I expect us to sell more passes than we would have away tickets especially on long distance away games.

Clearly, it’s more beneficial for clubs with a large travelling contingent like Rovers, but it’s interesting to see how the systems working.

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5 minutes ago, Silvio Dante said:

This is a really interesting piece from Colchester’s chairman, and I thought it merited separate discussion as opposed to being lost in the wider discussion about fans return.

https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2020/september/club-statement/

Essentially, for the streaming the home team keep all the income from home fans buying passes, but only receive income for the first 500 sales on any away passes. The remaining away sales income goes to the away team. 
 

This means that we will liable make money as a club from away games. Before, we’d be on a commission of ticket sales (say 5% of a £25 ticket), so if we sold (say) 700 tickets we’d get £875, whereas by selling 700 passes we get £2000. In reality, I expect us to sell more passes than we would have away tickets especially on long distance away games.

Clearly, it’s more beneficial for clubs with a large travelling contingent like Rovers, but it’s interesting to see how the systems working.

Yes I was wondering how much income clubs got from streaming compared to how much it cost to open the stadium on match day. It obviously depends on how many match passes are sold etc

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Would be very interesting to know the number of passes sold each game (the modern day "today's paying attendance").

Fans at ailing clubs have an opportunity to help them get through these times.  Survival in lower leagues is essentially going to become a popularity contest.

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2 minutes ago, Steve Watts said:

Would be very interesting to know the number of passes sold each game (the modern day "today's paying attendance").

Fans at ailing clubs have an opportunity to help them get through these times.  Survival in lower leagues is essentially going to become a popularity contest.

My guess is that your passes sold (whether home or away) would be a relatively consistent proportion of your  home fans attendance. If we get 20k city fans in AG most games, then I’d think there will be:

- Some who attend with others, therefore taking that down to (say) 10k max sales

- Some who don’t want to stream (doing other things, lack of atmosphere, hate Downsy)

- Illicit streamers (on that note I get the financial position some people are in but I think if you can support the club and pay for your stream, you should)

I reckon we’d get 5000-6000 streams a game. Assume most clubs at this level would sell the 500 away streams, so before costs I think we’re at about £65000 income from a home game and £55000 from an away.

Be interesting to see how close that is in reality

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3 minutes ago, Silvio Dante said:

My guess is that your passes sold (whether home or away) would be a relatively consistent proportion of your  home fans attendance. If we get 20k city fans in AG most games, then I’d think there will be:

- Some who attend with others, therefore taking that down to (say) 10k max sales

- Some who don’t want to stream (doing other things, lack of atmosphere, hate Downsy)

- Illicit streamers (on that note I get the financial position some people are in but I think if you can support the club and pay for your stream, you should)

I reckon we’d get 5000-6000 streams a game. Assume most clubs at this level would sell the 500 away streams, so before costs I think we’re at about £65000 income from a home game and £55000 from an away.

Be interesting to see how close that is in reality

I think a bit lower.  Colchester are the only ones to give info so far and they sold 10% of their normal home crowd.  Bolton sold roughly the same, little bit more, remembering its irrelevant if a game is home or away when streamed in terms of streams sold.

Add a bit more on for us as new manager and new players would add to curiosity levels.  15% is 3,300.  I would be surprised if it’s much more than that. 4,000 absolute tops 

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Streams have been very easy to come by through unofficial channels but I don't think that really has had much impact on the average fan buying a £10 pass so far but as time goes on it might as people get more stream savy, I still think the old 3pm black out of TV will be a thing of the past when this is all over as streaming can live alongside a live match day experience....

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37 minutes ago, Silvio Dante said:

This is a really interesting piece from Colchester’s chairman, and I thought it merited separate discussion as opposed to being lost in the wider discussion about fans return.

https://www.cu-fc.com/news/2020/september/club-statement/

Essentially, for the streaming the home team keep all the income from home fans buying passes, but only receive income for the first 500 sales on any away passes. The remaining away sales income goes to the away team. 
 

This means that we will liable make money as a club from away games. Before, we’d be on a commission of ticket sales (say 5% of a £25 ticket), so if we sold (say) 700 tickets we’d get £875, whereas by selling 700 passes we get £2000. In reality, I expect us to sell more passes than we would have away tickets especially on long distance away games.

Clearly, it’s more beneficial for clubs with a large travelling contingent like Rovers, but it’s interesting to see how the systems working.

Your last point is spot on, when you consider the fortunes they must be making from those 60+ cardboard cuts out as well, I fully expect them to smash their transfer record to assist in Ben (Guardiola) Garner’s inevitable promotion push very soon.

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3 minutes ago, And Its Smith said:

I think a bit lower.  Colchester are the only ones to give info so far and they sold 10% of their normal home crowd.  Bolton sold roughly the same, little bit more, remembering its irrelevant if a game is home or away when streamed in terms of streams sold.

Add a bit more on for us as new manager and new players would add to curiosity levels.  15% is 3,300.  I would be surprised if it’s much more than that. 4,000 absolute tops 

For the purpose of illustration, let’s split the difference. Say 4500 streams we sell, so we get 50k home/40k away. Over the course of a season (hoping it doesn’t go on that long), it’s £2.07m revenue. Obviously if we keep going as we are, that’ll increase, but if we fall off, it’ll drop. There’s also the sky games issue - but I assume we’d be given more than the £45k a game from those. Feels like we should probably anticipate £1.5-£2.5m revenue a year.

14,000 STH paying average £300 each brings in £4.2m. Therefore, even before POTD/match day revenue, we’re already way down on income - although clearly, what we’re getting isn’t to be sniffed at

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1 minute ago, GrahamC said:

Your last point is spot on, when you consider the fortunes they must be making from those 60+ cardboard cuts out as well, I fully expect them to smash their transfer record to assist in Ben (Guardiola) Garner’s inevitable promotion push very soon.

Their away support must be buying streaming passes on a level of viewing not seen since Den gave Angie divorce papers on that Christmas episode of EastEnders.

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I imagine there will be a reasonable number of people who like myself, can't get to games very often due to family commitments or living away from Bristol that will happily pay a tenner to stream all the games now. I wouldn't like to try and guess the number of streams but 4-5k sounds pretty low to me

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1 hour ago, SE City said:

I wouldn't like to try and guess the number of streams but 4-5k sounds pretty low to me

If people were watching alone I'd agree.

I'd guess people that were interested in watching would watch with friends? 

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Bear in mind as well that it's costing clubs £150 per Covid test (heard this on Totally Football League podcast today), per member of staff, per match. I'm not certain how many people we'll be testing for each game but I'd imagine it's not far off 70 or so. You've got a minimum of 18 players, probably a dozen or so coaching staff, directors or other club officials, referees, ball boys, other staff. Quickly adds up.

So let's say it's 60 for us, that's £9,000 just in Covid testing costs, per game. When the figures are as described by the Colchester guy you can very quickly see how it's just not economic for lower league clubs with small streaming audiences to run games without fans in and spending.

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2 hours ago, SE City said:

I imagine there will be a reasonable number of people who like myself, can't get to games very often due to family commitments or living away from Bristol that will happily pay a tenner to stream all the games now. I wouldn't like to try and guess the number of streams but 4-5k sounds pretty low to me

It’s probably lower than that.  If we only know of two teams numbers and they are both 10-12% of home gates then safe to assume that ours won’t be massively higher than that. 5,000 would be roughly 22%.  Seems too high from the little we know.  Sure we will get some more data soon to sense check it with 

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24 minutes ago, And Its Smith said:

It’s probably lower than that.  If we only know of two teams numbers and they are both 10-12% of home gates then safe to assume that ours won’t be massively higher than that. 5,000 would be roughly 22%.  Seems too high from the little we know.  Sure we will get some more data soon to sense check it with 

Agree, I'd be surprised if we were anywhere near 4,000. Probably averaging around 3,000. You've also got a few hundred like me who have the annual RobinsTV access - but the club have banked our little bit of cash already.

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3 hours ago, phantom said:

If people were watching alone I'd agree.

I'd guess people that were interested in watching would watch with friends? 

Spot on. If i bought a steam for a tenner, my wife and Father in law would watch it together - not buy 3 passes. We will get roughly 45 per game back in refunds for iut 3STs so even if I did buy a stream, which I don't, the club loses money.

Championship clubs may survive but I honestly don't know how lower teams are going to do it. Things look really bleak. 

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Does anyone know what percentage of the Carabao Cup streaming fee goes to the club in these circumstances? I am happy to pay £10 to watch the game tonight, but not if it means putting money into the sponsors pockets rather than the clubs.

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28 minutes ago, Port Said Red said:

Does anyone know what percentage of the Carabao Cup streaming fee goes to the club in these circumstances? I am happy to pay £10 to watch the game tonight, but not if it means putting money into the sponsors pockets rather than the clubs.

The EFL site says

Quote

Revenue generated from streaming Carabao Cup matches is split 50-50 between the Clubs involved. This would be the same as if fans were able to attend the match in person.

https://www.efl.com/news/2020/september/where-to-watch-carabao-cup-round-three-fixtures/

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