When it comes to football supporters, there are many different types of us. Some are religious, hardcore, go home and away every week and have the game rule their lives. Others are more casual, they prefer to sit back and take things in from a distance.
When questioning their loyalties to the club, these are often referred to as armchair fans, a dig at their lack of involvement but for some, this is their only way to support the team for a number of reasons.
The way football works is changing, and those changes have been accelerated in recent weeks and months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Are those changes levelling it out for the so-called armchair fans out there, and is being an armchair fan as good as it has ever been right now?
Live Streaming Continues to Grow
There has been a real push in the growth of live streaming, this has been really boosted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The end of the 2019/20 season saw many leagues offer every game live, some of which were on TV while others were shown via live streams.
Sites such as 101greatgoals offer a live streaming guide for football every day and there are more and more games being listed on here for fans to watch.
While traditional TV deals will remain in place for many years, the newer deals being added are involving live streams.
This is certainly the way in which the market is heading, so fans should be able to access live streams on demand rather than buy TV subscriptions in the future if they keep moving forward.
Will We All Be Able to Watch Every Game from Home Soon?
To end the 2019/20 season, teams wanted their fans to be able to catch every game remaining in the season, with no one in attendance. This led to teams offering free streams to season ticket holders, further games being shown on TV and some being streamed by companies such as Amazon.
But what about the future when we are not in a pandemic, how will this play out?
It may not come straight away, but the 2019/20 season gave us a glimpse into the future of football viewing on TV. If you don’t want to go to a game or can’t get there, then a stream or TV option will be available for people to purchase and watch.
How many years is still to be decided but in the future it would be no surprise to see armchair fans able to watch their team home and away every week, just like a fan does who goes to the games.
News Becoming More Accessible
Whether it is opinion-based topics or general club news and information, this is all becoming a lot more accessible.
If you have access to the internet then you are able to pick up your club’s latest news. This is no longer local, done by the local radio or news reporter so those far away from the club may miss it.
Instead we have a culture of getting the news instantly online, either via websites that offer a football news service or simply from following the right people on social media.
If you are sitting at home, you could be hundreds of miles from the ground but still getting the same service and information as someone local to the club who has access to local media.
This together is forcing football to change, and the ones to get a better service than before are certainly those armchair fans who sit at home.