NASL Ticker: NASL to charge for live streaming; FC Edmonton sign two; and more

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By DAN KARELL

Buried beneath a press release about their redesigned website was a change that could cause some consternation from fans of the North American Soccer League

Starting this season, the NASL will begin to charge fans $5 dollars per month to view live and archived games online. According to the league, “subscribers will also have access to additional premium video content.” The new video streaming will be run by digital sports content designer PERFORM, who are partners with a number of other soccer teams and leagues around the world including Major League Soccer, FC Barcelona, and the English Premier League.

Offering fans a subscription package to view games live online is nothing new. MLS runs their MLS Live subscription package, ESPN3 is only available to those who pay to receive ESPN on their TVs, and Fox Sports has their Fox Soccer 2Go package showing European and Australian soccer.

Last season, the NASL partnered with UStream to deliver free internet streaming to fans in lieu of local television deals for most teams. The exceptions came when a team did have a television deal, like the New York Cosmos, which didn’t have their home games streamed online.

Here are some more stories from around NASL:

FC EDMONTON ADD TWO EXPERIENCED PLAYERS

Colin Miller and FC Edmonton lost a number of starters this winter, but they’ve gone ahead and added two players with plenty of experience.

FC Edmonton announced on Wednesday that they’ve completed the signings of midfielders Ritchie Jones and Mike Banner. Jones comes after a short stint with Grimsby Town while Banner was most recently with the FF Jaro of the Finnish first division.

“This is an excellent step forward for the Eddies getting both of these players into the mix,” head coach Colin Miller said in a statement. “They have both played at the highest levels in their respective countries and it will be great for our younger players have them as role models.”

Jones is a product of the Manchester United youth academy, while Banner spent five seasons with the Chicago Fire in MLS after he graduated from SIU-Edwardsville.

OTTAWA FC ADDS FORMER GHANA YOUTH INTERNATIONAL

A former member of the Ghanian Under-17 squad has signed on with Canada’s newest soccer team.

Ottawa Fury FC have signed 20-year-old midfielder Hamza Elias on a one-year contract pending the receipt of his international transfer certificate. Elias was seen by a scout at an event that had scouts from a number of European clubs including AS Monaco and FC Porto.

“We met Hamza through a scout that works closely with us and also with the European and African markets,” Fury FC head coach Marc Dos Santos said in a statement. “He’s a very dynamic midfielder who works extremely hard for the team. Hamza could play in every position of the midfield. He’s also very young, so our staff will have room to build him into the player we believe he will become.”

Elias became a professional in 2009 with FC Kesseben/Medeama before moving to Ghanian second division club FC Platini Kumasi in 2013.

INDY ELEVEN TO FACE SPORTING KC IN PRESEASON

They’re still building their roster, but in less than a month, NASL expansion club Indy Eleven will go toe to toe with the MLS champions.

Indy Eleven revealed that they’ll be facing Sporting KC in a preseason friendly in Casa Grande, Ariz. on Feb. 7. The teams will play a 120-minute scrimmage, in which there will likely be stoppages every 30 minutes as both teams look to gain fitness ahead of their respective seasons.

Indy Eleven are preparing for their inaugural season in NASL. The club currently have eight players signed for this season, with plenty more signings to come.

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What do you think of these developments? Would you be willing to pay for the video subscription? How do you think that could affect next season? Do you like FC Edmonton’s signings?

Share your thoughts below.

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14 Responses to NASL Ticker: NASL to charge for live streaming; FC Edmonton sign two; and more

  1. FRANK says:

    I CANT GET FIRSTROW STREAMING WEBSITE TO WORKT HIS IS GOOD SO I CAN WATCH THE COSMOS PLAY AND I WILL PAY

  2. Bean says:

    If the stream is better than the stream last season, I may buy a subscription. I love that they offer these type of deals. Just put out a good stream–some of the matches last season caused many people problems.

  3. Mike says:

    NASL: $5/month for an awful streaming package
    MLS: $8/month for every non-national broadcast

    Decisions.

    • SilverRey says:

      My only saving grace with MLSLive this year is that the Crew only have One (1) nationally televised game. That means that I actually get to watch everything online this year! So sick of blackouts….

      btw Screw You NBC & ESPN for not deeming the Crew worthy!!! (but secretly I’m happy, shhh, don’t tell them.)

  4. Sean says:

    Not so sure about the price point here. Glad to see nasl invest more in streaming games. But most fans will chose MLS first and then to add a monthly bill from nasl amounting to another $50? Not so sure. I kind of think a $20 annual price point would have been better for nasl right now. I know two people in my family who’d probably buy at that price.

    • Shyam says:

      I agree. I think NASL may also be underestimating how much this will hurt their brand. I generally followed NASL, and with a club being built about three hours away, I was planning to follow their games online. Not sure I want to fork over $40 beyond my MLS subscription, and my interest in Indy Eleven has dropped a bit, because having them three hours away means I won’t be able to follow that many games.

      • DanB says:

        A fan of an NASL team will support their team and more likely go with the NASL subscription over the MLS subscription. Its about your club not the league.

    • Stir Crazy says:

      I remember it was like 20 bucks or something to stream MLS back in 2008 or so. They shouldn’t charge anything over 10 dollars, or less even, if they really want ppl to pay to stream NASL or else it’ll be a very niche demographic consisting of mostly supporters who go for this IMO.

  5. Clyde Frog says:

    Will NASL games, unlike MLS game, be available outside the US, Canada, and Mexico?

  6. steve desio says:

    There is a plenty of US soccer on TV. All of the Union games are either on the National game or the local CSN or TSN so I like watching my home team for sure.
    I was very interested in watching the expansion Indy and Ottawa fracnises as well as other games like last season but probably will not bother to through the process of the small fee.
    I fear that there will be many like myself that would tune into an NASL matchup that they may want to see but not worth the effort to pay the fee.
    At the very least all NASL teams should have all of their games on live TV. The home team taking control of the broadcast of each game and simulcast that broadcast on the visiting teams Network to save cost.
    Each team should bring a team analyst with them on the road to join the local Broadcast team so insight can be given form both teams

  7. Rex says:

    I think ESPN3 is available to everyone, WatchESPN is only available to depending TV cable plan/provider.

  8. Michael says:

    Will I ever be able to stream MLS matches from England?

  9. Stir Crazy says:

    I remember it was like 20 bucks or something to stream MLS back in 2008 or so. They shouldn’t charge anything over 10 dollars, or less even, if they really want ppl to pay to stream NASL or else it’ll be a very niche demographic consisting of mostly supporters who go for this IMO.

  10. Soccer Boy says:

    People will complain about the high price of the NASL subscription, but a lot more than you think will buy it…and complain the whole season about the cost.

    I will buy the NASL stream, but it better work and the color commentary/play by play better improve.