A new chapter awaits the Philippines Football League
Aside from the 2018 season that will commence on March 3, the League has signed an agreement with international sports data and digital content company Sportradar to enlist its match-fixing prevention and webcasting services.
The contract between the PFL and Sportradar was signed and presented to the media and various football stakeholders in a press conference at the Marco Polo Hotel in Ortigas this Thursday morning.
“It is a boost in the arm for the PFL because Sportradar believes in the viability of the league and they are bringing in not only money to the league but also prestige to the league,” expressed a pleased Philippine Football President Nonong Araneta.
Sportradar’s Over-The-Top service will allow the PFL to broadcast its games to Filipino football fans in the Philippines and abroad. There will be 75 games on show for the upcoming season, and all fixtures will be shown via the utility.
“With our technology, basically the fans will be able to view the livestream with very good quality, without buffering and no letterings. The streams will be very seamless,” promised Sportradar’s Director of Media Rights for Asia Pacific Dylan Chuan.
“If you have a low connection, then you’ll have low quality (viewing) but the stream will be seamless. If you have a better connection, then the stream will have a better quality but there will be no problem with it when it comes to the streams.”
Matches shown on the OTT service will be completely free, and revenue shall come from advertisements and sponsorships. A mobile app and a website (pfltv.ph) are also in the works to further stretch the league’s coverage.
While the PFL will be reliant on Sportradar’s OTT, the league will still consider avenues such as local broadcasting channels and Youtube.
“We’re not ruling out working with local broadcasters.
“We are rigorously working with some broadcasting partners trying to have minimum number of matches at least, for fans who may not have the opportunity to view the games through OTT platform,” shared PFL Chief Executive Officer Lazarus Xavier, who added that select matches will have commentary.
“All the games will be archived. That’s the beauty of OTT. You can watch it when you want, wherever you want and you can go back and look at previous matches,” explained Sportradar Director of Federation Services for Asia Biplav Gautam.
In terms of its match-fixing prevention program, Sportradar will hold seminars for players and coaches that will focus on the perils and repercussions of these illegal acts, as well as analyze games to identify dubious actions.
Lazarus concluded, “Our primary focus obviously is to bring football to the fans. Of course we had a few concerns last season. Those are all growing pains.
“There were issues concerning live telecast of matches, fan engagement even at the venue and we saw Sportradar as the right opportunity for us to breakthrough football to the masses.”