FIFA has just reportedly unveiled the first ever football-based streaming platform, FIFA+, which is a new way to enjoy football. It is a new step of the world football governing body to reach out to the fans from the new generation who have been more attached to social media.
FIFA+ is one way to respond to the tendency of the generation Z in accessing their entertainment today. Studies have shown that they watch less TV than the broadcast platform on their hands. Thus, it is a smart move for them and the fans since it does not only provide classic matches or game highlights but also documentaries on various topics not only exclusively about stuff on the pitch but also the one off the pitch.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino also made a statement regarding the launch of this online channel.
"FIFA+ represents the next step in our vision to make football truly global and inclusive, and it underpins FIFA’s core mission of expanding and developing football globally. This project represents a cultural shift in the way different types of football fans want to connect with and explore the global game and has been a fundamental part of my Vision 2020-2023. It will accelerate the democratisation of football and we are delighted to share it with fans."
However, FIFA's decision on releasing this platform would surely not come without consequences later. They would now be seen as the rivals of the media corporations who might still be registered as their sponsors or broadcast partners. Initially, this platform might be free for unlimited content. Yet, in the future there might be premium ones which come with a charge.
Here are the available features in FIFA+:
- It comes in five languages at the moment, English, Spanish, German, French and Portuguese. Another language will be added in June 2022.
- Approximately 40,000 live games are available annually in all levels of competitions from both men's and women's with 1,400 matches to start with this month from more than 100 FIFA members. The matches will be mainly picked from the leagues within Europe or abroad with minimum international coverage.
- Various international games full time replays and highlights directly from FIFA archives dating back from the 1950s.
- A number of documentary series such as Captains: Season 1 in eight episodes (about six national team captains paving their teams' way to Qatar 2022), Ronaldinho: The Happiest Man in the World, Icons in five episodes (about the defining moments in women's football by Lucy Bronze, Carli Lloyd, Wendi Renard, Sam Kerr and Asisat Oshoala), HD Cutz in eight episodes (about the lifestyle programme with footballer barber, Sheldon Edwards) and Golden Boot in 4 episodes (about the notable world cup goalscorers in history).
There is no clarity yet whether FIFA+ will include the live matches in World Cup 2022 since there have already been official broadcast partners. Yet, it could definitely change four years later.