All Premier Division games on the service will cost €7, having cost €5 last season
It is something that seemed alien, at least to League of Ireland fans, for many years. A service that provided fans access to any game they chose. Never going to happen. For supporters starved of coverage or that could not make it to Oriel Park or any other ground for that matter to see Dundalk, for years a service like this was just a dream.
But in a world where supporters have been denied access to grounds for the bulk of two years, the league and the FAI had to adapt to make sure we could still follow the Airtricity League but from the safety of our own homes. That is where LOI TV and it's predecessors WatchLOI kicked in.
Today the FAI announced that the service would be returning in 2022, again streaming every game from the Premier Division, First Division and the Women's National League that are already being televised elsewhere.
While in the past it was up to the clubs to provide the service, this year the FAI has promised that all games will utilise two cameras to further enhance the viewing experience no matter what game you choose to watch.
However with this good news came what some might see as a snag, the FAI also announcing that the popular season pass that gave access not only to all your team's matches but every game played in either the Premier Division or the First Division, would not be returning.
Instead fans will need to pay for each they game they would like to watch through the service. Fans could always watch their team play through a game pass model and last year that cost them €5. in 2022 each game will cost €7, while First Division clashes stay at €5. All Women's National league fixtures will continue to be provided free of charge.
Should a fan from abroad or not living close enough to Dundalk to make it to games want to have access to a stream for every game the Lilywhites play, home and away, they will now have to fork out €252 which could decease slightly if some Dundalk games are aired free on TV.
Last year to watch the same number of games it cost you a total of €138, €59 for a half-season pass on the WatchLOI platform provided by RTE and then €79 when the FAI's LOITV was launched mid-season.
Speaking in a press release announcing the return of LOITV, League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon said the changes in the pricing structure were the result of the recent ending of restrictions on sporting crowds, meaning supporters could now ditch their TV's and tablets in favour of seeing live football again.
“LOITV has been an incredible resource for supporters to follow their clubs, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is obvious LOITV has been a huge benefit to the League of Ireland across the Premier & First Division and Women’s National League" stated Scanlon.
“With the announcement of the ending of restrictions in Ireland, we’re now looking forward to seeing full League of Ireland stadiums and supporters to return to watching live football.
“As a result, matches will only be available through a single match pass in order to facilitate fans who cannot attend any matches as well as fans living overseas.
“We’re also delighted to be able to continue to offer live coverage of the Women’s National League for free. It has been fantastic in our promotion of the domestic game and we’re looking forward to even more supporters watching in 2022.”
Match passes are now on sale from www.loitv.ie
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