UFF: The future of football fan channels
Football Fan Channels have made a huge leap forward over the last few years. The likes of Arsenal Fan TV and United Stand have started to become essential viewing whether you supporter the club involved or not.
Now, the movement is evolving. Or, more specifically, organising, professionalising and monetising. We are seeing better videos by better presenters on a wider variety of platforms.
They have even moved to our television screens.
Ultimate Football Fan are at the vanguard of this development. I spoke to Managing Partner, Brett Lotriet Best and Rob Walk, from parent company DIG, about this maturing area of content.
1:47 What is UFF and how did it start?
3:02 The 14 clubs involved right now.
3:30 The place where UFF started to targeting and why they changed. The move towards professionalisation
4:30 The origins of Arsenal Fan TV, now AFTV
5:46 The relationship between UFF and DIG
7:06 The need for fans’ content against a world of punditry. The problem of authenticity
8:58 Distribution channels for UFF. The shows they produce. The major strategic partnership with Amazon
10:45 The need for a different narrative. ‘Rant TV’ is not the future
12:10 How much the lead the presenters and how they are led
13:25 How Robbie at AFTV changed his story
14:56 The distribution on Tencent and in Africa
15:51 The strategy of going from YouTube to a fully-fledged TV show on Channel 4
16:56 The tricky question of monetisation. What about the accusations of ‘selling out’
18:40 Demographics. “The YouTube audience is 97% male, when our first Channel 4 show went out the audience was over 60% female.”
19:10 Their approach to commercial deals and the potential fro backlash
21:30 Who is full-time in the Fan Channels?
22:20 Coping with the personal abuse and managing their profiles
24:07 How they get 50-55 million views per month with AFTV being around 27m
25:20 The geographic spread - why there is a big African influence
26:24 Why the sent reporters to the World Cup
27:35 Why they are “avoiding having rights” as their empire was built without it
28:05 The importance of collaborations to helping new people cut through
29:50 The criteria for choosing their influencers
31:01 Influencers: the personality cults vs the storytelling for the club
32:26 The overseas ambitions - USA etc – other Leagues and other sports
34:20 Are all these channels viable? Is a contraction necessary at any stage?
37:01 The way UFF are approaching their messaging and content on different platform
40:25 Are they in profitability? Why brand deals > advertising for these channels. Having the right relationship with the brands
43:13 How the audiences are so different on different platforms?
44:06 Specifics on the Amazon Fire deal
44:51 Going very long-form. The prospect documentaries on Netflix or Amazon Prime
45:40 What have the taken off the table? The infighting between the influencers and being “the adults in the room”
46:45 The production of their vlogs, the influence of UFF
47:25 Being forced to change the name from Arsenal Fan TV to AFTV
50:20 The relationship between the clubs and the fan channels
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