How live streaming could benefit non-League clubs

16th October 2022

The television rights for the fifth and sixth tiers are currently owned by BT Sports. When games are televised on the channel it is an excellent opportunity for smaller clubs to get vital exposure to the entire nation. BT’s television deal also provides crucial funds for the sides.

The benefits of streaming

However, when games are not televised outside of the 3 pm blackout clubs are potentially missing a huge opportunity. In the past clubs such as Southport FC have streamed games online for a small fee often around £9.99 which led to thousands of viewers per streamed game.


The revenue alone was huge for any club of the National League or lower but the reach – possibly global – that it acquired was also a massive benefit. The ability to watch an English fifth or sixth division game from anywhere in the world is a first and represents an incredible potential for the growth of lower league fan bases and the clubs as a brand.

Sports streaming in itself is a major reason for many people to shell out on expensive TV packages. Express VPN’s infographic demonstrates the popularity of sports streaming within the United Kingdom. Football is by far the most frequently streamed sport in the country and non-league clubs could take advantage of this. It also shows how key events can ignite spikes in stream searches – big moments in the National League could be viewed by more people if a streaming platform was in place.

Non-League streaming set to return

The National League recently announced that it is working with BT Sports to finalise an agreement for clubs to live stream games. Clubs would then have the ability to stream games to fans for a fixed fee per game or perhaps a subscription-based fee could encourage fans to return for successive games.

Clubs could earn thousands per game that are not televised on BT Sports, which will be vital to some clubs’ sustainability at that level. There have also been rumours that all of the leagues’ games could be streamed on a single platform from which all of the teams would get an equal share of the revenue. This has come following Wrexham owner Ryan Reynold’s criticism that non-televised games are not streamed online.

A dedicated platform could lead to greater gains in the long term as all of the club’s fixtures would be easily accessible international. In contrast to club streams being scattered amongst many different streaming players, this could have a far greater impact on the team’s global reach.

Recent growth of the National League

The National League has grown in global popularity in recent times as a result of Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s takeover of Wrexham Football Club. The Canadian and American Actors stunned the footballing world when they decided to purchase a non-league football club.


There has therefore been a huge increase in interest from fans in North America and a streaming platform for the National League could help capitalise on this. Increased exposure of the league and its clubs could help grow global fan bases and possibly increase the demand for merchandise as clubs could begin to make international sales.

The rights being acquired for clubs to live stream their games or the creation of a potential centralised platform containing all the fixtures can only be positive for English Football’s non-league. Club revenues will be benefited and club exposure will increase massively.