Fans of the North American Soccer League have become accustomed to being able to stream live matches for free, but the league will be doing things differently during the 2014 season. The league's new website went live on January 14, and will no longer offer free streaming of NASL games to their fans.
Instead, the NASL has partnered with PERFORM in order to enhance their online presence. They have decided to charge a monthly subscription fee of $4.99 for live access to their games, as well as archived footage and "additional premium video content". The league is gambling that their fans will be willing to pay for access to their coverage if they're given some additional bells and whistles.
League commissioner Bill Peterson had the following to say in the league's announcement:
"We are investing in enhancing our live streaming of matches and are making them available as part of a monthly league-wide subscription package that we believe offers great value. Sporting events around the world are increasingly being viewed via online platforms and this partnership with PERFORM will push the NASL to the forefront of how soccer fans access matches in the future."
"Our matches already create a fantastic live atmosphere when fans visit our stadiums to watch in person, and we feel that is an asset that can be captured online and can help the league and clubs build its global fan base."
The NASL kicks off it's 2014 schedule on April 12, and it will be fascinating to see if fans will be willing to pay nearly five dollars a month for a product they're used to getting for free.