NASL’s new pay-per-view streaming plan: Breaking it down for Fury and FCE supporters By Steven Sandor Posted on April 2, 2014 8 0 472 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Earlier this offseason, the NASL outlined its plan to charge for streams of its games. Now, with a little less than a couple of weeks to go before the 2014 spring season kicks off, the league has released the specifics on the rollout of the new streaming service. And the new system isn’t as cut-and-dried for Canadian followers of the NASL as it is for those in the United States and the rest of the world. For them, the process is simple: The NASL Live feature will offer all league games (with a few exceptions in Canada, which we’ll get to). The price is US$4.99 per month or US $29.99 for the whole season. The league has promised a better standard of broadcasts this season: Teams will all be required to have multiple camera positions, so the broadcasts where we follow one camera angle back and forth across the field should be done. Replays have to be of a higher quality. The graphic packages, too. But, for teams without terrestrial TV contracts, who are only webcasting their matches, these are big asks. The NASL confirmed this morning that all matches will be archived. Because so many matches overlap on Saturday nights, it’s an important feature, especially for the neutral Canadian soccer supporters who want to follow both the Ottawa Fury and FC Edmonton. If Ottawa is playing away to Fort Lauderdale and the Eddies are in Carolina, and both games kick off at roughly the same time, a subscriber can watch one live and catch the other one from the archives. Now, to the exceptions to the rule. FC Edmonton will have a broadcast partner in 2014 (full disclosure, I will be back as the colour voice for FCE this year). Sportsnet has vowed not to show more games from Clarke Stadium until the football lines are gone from the field. But the team will still have a rightsholder who will show games, and that means FC Edmonton home matches will be geoblocked throughout Canada. Fans who pay for the package in Canada will find that they will need to go to the Canadian rightsholder for the home FC Edmonton broadcasts. That rightsholder will not be difficult for Canadian fans to access. FC Edmonton’s radio broadcasts will move to 101.7 WORLD FM this season. Ottawa’s radio partner is TSN 1200, while Rogers TV is the team’s local broadcaster. As for the opening rounds of the Amway Canadian Championship between Ottawa and FC Edmonton, broadcast plans are still up in the air. The teams got word that Sportsnet, which holds the rights to the Voyageurs’ Cup/Amway Canadian Championship, won’t be placing the Eddies/Fury matches on April 23/30 on their broadcasting schedule. The teams have been discussing ways to get the matches to fans across Canada, but there are rights issues at play. Rogers still holds rights to the tournament as a whole, so it’s not easy to parcel the Fury/Eddies games away to another rightsholder. And, with just weeks to go before the Fury and Eddies meet in the Amway opener, even if another station could be found, it’s awfully hard to bump prime-time programming — for which advertising has already been sold — for a new sports commitment.