City match was most-watched on iFollow this season
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
One of Norwich City's matches proved to be the most-watched on the EFL's iFollow service this season, as Daniel Farke's team surged towards their Championship title success.
City's 3-0 victory over Luton at Carrow Road in March recorded a high of 18,383 unique streams, which was the most of any iFollow game in the EFL during 2020-21.
Norwich were also among the most-watched clubs on iFollow in the Championship, alongside Nottingham Forest and Luton, although specific details of that measure have not been published.
With 55 clubs using the official iFollow service it was Watford, Swansea and Cardiff from the Championship that were among the most-watched of the 17 clubs with independent streaming services.
With the vast majority of the campaign played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, supporters of all English clubs had to rely on iFollow to stream matches online and watch from home.
The Canaries have around 22,000 season ticket holders and all were provided with free access to the iFollow stream for home games and all away games other than those at 3pm on a Saturday - as part of agreements for refunds or payments to be carried over for the 2021-22 season.
Those who were not season ticket holders were able to buy individual match passes for £10, other than for games that were being shown live by Sky Sports, with the broadcaster's on-demand Now TV service available instead on those occasions.
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Although City's win over Luton was the most-watched, it was Watford's 1-0 home victory over local rivals Luton in September which prompted the purchase of the most match-day passes, excluding season ticket holders - which was their first derby clash since 2006.
The EFL has released a review of the impact of iFollow during the unprecedented campaign, highlighting that over £42million of revenue was generated across all 72 EFL clubs' streaming services.
Specific financial details for each club have not been revealed but the money has helped during a difficult financial period throughout the sporting world.
Norwich, for example, are expecting to have lost out on around £30m in expected income since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 when the club was still in the Premier League, due to lost commercial and matchday revenue, as well as rebates to broadcasters.
The EFL report that over 360,000 iFollow passes were used across its three divisions this season, including over 160,000 club season ticket holders.
Ipswich were among the most-watched clubs in League One on iFollow, alongside Portsmouth and Plymouth Argyle, with Bolton, Bradford and Tranmere making up the top three in League Two.
With Norwich bouncing straight back to the Premier League, the iFollow service will not be available next season, with hopes that fans will be back in stadiums from August. Exact details depend on the country's recovery from the pandemic.
This season the Premier League angered fans by launching a pay-per-view service charging £14.95 per game, which was swiftly scrapped.
Instead, games were staggered so that every match was being shown live, either on subscription services Sky Sports, BT Sport or Amazon, or free-to-air on the BBC.