Luton fans vote narrowly in favour of 3pm TV blackout being lifted

Luton fans vote in favour of TV blackout being lifted
Town captain Sonny Bradley rises highest to win a header at the weekendTown captain Sonny Bradley rises highest to win a header at the weekend
Town captain Sonny Bradley rises highest to win a header at the weekend

Luton supporters have voted in favour, just, of the TV blackout surrounding games being televised at 3pm on Saturday's being potentially lifted in the future.

Last week, there were reports that the English Football League were willing to consider scrapping the blackout, imposed by UEFA, as part of their new TV rights deal from 2024.

To do so, the EFL would have to lobby the Football Association, who in turn need to apply for an exemption from the European game's governing body to see the rule change come into play, as a poll run by the Luton News asking whether Hatters fans would be happy to see this happen, saw almost 1,000 vote.

The end result was 55.1% happy to see games broadcast live in the future, with the topic leading to some healthy debate amongst supporters on Twitter, as both sides of the argument were discussed.

@LutonEye tweeted: “Absolutely not. If you want to watch football at 3pm on a Saturday, get your backside off the sofa

“The 3pm Saturday must be kept sacrosanct to protect clubs outside the top 2 divisions (largely) IMHO.

"If covid restrictions taught us anything, it is that football is rubbish without fans at the stadium.”

@OshoSZN: “I had a season ticket for 15 years but now I live 75 miles away from Luton - every time games are on iFollow I pay the £10 fee and would happily pay for a ‘season ticket’ to watch online.

"I get the part about local fans just ‘not fancying going’ and watching at home instead.

"I wish I lived near enough to go to more games.

"150-mile round trip and any chance I can get to watch I pay now.”

@lutonlip: “Scrap the FA, EFL and PL and let TV channels run the game!

"This could be the death of lower league clubs.

"No doubt PL clubs would be very happy for it, even more TV money to divide up amongst themselves.

"I can’t believe the number of Luton supporters voting for this.”

@BrianHodgson3: “Difficult call 3pm I don't believe our attendances suffer on a Tuesday night when there's European games on TV.

"BUT as with everything it's about money and Sky becoming scared of losing out to streaming so probably not good for the majority of clubs.”

@nptomlin: “It has both plus and minus points.

"If it's an away trip that you have no chance of going to, then I understand.

"On the other hand, when our stadium is built we want as many people going as possible and not an armchair supporter.

"Plus many supporters go to smaller local clubs.”

@abers1: “As with every new football innovation, it ruins smaller clubs, so I guess it depends where your priorities lie.”

@MattDurbin2: “Showing games on TV is much more inclusive.

"Not everyone can get to the games, for many different reasons.

"Makes them no less of a fan.”

@HillGaryhill: “Tough one to answer this, after some deliberation I went with no.”

@lutonlagerlout: “Well if you look at other countries the USA for example, stadiums sell out and games are shown live.

"I am fortunate to be able to go to games, not everybody is.”

@garyplasterer: “The start of the decline, I understand people's problems with travel , costs etc ..that won't go away, with the growing access to dodgy sticks, unlawful streams etc, club will probably lose out either way..”

@BuddhistMatt: “My son and I love watching Luton play and it gives me time with him.

"He lives Bury St Edmunds way, I live near Canterbury.

"We’ve always gone but since he was in the army and away from home it’s that bit more important.

“It’s our thing we do. Creates memories.

"We’ll have my grandsons/his nephews with us as soon as we can.

"Builds character supporting Luton.”

@geoffjellis: “There might be an argument that clubs should be allowed to charge for streams for sold out games?”

@ConnorLTFC: “From a selfish standpoint this would be great for me.

"I can't get to games easily without spending a fortune on transport, food+drink, tickets.

"Aside from the money, there's also an anxiety of being around so many people.

"I would love to be able to support my team in my own way.”

@markstephenson2: “Football did OK for nearly 100 years without any live league games being shown at all.

"Crowds were huge during much of this time.

"People had to go and watch sides fairly local to them.

"Even it you lived locally then in depth of winter you may be tempted to pay a tenner to watch a stream of Luton instead of 30 quid to go. There's. O proof it would be a big income earner at all. And how many away fans would still do a 100 quid day out at other end country?

"Yep also even local fans would be tempted to save money and stay at home to watch. Would make it harder to sell out power court and away followings would be less.

“Once Sky Sports showing big Prem games at 3pm or people can watch their Prem or EFL team on TV or streamed, it certainly wouldn't have a positive effect on non-league football.

"The moment Liverpool and man United are on at 3pm how many will go and watch local mon-league sides. I'd rather keep it.

“I've been to watch Walthamstow a couple of times this season but if Luton were away up North in a nig game and it was streamed or on TV I probably wouldn't bother. It would undoubtedly have an effect."

@ltfckimbo: “Shocked how many luton fans are voting yes for this. Especially considering where we've been in the very recent past, and the fact that we're only 1 relegation away from gate money reverting to being the vast majority of the club's income.

"Even if it does drive income up, ever since the start of the premier league era, every single time there is cash injected into football, wages are inflated at a higher rate.

"This will solve nothing in terms of club wealth, and only damage the game at lower levels.”

@rogerholdstock: “It's another red line to cross.

"It will happen eventually for good or bad.

"Personally I'm against the change, think it will kill football from League 1 downwards.”

@PBywaters1992: “Think this encourages people to glory support from their armchair.

"Don’t need to give them any more encouragement.”

@JamesHailey1: “If it means kicking off at a sensible time I am all for it.”

@JasonLTFC: “I’m all for it as long as the clubs have control.

"If they did what they currently do with iFollow where the home team gets a big percentage of subscription, it could be beneficial.”

@boston_rex: “Yes, but for the benefit of the club’s finances, only if the the game in question is a guaranteed sell-out.”

@Ken_Lalobo: “I think that is an insult to the fans that go watch their local teams.

"And you can already watch Liverpool and Man United at 3pm. Just not legally.”

@LTFC_Dave: “ I'm torn on this.

Selfishly I don't think it'll affect Luton too much but do wonder how much of an effect it will have further down the pyramid.”

@philhull56: “I wish I could go to more games but geography and other commitments make it very difficult.

"For that reason I’m pro removing the ban.”

@MISTERPDW: “The more opportunity it gives people to watch games the better.

"I'm lucky* enough to be able go to all the games.

"But not everyone is for a variety of reasons.

"In this digital age, it seems a logical idea and an additional income stream.

“*Or should that be unlucky enough?”

@Lewis_jones53: “Yes but the logistics are a nightmare.

"I think that if people want to go they will.

"I have a ST but can’t go this weekend even though i’d love to.

"If I could watch it on my phone for example it would be ideal.

"I know there is VPN method but when you’re out it’s not the easiest.”

@Richbow79: “It's tricky isn't it?

"While I hear the argument that those who want to go to games still will, I'm not sure in the long term being able to stream all football will encourage future generations to go.”

Meanwhile, on the Luton News Facebook page, Chris Glenn said: “Good because I cannot get to many away games so would watch on ifollow instead of listening to the commentary on BBC 3cr.”