Lega Serie A has awarded the audiovisual rights of the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana for the next three seasons in Canada (2018-2021) to FloSports Inc., a company based in Austin, Texas that was founded in 2006, for an undisclosed fee.
FloSports operates an OTT service providing live digital streaming of many different sports and have now added soccer to their portfolio with the launch this week of FloFC.com.
With this addition to the Canadian market, calcio fans in Canada will benefit with significant access to Italian soccer like they’ve never seen before.
To get a better understanding of the timing and desire of FloSports to add soccer to their portfolio, Calcio e Finanza spoke to Mike Levy, Vice President of Global Rights Acquisition.
What made FloSports add soccer to its portfolio?
“For literally years now, soccer is a sport we have had interest in mostly because despite its growth in North America, which I think is undebatable, it still doesn’t get the sort of coverage, story telling and promotion that other sports have had the luxury of getting from mainstream media networks in Canada or the U.S.
There are lots of soccer games available, but not much story telling or context building to share with fans why they should care.
We started approaching the general market place and outlined what we saw in the sport. Those who were really deeply entrenched in the sport universally agreed with our assessment and said they needed someone like FloSports that has the desire to go deep into the sport – not just cover the live game or the championship game, not just do a game of the week, but someone who was truly invested in growing the sport in North America.”
What attracted FloSports to work with Lega Calcio?
“The opportunity to work with a brand and league like the Serie A and have world class teams like AC Milan and Juventus and many others on our platform is fantastic.
Serie A felt they had this great asset (Coppa Italia and Supercoppa) which was under served in Canada. They wanted to work with a partner that would treat the property as a very big deal, which we believe it is, that was our promise to them.”
What is the philosophy and strategy of FloSports to grow interest in the sport?
“We take a holistic view and look to see where we can provide the most value the community of not only sports fans, but also rights holders, sponsors, etc.
Our mission is to grow the sport by bringing a fresh look to it, going above and beyond simply putting a live game out there.
You have to build interest and we do that generally speaking through storytelling, go really deep into the sport and drive interest. Even for the casual fan, if they find a great story to hook into, they will be interested in watching the live game.”
There will be gaps between each round of the Coppa Italia, and for the semi-final, two months between the first and second legs. What do you intend to do to fill those gaps?
“We are in full acquisition mode, currently speaking to many different leagues both domestic and international. We plan on growing our soccer offering to our subscribers.”
Would FloSports be interested in broadcasting the Serie B ?
“Yes we have interest.”
Are there any plans to expand the ways subscribers can access your network, example on android devices and game consoles?
Note: FloSports app is currently available on iOS, Roku, or Apple TV 4.
“We are actively exploring ways to get our product into as many homes and digital devices as we possibly can, and aspire to be in more places.”
What can we expect to see on FloFC ?
“It is important to note that we’re a very data centric organization and 80% of our content is free for everyone. The main content behind the paywall is to watch the games live or on demand.
When we get ramped up we’ll be writing stories and highlights and all of that will be available for free on FloFC without needing a subscription, there is value in visiting the site alone.
A subscription gets you access to not only soccer but everything else on the network.
Our belief is that people follow their passions, we try not to be all things to all people. It is for this reason each sport has its own network. By going on FloFC you only get soccer and will not get inundated with other content that doesn’t interest you.”
Note: A subscription to FloSports costs $150 USD annually or $30 USD per month. Either subscription unlocks access to premium content across the entire FloSports network.
Upcoming schedule of Coppa Italia games on FloFC.com :
Jan 12: Lazio vs Novara
Jan 12: Sampdoria vs Milan
Jan 12: Bologna vs Juventus
Jan 13: Torino vs Fiorentina
Jan 13: Inter vs Benevento
Jan 13: Napoli vs Sassuolo
Jan 14: Cagliari vs Atalanta
Jan 14: Roma vs Virtus Entella
Jan. 16: Supercoppa Italiana, Juventus vs Milan