FloSports is (stop us if you’ve heard this before) an over-the-top subscription streaming service providing access to a variety of sporting events. So far, that’s mostly been contained to college wrestling and soccer, among other things, but yesterday marked the inaugural match for their partnership with D.C. United.
Things did not go well!
Via Jake Russell in The Washington Post:
At D.C. United’s official watch party at Lou’s City Bar in Columbia Heights, fans missed the first minutes of Sunday’s 0-0 draw against New York City FC because the stream wasn’t working. Members of the Barra Brava supporters’ group who gathered to watch Sunday’s match at Finn McCool’s on Capitol Hill experienced similar problems in the first half.
The Post included a collection of angry tweets, as well.
Shocker. DC United’s “Official Watch Party” for their first match on @flosports is off to a disaster.
Stream not working, #DCU staffers are scrambling to fix it and dozens of fans at Lou’s in Columbia Heights are missing the first minutes.@RfkRefugees @MLSist @SoccerInsider
— Jeffrey Cook (@JeffreyCook) March 10, 2019
Just paid $72 for @FloFC_ to watch @dcunited the stream continues to crash or goes grainy every couple of minutes. This is awful.
— Daniel Reef (@DanielReef) March 10, 2019
#DCU fans at multiple club partner bars – spots like Lou’s City Bar, the Vic, etc, are out of luck right now. Pretty bad look for folks looking to catch the game on FloSports today: pic.twitter.com/2iRZc7VDxx
— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) March 10, 2019
The blackout issue forced the team to use the YES Network for highlight gifs:
15' | @StevenBirnbaum ?♂️?♂️?♂️?♂️#DCU pic.twitter.com/o0ckfeGr6p
— dcunited (@dcunited) March 10, 2019
Eventually things improved, but that’s certainly an unfortunate omen to kick off a partnership. Or two partnerships, actually, as today FC Cincinnati announced they have also agreed to a deal with FloSports.
Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, announced a multi-year agreement with Major League Soccer’s (MLS) newest expansion team, FC Cincinnati, to provide live and on-demand coverage on FloFC.com for matches through the 2020 MLS season.
The agreement includes regional coverage rights for all FC Cincinnati games not being aired by any of MLS’s national broadcast partners. FloSports will also provide FC Cincinnati with additional resources to film and produce in-depth features and interviews with team personnel to show fans what daily life looks like through the lens of players and coaches.
An FC Cincinnati supporters group was not happy with the announcement, but really, do you expect franchises to consult supporters groups about RSN deals?
An official statement from The Pride Supporters Group on the recent announcement by @fccincinnati regarding the streaming rights deal with @FloFC_. pic.twitter.com/ZfyFhMfYbK
— The Pride (@ThePrideCincy) March 11, 2019
Hopefully FloSports gets their issues sorted out, because when you’re taking games off of traditional television and putting them into a streaming package, the only real benefit is that they’re all in one place, and available to people regardless of their television provider. Asking fans to pay extra for a product means viewers will expect a lot more from it, and issues like this will be magnified.