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Fan Letters: Streaming Edition

In today’s Fan Letters, as the new season kicks off behind closed doors, our readers share their thoughts on Sunderland’s live online streaming service. Got something to say? Email us:!

The view we’re all going to be getting used to this September
Photo by Rich Speight/Roker Report

Dear Roker Report,

Paid £ 110 for streaming last season no commentary, just crowd noise. Not worth £2 pounds, never mind £10

George Fidler

Dear Roker Report,

Not only are the live streams unreliable with audio out of sync (sometimes no audio), buffering and occasional freezing, but SAFSEE have not yet offered a settlement for games that were not shown at the end of last season.

It seems a bit steep to ask fans to pay for upcoming games when they still owe them money from last season.

Stephen Marshall

Dear Roker Report,

The streaming for the pre-season friendlies has been fine for me - decent picture and commentary as well.

As an exile, I’m really happy with this - happy to pay a tenner to be able to watch the match instead of just listening to the commentary.

Kev S

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for writing in, fellas. The ways that businesses adapt to the new realities are going to impact different people in different ways, and this goes for Sunderland fans as much as anyone else. Some people will get a much worse product than previously, in this case its fans who usually attend every game at the Stadium of Light. For some, like international fans, not much is going to change, whereas UK-based exiles like you, Kev, and me are actually going to be able see more live games than ever before. Then there’s the large number of people who will find alternative means of accessing online feeds, either because they can’t afford to pay the club’s price or because they don’t want to put money into the pockets of the current ownership.

It’s not fair, but there’s nothing much anyone can do about any of it.

The quality of the service, however, is something that needs to be looked at very closely. The streaming service is currently the only way that Sunderland and other EFL clubs are able to get their product to their customers. So it is now the key contract for them to manage, and we as the people paying should expect the clubs to be demanding improvements from the main provider, iFollow. I was very critical of the audio streaming service that I subscribed to for the last couple of years through the SAFC mobile app was unstable and annoying to use, but I’ve found the feeds of the recent pre-season friendlies on to be really good.

It appears that the club have begun to refund season tickets, so hopefully the money owed to fans like you, Stephen, for streamed games that were not provided last season will be with you soon.

Actually, I don’t think I’ve had a refund for April’s audio streaming....

Sunderland v Harrogate Town - Pre-Season Friendly
Will Grigg scores during the recent pre-season friendly match between Sunderland AFC and Harrogate Town, behind closed doors at Stadium of Light
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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