EFL Digital agrees new partnerships with Realise and NeuLion until 2023

EFL Digital (formerly Football League Interactive FLi) has announced the dual appointment of Realise and NeuLion as its new long-term digital partners. Following an exhaustive procurement process, in which over 175 digital agencies expressed an interest, the final two have now been selected for a contract that runs until the end of the 2022/23 season. Together they will provide an integrated solution across what is claimed to be the largest sporting digital network in the world.

Realise, a UK-based digital agency, will be tasked with the design and development of EFL Digital’s club web and mobile sites as well as implementing the intuitive Episerver content management system (CMS). The new system will provide a robust digital platform that serves the needs of both fans and clubs effectively across all devices in real time.

The streaming, merchandising and payment services will be provided by US company NeuLion, which is a market leader in online video delivery and boasts international sporting clients such as the NFL, Euroleague, NBA and UFC. NeuLion also has significant experience working in the football industry with the Premier League and Major League Soccer (MLS).

Highlights of the deal include: 7-year term, including one-year build; new sites go live on July 2017; all sites built responsively and optimised for desktop, tablet and mobile; Video on demand (VOD) of all EFL fixtures; video streaming to be delivered in HD; new commercial opportunities via the latest in video advertising; and subscription management and e-billing payments.

EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “In Realise and NeuLion we have two of the world’s leading digital companies with whom we can form a productive partnership to drive additional value for our clubs and produce a series of digital products we can all be proud of.

“Both companies understand the unique and varied challenges we continue to be faced with and throughout this extensive RFP process they have consistently demonstrated they have the skills, expertise and knowledge to deliver against EFL Digital’s objectives.

“The end user, the fans of our clubs are very much where their collective focus lies and a proven track record, a flexible approach to platform delivery and significant experience in video streaming means we are not only confident in the proposed technical solution but also how it will perform commercially .”

Roy Reichbach, President and CEO of NeuLion added: “NeuLion has become the market leader specialising in the broadcasting, distribution and monetisation of live and on-demand digital video content to Internet-enabled devices. We are delighted to partner with the English Football League so that we can bring to their clubs and fans, the same level of experience we provide fans of the NFL, NBA, UFC, and others.

“EFL is one of the oldest competitions in the world of football and NeuLion is excited to be the technology that will enable this next generation fan experience.”

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