On Wednesday night, FC Cincinnati President and General Manager Jeff Berding commented on the club’s recent live stream deal with FloSports for the first time since the contract was announced Monday morning.
Here are some of the biggest takeaways from Berding’s remarks:
Without Flo, FC Cincinnati fans within the designated broadcast region wouldn’t have access to livestream FCC matches this season.
Entering the season, many fans assumed non-nationally televised games would be available on ESPN+, which costs $4.99 a month. However, Berding explained that was never the case. Inside the club's designated broadcast region, there were no other available options with which to provide a live stream to fans as no other national streaming partners were interested in doing a deal with FCC. Without the FloSports agreement, there would've been no way to stream FC Cincinnati games in Cincy, Dayton, Louisville or Lexington or anywhere in between.
“No matter what, our games would not have been streamed on ESPN+ in our broadcast region.
"Further, all of the major national-streaming partners opted against taking on our streaming rights this year.
"FloSports was the only streaming partner that came to Cincinnati, that valued our broadcast, that valued our fans and were willing to work with us to, and as a result, we were not about to make our games available to fans in the entire designated broadcast area for FC Cincinnati.
"Let me be clear: without FloSports coming on board, there would have been no FC Cincinnati games, no FC Cincinnati streaming partner to our fans in the entire Cincinnati, Dayton, Lexington and Louisville region. There would’ve been no broadcast Even cord-cutters in Cincinnati would not have had a. Streaming options at all without FloSports."
Streaming is streaming, according to MLS.
Since the broadcast announcement, fans have wondered if they can watch Star64 through YouTube TV or on other streaming services.
The answer is no.
FloSports has the exclusive rights to all streaming, even if it’s an over-the-air channel watched via a streaming platform.
All cord-cutting homes must subscribe to FloSports if they wish to watch FC Cincinnati’s locally-broadcasted games.
People in Cincinnati with Star64 can still continue to watch FCC games.
Berding: “We are very fortunate to have a partner like Star64, which is committed to carrying all of our games, both home and away, that are not nationally televised games on their station. Over-the-air. Free television. They are a great partner and they provide an amazing platform for us to showcase our FC Cincinnati matches on the broadcast range here in the Cincinnati area.”
“Any cable network would’ve seen us cut back our reach significantly. So in that respect, Star64 is a terrific partner – and it is with their assistance that we are able to provide what’s become an award-winning game broadcast that we can now stream to the entire region.”
Supporter bars will receive complimentary access to FloSports to FC Cincinnati matches.
“One thing FloSports has agreed to is providing complimentary access to all of our supporter bars in the coverage area,” Berding said. “We know that that’s a first step to earn back your support, but we hope that it helps ease the concerns that have arose after this initial weekend of MLS coverage.”