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Manchester United Bows SVOD App

16 Feb, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Online link promises ‘near live’ match streaming

Professional sports and apps are not new. Most teams have league-affiliated apps used for marketing and fan bases. None offer live streams of league play.

Now Manchester United, the British Premier League soccer team ranked as the fifth-most-valuable ($3.1 billion) sports franchise in the world, according to Forbes, is launching a subscription app ($5.99 monthly) in 165 countries that promises “near live” streaming and commentary of all Manchester matches on portable devices.

Additional features include: player/coach interviews and press conferences, documentaries, news and replays of classic matches.

“The MUTV app is the next phase of innovation at Manchester United. It allows our global family of 659 million followers to access the magic of Manchester United past and present direct to their mobile devices,” Richard Arnold, group manager, said in a statement.

It remains to be seen how live — or delayed — actual match play will be. That’s because the Premiere League, like the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB, controls broadcast rights, including digital, to member teams.

So while pro sports leagues now offer over-the-top video access (at a price) to league play, individual teams do not.

A Manchester team rep said "near live" means matches are shown within as close proximity allowed to the actual live match.

“The delay to this varies dependent on the market and broadcast rules and regulations for the competition played,” spokesperson Kate Lowe said in an email.

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