FanTV a bad influence?

Fans have a bigger voice than ever

BBC

Fan channels, goal gifs, WhatsApp banter groups: How watching football has changed over the decade - BBC Three

As we hobble over the line into a new decade (apologies if any talk of crossing lines haunts you, like us, with the memories of tedious debates on VAR), we're left to look back and reflect.

Time is a big concept to tackle. It hurts your head. So, we need ways to break it down. For us, football is one of those touchstones that we measure time by.

Throughout the past decade football has remained a constant, but the experience of following it has changed dramatically - largely in line with changes in technology.

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Is fan made content having a negative impact on football?

By Joe Harker

In the last decade the way football fans have expressed their opinions has changed. Social media has made a big impact, but one of the other trends of the past few years has attracted plenty of attention and criticism itself.

Fan TV has become very popular at certain clubs, as fans with cameras interview those leaving the stadiums and get their opinions in the raw minutes after the final whistle has blown.

The content produced isn't too far off the vox pops one might see on the news, but without the time contraints or language filter. Fans can say whatever they want for as long as they want and some of the more opinionated ones end up becoming quasi-celebrities in their own right.

The Claim:

It's all part of the way coverage of football has changed in recent years, fans can essentially publish their own content and the media has always wanted to gauge their views.

Fan TV means people can know what a club's supporters are actually thinking and they can often provide entertaining content, it's like a phone-in show where nobody has to mind their manners.

Something that gives fans another way of getting their voice heard shouldn't be discounted. Bad owners, ever more sponsors and rising prices can make it feel as though fans are becoming less important in football. At the very least it gives them a way of venting their views.

If football fans don't believe their voices are being heard then they will gladly seize upon fan TV as a way of shouting even louder. Clubs ignore them at their peril.

Strangely enough, it also gives some players a bit of an outlet from the highly polished world they usually inhabit and the media training that goes along with it. Some of the more recognised fans have made connections with their club's players.

The Counter Claim:

However, some of the more notorious fan TV groups have received backlash from their fellow fans with perhaps the most infamous channel Arsenal Fan TV getting their own "get out of our club" chant at the Emirates.

When bits of the fanbase of a club are wanting rid of another part of the fanbase then something has gone very wrong.

It may have something to do with the way most channels rose to prominence. They got their audience during the bad times when angry fans filing out of the stadium could launch into entertaining rants.

People prefer to watch the videos where fans shout and scream in despair, not the ones where everything went well and there's not much to complain about.

Fans of other clubs even started watching the videos from Arsenal Fan TV just to watch the inevitable meltdowns that would occur after a defeat.

Once fans realised they could build their own profile by getting noticed, many who appeared on fancams started to try and outdo each other with outrageous reactions and accusations.

In doing so they became a joke, but jokes get even more views and make even more money. A rival fan watching for a laugh shows up exactly the same on the viewer statistics.

The Facts:

Fancams rose to prominence in around 2013 and before long many Premier League clubs had their own cadre of fans waiting outside the stadium with cameras.

Since then they've become media players in their own right and have received financial backing to expand and continue producing content.

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