CENTRAL Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar fans will have the chance to watch their sides pre-season friendly this Saturday live from their computer screens.
In a league first, the Mariners have teamed up with Virtual Performance Analysis to deliver live streams of their pre-season games to fans around the world.
So far the Mariners have streamed games online for members against Spirit FC and Bankstown City Lions, with the Brisbane game and F3 derby against the Newcastle Jets on 29 September in Tamworth also being broadcast.
Mariner Brent Griffiths, who is currently sitting on the sidelines with injury, has been part of the live coverage and giving fans inside access to the club.
“It was very enjoyable and something I hope to maybe do when I finish football,” Griffiths told au.fourfourtwo.com.
“I’m going to be watching from the sidelines anyways so I may as well be doing something and throwing my two cents in to it.
“It’s common place in Europe and the UK being able to watch games online. I watch all of my brother’s games in China.
“It’s something that gets you a bit closer. You get to see your favourite players and who’s doing well in pre-season.”
Mariners members will be able to watch the friendly in Bathurst on Saturday live via the internet for a $7.50 fee, while non-members will be charged $10.
While the live streams are just being used as a test to gauge interest, the club is aiming to implement an online subscription service within the next few years to give fans even more behind the scenes and exclusive content.
The service will operate with a paywall, with members and supporters paying a monthly or yearly fee to access the exclusive content and other features.
Other ideas the club are looking to explore include the chance to listen to commentary of games via an app, as well as interaction with fans using Wi-Fi around Bluetongue Stadium, which is reportedly going to be implemented by late October.
The Mariners are now hoping that sponsors are keen to jump on board to assist in delivering a new level of digital coverage of football in Australia.