Pay-Per-View launched

Monday 13 August 2001

Fulham are the first Club in the World to offer supporters of both home and away Club's the chance to experience exclusive video and audio footage via a new pay-per-view network.

The Club were the first to introduce a subscription module to their official website back in November 1999. A ground-breaking decision that has proven highly successful.

But the Club's Internet Manager Paul Thorpe recognised there was a big non- Fulham supporting market that could be tapped into.

"The old system meant that anyone who wanted to listen to the Club's premium audio services had to commit themselves to joining Fulham Club Net. That's a committment that away fans would not want to make.

"Some of our own supporters might also feel that a 12 month committment wasn't for them and I can understand the reasons why.

"The new pay-per-view network means that supporters from any Club, including our own, can cherry pick from a large selection of audio and video content, and pay for each individual selection as they choose. That way they can manage what they spend, when they spend it."

The Cottagers new pay-per-view network will cost all supporters just 15p per minute including VAT, a bargain according to Thorpe.

"Most premium rate calls are at least 60p per minute these day. We wanted to give all football fans, and indeed the media who often tap into our services, the chance to experience what we do at a lower price.

"If you listen to or watch a lot of our premium content, and they'll be a lot more of that this coming season, then Club Net remains the cheapest way to do so. So we think we've struck a nice balance."

"The Chairman is committed to giving people value for money. And I believe we have delivered."

He added however that supporters of all Club's must get used to paying for premium information as the Internet industry grows and Club's recognise it as a valuable revenue stream.

"There are some people who have this idealic notion that everything available on the Net should be free.

"What everyone needs to realise is that Football on the Internet is a business. The investment we have made at this Club is quite considerable. As Internet Manager I must provide the Club with something back in return for that invest made."

He added:

"I firmly believe that others will follow suite as soon as they have the capability to do so. I'd like to think that our fans appreciate what we are trying to achieve and that they will support us in our aims."