The start of the football season is always an exciting time.
From the thrill of attending the first home game to the slim possibility of a trophy or promotion, each new campaign elevates the BPM of even the most cynical supporter.
Of course, few seasons end with fans celebrating on the pitch. And for many people, distance and cost preclude matchday attendance at all.
Happily, there are numerous opportunities to enjoy live football on your mobile over the course of a typical season…
Broadcasters have long recognised that consumers expect their subscription packages to extend beyond a fixed signal to the living room TV.
Sky and Virgin both have proprietary smartphone apps, enabling customers to log into and watch live sport while they’re out and about.
Picture quality tends to be sharp and smoothly rendered, ensuring even a five-inch phone screen can show it was offside, not a foul and clearly due to biased refereeing.
It’s worth noting there are often licensing restrictions, however.
Sky Q customers without a Multiscreen subscription can only live stream on a total of two devices. Attempting to add a third requires deleting one of the already-registered devices.
Virgin customers have historically had issues watching Sky content, but a new multi-year partnership signed last month should keep Sky Sports available on their platform.
Meanwhile, BT Sport has cut out the middleman and launched its own Android and iOS apps for watching live Premier League, Champions League and Europa League football.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from users, the BT Sport app is simpler than attempting to log into the website on a mobile device.
It’s important not to overlook Freeview content, too.
The BBC’s venerable Match of the Day continues to show Premier League highlights on iPlayer. And EFL highlights on Quest can be watched through the Sky and Virgin apps.
Sky’s dominance of live football has been threatened firstly by BT Sport, and now by Amazon.
The American firm has purchased the rights to 20 Premier League matches in December. A one-time one-month subscription of £7.99 would be sufficient to enjoy them all.
The Amazon Prime Video app is available for Android and iOS users, though live broadcasting is relatively untested through the app.
Another option for watching live football on your mobile is a Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass from NOW TV.
Once again, an app is involved, with five of Sky’s ten sports channels available. The EFL-focused Football channel is missing, but Action and Premier League are both present.
Costing just £5.99 per month, this is one of the cheapest ways to enjoy live football on your mobile, though it favours Premier League games over SPL, EFL, cup or European football.
Sky’s red-button single-camera match footage during the week has led football teams to offer their own coverage, capitalising on the fixed-position cameras within their stadiums.
Despite concerns that matchday attendances might drop, video and audio streaming has proved popular with long-distance fans, and those already priced out of home games.
Middlesbrough was the first club in England to launch its own TV channel, in 2001. Today, it sells video streams to fans on a match-by-match basis, for desktop or mobile viewing.
Boro fans can also purchase live audio commentary streams to every league and cup game, home and away throughout the 2019/20 season, at a fixed price of £45.
Other clubs have different packages on offer – ideal for diehard supporters with limited interest in other teams.