The rise of fan channels

By | April 3, 2019

Reading the book on Fever Pitch provides great insight into the mind of a fan of an EPL club. In this post I want to highlight the rise of fan channels on YouTube as I find that they provide a unique perspective into what fandom is all about. Here is a few:

  1. AFTV formerly called Arsenal Fan TV:

The most popular of these channels, with almost a million subscribers and, funnily enough, their own soccer team called AFTV FC (perhaps one day we will see Arsenal vs AFTV FC). Robbie Lyle, the channel’s host and creator is the man behind the wheel but there are a few mainstays: Troopz, Claude, DT, Kelechi and a few others. The channel goes all the way back to 2012 and has greatly shaped the landscape of this type of media. They’ve revolutionized it through their unique post-match fan cams, which have been almost universally adopted by every channel. Example here:


  1. The United Stand:

One of 2 Manchester United fan channels, the other being Full Time Devils, it boasts over 400 thousand subscribers. The channel is relatively new and for the last 2 years has easily been one of the fastest growing fan channels on the platform. Mark Goldbridge, its host and creator, is know for his charismatic and unique live commentary during watchalongs. This is what sets the channel apart from any other and like AFTV has been heavily influential. The format of a watchalongs is simple. The host watches the game and gives his opinion on the action, often peaking at the comments during down times and responding to football-related but often random questions or comments. In fact, every piece of content, save the fan cams or other pre-recorded material, on the channels is live and follows a similar format. Example here:


  1. The Redmen TV:


The biggest Liverpool fan channel on YouTube, it reaches half the population of Anfield during matchday on almost every single video. They provide every piece of content previously mentioned and are incredibly prolific. For every match there’s usually a pre-match show called the “Uncensored Match Build Up,” followed by the “Starting XI Prediction” in which they talk about who’s likely going to be gracing the pitch on matchday based on form and other factors,  the “Opposition Preview” in which they collaborate with the fan channel of the team they will be facing,   a “Story of the Match” where they compile their live reactions to key events during the game, and finally, the fan cams.  Example here:


This is just a few of the channels. I would encourage you to give them a watch or find others like it if you’re interested in the topic or want to see what Nick Hornby was on about.

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