iFOLLOW: Records tumble as viewing figures rise

The latest update, up to and including matches played on 2 January 2021 and covering the win against Walsall, shows a record-breaking period.


  • Record-breaking period – the best so far for paid iFollow streams for Carlisle United.
  • Over 18,000 paid streams in total after 21 games.
  • Total income earned after 21 games is £138,000.
  • Second in League Two for home paid streams per game and sixth for away paid streams this season.
  • New home record of 1,118 for the last home game against Bolton (even with fans present).
  • New away record of 1,318 for the last away game at Walsall.
  • Average income per game both home and away continues to rise.

We said in our first review back in October, the lockout restrictions faced by clubs mean that the EFL Digital iFollow streaming service was important.

Now we are again unable to welcome any of our fans at Brunton Park, iFollow becomes even more important to the club financially, and as a way of maintaining support and connection with players and team.


Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “Our fans are showing even more support for the team through the iFollow service as we have moved up the league table.

“Few fans could be at games in the period, but they still want to support and be with the team in spirit and share in the games, performances and results. 

“Fans are watching in bigger and bigger numbers. It is no substitute for live action, and being there, but it continues to make a real difference.

“Our best start on the field since 2016/17, getting to top spot and watching a winning team that is creating chances and working very hard, with grit and togetherness, is great to see. It’s coming through into the iFollow numbers.”  

“The number of paid streams for home games reduced, as we said they would, as 2,000 fans were allowed into our home games,” he continued. “Nevertheless, we still broke the record versus Bolton and numbers have been growing. 

“We are close to having the same number of streams at home with fans present as we had without fans in the lockdown. For the Walsall win, we also recorded our highest away streams so far.

“We are pleased there have been no major issues in terms of the service, and the abandonment of the Harrogate game was dealt with properly with no reported issues.”

Updating on the benefit to the club of fans using this service, he told us: “We’ve now had a total of 18,552 (12,454 after 15 games) paid streams from our 21 League Two games so far.

“This gives income to the club of around £138,000, after adjusting for payments to host clubs when we play away.

“That’s an average of 837 paid club streams per game (823 after 15 games). The average number has still grown 2% since game 15, despite all the home games in the period having 2,000 supporters present.

“On top of that, for the abandoned away game against Harrogate Town, we also had 1,267 streams – hopefully we can beat that when we play them next week.” 

To subscribe to the rearranged game versus Harrogate Town click HERE.

“With fans now locked out again, we expect home paid streams to increase in the next period, and the future income looks on track to be a really important factor with all our other income stopped again,” he commented.

“As every week and month passes, the financial cost (and club losses) get bigger and bigger. The effects of Covid on our fans and their own employment and business are growing, so the growing support is superb. We say again - thank you.

“Of course ‘pirate’ streaming remains a problem. We continue to appeal to fans to back the team and use the official iFollow service only.”

A reminder of the EFL anti-piracy campaign is HERE.


We now have the data from 21 League Two matches for our iFollow UK streams - 10 at home and 11 away. The UK paid subscriptions are as follows:

Home games

The number of paid UK domestic streams has grown to a peak of 1,118 (1,070 previous peak) for the Bolton game (with 2,000 fans with us).

The 10 home games have now seen a total of 8,371 paid streams by United fans (excluding the 300 season ticket holders at Behind Closed Doors games).

We remain ranked second behind Bolton in League Two for the highest average number of paid home streams per game, at 837 (some clubs have very high numbers of free home passes given to season ticket holders, meaning paid home streams are low).

Home paid streams have now earned us around £100,000 - up from £67,000 - including the payments to us from the away teams at home games - so far, at £10,000 per home game (£9,600 after seven).

  Number % change
Southend United 486  
Barrow* 961 98%
Colchester United 744 -23%
Morecambe 898 21%
October 3,089  
Month average 772  
Newport County 860 -4%
Cheltenham Town 1,070 24%
Salford* 41 -31%
November 2,671  
Month average 890 15%
Stevenage* 698 -6%
Mansfield Town* 795 14%
Bolton Wanderers* 1,118 41%
December 2,611  
Month average 870 -2%
Total so far 8,371  
Average so far 837  
Average YTD    
October 772  
November 823 7%
December 837 2%

Away games

All streams for away clubs are paid for. There are no iFollow codes available for season ticket holders, all those who wish to watch the game must purchase a match pass.

The iFollow streaming service allows UK based fans to get to see us play away from home, certainly more often than ever before.

In the 11 away games so far, 10,181 (6,694 after eight games) fans have streamed, and this is compared to a typical expected CUFC attendance at away games of around 4,400. That is more than double, as more fans watching away games on iFollow than would normally attend live.

We are now ranked sixth (ninth in our last update) in League Two for the highest average paid away streams per game, at 926 (up +11% since November).

Our away game streams have grown consistently with every match and reached a peak of 1,310 for our last away game at Walsall. This was up +10% up on the previous game. We are now breaking the 1,000 barrier for every away game.

This is earning us on average around £3,400 per away game (£2,700 after eight games) after our payment to the home teams, and it continues to grow.

  Number % change
Cambridge United 643  
Scunthorpe United 619 -4%
Port Vale 684 11%
Oldham Athletic 847 24%
Grimsby Town 962 14%
October 3,755  
Month average 751  
Exeter City 984 2%
Crawley Town 935 -5%
Tranmere Rovers 1,020 9%
November 2,939  
Month average 980 30%
Bradford City 985 -3%
Forest Green Rovers 1,192 21%
Waslall 1,310 10%
December 3,487  
Month average 1,162 19%
Total so far 10,181  
Average so far 922  
Average YTD    
October 751  
November 837 11%
December 926 11%


*Numbers distorted by individual fixture factors – Southend and Salford very low as we had 1,000 and 2,000 fans in the stadium, and Barrow high due to the special interest in the game.

**The income from the first 500 streams bought by CUFC fans for away games (£8 x 500 = £4,000) is paid to the home club. But by the same mechanism, we get the value of the first 500 from every away team coming to Brunton Park. Over the season the net effect of this is neutral, if we sell at least 500 streams per away game.

+ Eight clubs are giving free home passes to close to 1,000 season ticket holders each match.

For the December update, click HERE.

Read Time: 6 mins