iflix and Football Malaysia launch free livestreaming channel

iflix has collaborated with Football Malaysia LLP (FMLLP) to livestream every Liga Super, Piala Malaysia, and marquee Piala FA matches exclusively for football fans in Malaysia on the new "Football Malaysia on iflix" channel. FMLLP is the operator and regulator of Malaysia’s professional football league and competitions.

The module is a free one for 2018. While iflix is expected to slowly implement a subscription fee in later years, it will likely not cost more than RM20 monthly, said iflix's spokesperson. In addition to live streamed matches, iflix subscribers will also be able to access new features including match highlights and player interviews.

iflix and FMLLP will additionally create new competitions and content expressly for football fans, including a series of entertainment and lifestyle original. FMLLP on iflix channel will join iflix’s growing live sports streaming offerings, which include Indonesia’s Liga 1, the global phenomenon Mayweather versus McGregor fight, also in Indonesia, T10 Cricket in Bangladesh, and eSport competitions for DOTA2.

iflix's spokesperson said in a statement, that the "game-changing exclusive joint venture," aims to bring premier Malaysian Football back to its millions of fans throughout the country.

"This first-of its-kind joint venture between FMLLP and iflix represents the future of sporting entertainment, putting fans first, bringing Malaysian football back to the people. Now, all 20 million smartphone owners and their friends and families in Malaysia, will have unlimited live access to premier Malaysian football for the first time ever," the company said.

Football is widely recognised as Malaysia’s most popular sport, but only seven million total households with televisions, representing only a small percentage of the population was able to enjoy the competition without physically attending matches. Football has been largely inaccessible to the majority of Malaysians, according to iflix.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president and FMLLP chairman, the Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail (pictured third from left) said, “Football is the people’s game. It brings us together and can help to unite us. Malaysians everywhere should be able to enjoy it without restriction. With iflix, we have found likeminded partners and a key common goal; to return football to the people and restore its former glory.”

iflix group co-founder and chairman, Patrick Grove (pictured second from left) said the collaboration with FMLLP, represents "exactly" what it created iflix to achieve. "Together, we will democratise the game, making football available for the first time to fans, regardless of geographic location and financial status[...]For the first time ever, all premier Malaysian football matches will be available live on a single platform,” he added.

Meanwhile, FMLLP in November last year, appointed Ampersand Sports as the exclusive agency to market the sponsorship rights of the various M-League properties. These include the Super League, Premier League, Malaysia Cup and FA Cup competitions. The appointment is for an initial five-year period starting from the 2018 season.

On a separate note, Tunku Ismail announced early January 2018, in a video clip on the Johor Southern Tigers (JST) official Facebook page, that he will "let go of the FAM president’s post perhaps this year or the next. It all depends but the faster the better.”

Ex-national footballer Datuk Jamal Nasir Ismail report told New Straits Times earlier this month it would to be a "huge loss for Malaysian football industry players" if its FAM president Tunku Ismail were to walk away from leading the national footballing body before his term ends.

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