Here is the second and final part of the interview of YIR Louis Clark as he talks about the struggles during the recent lockdown and the hope for the future:
TK: When we got to September last year and the season finally started again did you get an increase in the number of clubs wanting games filmed or did you stick with the amount you already had?
LC: We had a small bump upwards but nothing major, around five more games a week. We came back originally with around 10-15 games a week, that’s after rain offs and clubs not playing for whatever reasons, the weather of course is a massive problem outside our control, when you look back to the winter before this one it was awful for rain so that was a knock on effect before covid.
For us it was more the pipeline of work that were hoping to come on board that disappeared which caused us a massive problem. But of course with the return of grassroots football from the end of the month we’ve been getting a lot more bookings again which is great and what is needed.
TK: And to the November lockdown where I saw you guys up at AFC Varndeanians on a Monday night, went to two games myself by Wednesday and Thursday down we went again. How much of a setback was that once again?
LC: A big one! We were lucky that we had the National League still going, for us that is Dorking Wanderers and latterly Eastbourne Borough. Dorking though are a great club to work for, their media department is very professional, they wanted a stream that makes money right from the very beginning which we did for them.
Before them we hadn’t done a lot of live streaming at all, it’s tricky as you well know, if I mention Barnet of course where we had issues trying to help them out and there is a lot of stuff that can be out of your hands, but it’s a learning curve all the time.
We also were doing Lewes Women too, but we found out the hard way by using club’s wi-fi and power is not the way forward, have they paid the bill, does it cut out part way through and re-set, is there a power trip to the supply etc, all these things and more.
So now we bring our own wi-fi and our own power so we know that if anything goes wrong it’s us and it works of course so much better now. As I mentioned we also have Eastbourne Borough, a great well run club too and clubs who of course wanted to play on during the rest of the season.
The feedback’s been great on both streams and they both understand we’re learning at the same time they are.
TK: Both clubs are now not able to play on with their division null and void, how does that affect you for the remainder of the season?
LC: It means a big struggle for me, where they were still playing friendlies for a few weeks awaiting the decision we had something to do and they were earning money a little bit, I’ve now been going out and doing removals for Darren Budd (Moving Buddies) to get some cash coming in, something different as a lot of people have been needing to do over the last 12 months.
TK: Streaming games has become a part of the norm at the moment, do you think going forward it will remain such a big part?
LC: That’s something that is out of our control with the 3pm blackout rule. I’ve spent of lot of time and money into getting the streams going equipment wise and I just hope they use some common sense at non-league level that there will still be people who won’t want to return to grounds when the season kicks off and will still want to watch and contribute to their team’s finances in some way.
If capacities are still capped next season then it’s a vital revenue line for clubs to compliment those that they can get inside the ground. Can it be around for a long while? I’m hoping so, not just for us but for the clubs who need every penny they can get their hands on.
TK: You’ve started up your online shop with your t-shirt range (link at the end of the article), what does the future hold for Your Instant Replay?
LC: The merchandise stuff is tough; we’ve nearly sold out though. Whether we do more with it I’m not yet sure, I mean we did well out of who we’ve sold to but we’ll see.
My aim though is for Your Instant Replay to not just be a production company, much more to it than that which is why I started off with the t-shirts. But I want to add more as you know, just the timing is awful currently.
I’m looking at podcasts, talk shows, weekly shows for league competitions in the very near future, I did want that off the ground over the next few months but some of that will have to wait.
I am wanting to do an NFL RedZone style where we go to a league and stream all their games on the one day to their website and then income by means of a match day ticket or monthly subscription.
The beauty of it would be like RedZone where you can be watching say Worthing vs Bognor and flick out onto Lewes vs Burgess Hill for instance. With that I’d also want to work on where we could become a non-league Soccer Saturday and flip to goals around our games, to give the whole experience.
The tech is there for it to be done, it’s just someone out there agreeing to make it happen and we go from there. Of course there is a bit of cost involved as you would need more people to run it but that is the goal ultimately.
Once we have dates etc for a new season then I can start to plan things a lot more and hopefully it’s relatively uninterrupted next year and we can push on again as a company, it’s all about timing though.
My thanks to Louis for his time and some great ideas for the future in there, if we can get a decent football season once again, his company should prosper.