URGENT UPDATE: Despite what the Minnesota site says, it seems that there are no restrictions. The stream is viewable.
Did you want to watch Aston Villa take on Minnesota United in just over an hours time? Well - good luck - and I mean that sincerely. If you’re based in ‘certain markets’, there’s a strong chance that you’ll be staring at a blank screen.
Since news dropped that the friendly between the two clubs would stream, for free, on Youtube - almost everything that could’ve fallen through has fallen through.
Initially, it was believed that the match would be streamed, free of rights, on the Youtube channel of Minnesota United. Without notice, wording on Minnesota’s live-stream page changed to state that the game would not be airing outside of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul television market. This means that the game would not be screening in San Diego, Auckland, Oslo - Birmingham, or anywhere else outside of the single market. Apparently, Major League Soccer had restricted the airing of the friendly.
Reaction to this change led to a flip-flop - with Major League Soccer seemingly allowing the game to air in the United Kingdom - but it still won’t air anywhere else outside of MN or the UK.
‘Major League Soccer has restricted the audience for this stream in some markets, however, the stream should be available in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul broadcast market and all of the United Kingdom.’
The wording changed again to this - without announcement:
The stream is only available for viewers within the Minneapolis-Saint Paul broadcast market and the United Kingdom.
Here’s the thing - love for Aston Villa boomed worldwide due to the feelgood factor of the club due to it’s recent achievements. This match isn’t just a friendly - it’s a big deal for Aston Villa fans worldwide and especially in the United States. They get their slice of the action, for once. Now they will have to jump through hoops as a sea of constantly changing regulations churns in the background. It’s a heartless bit of red tape that has jumped out of nowhere to suffocate a non-domestic fanbase for quite literally no reason.
It’s dumb, and I can’t find a good reason for it. The beef here is with the MLS - and both Minnesota United and Villa fans have been left scrambling backwards and forwards with little to no good information.
What a great start to the season.