Causeway Chronicle

THANK YOU FOR ANOTHER RECORD-BREAKING YEAR

It’s been another great season to be part of the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL), with numbers on the rise once again and thank you to all the supporters that have made this possible!

With a captivating title race, the enthralling battle at the bottom and the race for Europe that went down to the final seconds of the season; more fans than ever have been tuning into the drama and excitement of live football, with BBC iPlayer views up a remarkable 53% on last season.

Most notably, the Sports Direct Premiership title decider between Linfield and Larne on BBC Two NI last month, which was moved to maximise the audience, set a new record as the most watched NIFL televised game in the history of the league.

With 45 live games broadcast in the UK & Ireland, and a further 152 live on OneFootball across the rest of the world, it marked a record-breaking year of live football – with the most ever live games available to fans.

Irish League football is now more accessible than ever to supporters at home or abroad, with broadcast partnerships in place with BBC Sport NI, Sky Sports, DAZN, OneFootball and matches also produced for the hugely popular NIFL YouTube channel.

Match attendances also continued to rise in stadiums with the total attendance across the four primary leagues (Premiership, Women’s Premiership, Championship and Premier Intermediate League) all marking an increase with a collective increase of 11% from the 2022/2023 season, most notably the excitement of one of the most memorable Playr-Fit Championship campaigns drove average matchday attendance up a staggering 112% in just one year.

Digitally the NI Football League continued to lead the way with the total social following increased 46% to 116,000 across all official channels. This included noted a 166% increase on TikTok and a further 84% increase on Instagram, as the league continues to cater for younger audiences more than ever.

NIFL’s video content proved highly engaging on social media, with a staggering 27m+ organic video views (+68%) on the previous year, as fans got goals, reaction and behind the scenes footage from their favourite clubs throughout the season.

Our supporters are constantly embracing the league in new ways, with thousands participating in NIFL’s popular online Fantasy Football game, which marked a 43% increase in players this season vying to emulate the real-life managers in the dugout.

The growth of the NI Football League has also been commercially as brands are now backing the benefits that NIFL can bring to their business. The league welcomed five new commercial partners this season in Sports Direct, Used Cars NI, Classic Water, Playr-Fit and most recently DAZN.

With such excitement and positivity surrounding the NI Football League, next season promises to be bigger and better than ever, so there is no better time to join us on the journey!

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle