For the love of soccer
Celeb soccer fanatics launch new online TV channel
LARS EIDE & STIAN JOHNSEN
In December, a new online TV channel debuted, offering a subscription solution with “delicious [soccer] content every day,” according to Aleksander Schau.
Welcome to fotball.tv. There are five weekly programs about soccer from Monday to Friday, with different themes every day. The quartet behind the venture consists of the Norwegians Schau, Thomas Aune, Tor-Kristian Karlsen, and Frode Lia. Each had been a celebrity in different arenas related to soccer.
For several years, Aune produced soccer content for radio and TV, often with Schau. Karlsen has, among other things, been sports director in Monaco, and he scouts for clubs such as Bayern Leverkusen, and Zenit Saint Petersburg. He resigned as sports manager at Eliteserien’s Start club two years ago, after two years on the job.
Lia was the editor of the soccer magazine Josimar from 2009 until he resigned in 2018. Lia had the idea for a new TV channel. The other three immediately liked the idea, and the four started working on the project.
The TV channel will offer English, Norwegian, international, and European soccer, with a separate women’s soccer magazine.
“Then, we will eventually expand with some documentaries, debate programs, and quizzes with live shows. We have a pandemic going on, so it is not so easy with the public, but there will be a vaccine one fine day,” said Schau to NTB in November
A subscription costs NOK 499 a year, a little less than $59 or so.
Their headquarters are in the center of Oslo between the Grønland neighborhood and the Old Town. Schau says that a lot of renovation and construction remains to be done, but they have managed to get a little ahead of schedule.
The whole story
Schau points out that the channel does not have the same limitations that linear TV has with advertising and broadcast formats. Therefore, they can determine when to end or continue a discussion.
“We do not need to erase or quit too soon,” said Schau. “We give the themes the time they deserve. I think people will appreciate that. You often get a feeling of ‘rushing’ things a little. I’ve made my days, weeks, and months with live TV. It’s a lot of fun. We also want to go live, but on TV there is an advertising break and a kick-off at the other end, and the time limit is locked. It’s gone now. It’s fun.”
Market for fun
He has no doubt that there is a market for the new concept.
“I know it’s going to be a lot of fun. Look at the list of people we are gathering here. We do not play shop,” he said.
Commentators, journalists, and current and former soccer players are among the people you can watch on the online TV screen. When discussing German soccer, for example, Viasat commentator Eivind Bisgaard Sundet and TV profile Asbjørn Slettemark will be seen in the studio, said Schau.
“People who have played at the top level, come in and talk about what they love most about their wife, husband and children,” said the former TV2 profiler.
Schau was full of anticipation and enthusiasm, as he looked forward to the premiere: “I am really looking forward to Dec. 14,” said Schau. “I’m not excited, I’m just looking forward. I know this is something I would watch myself. We make things to look at ourselves. Then it should not be about love and effort,” he said.
Translated and edited by Michael Kleiner
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 12, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.