An idea that initially started out as fans having a platform to voice their opinions on their favourite football team has become a viral phenomenon.

The concept of fan TV has grown into an integral aspect of the modern match-day experience, combining an organic way for supporters to talk about their club with online engagement.

Formed in 2007, multi-award-winning The Redmen TV covers Liverpool FC on all major platforms, and is widely regarded as one of the most prominent football fan channels in existence today.

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Since its inception, the channel has grown from a modest hub for fans to discuss the club’s latest results to a social phenomenon that boasts more than 1.1 million followers worldwide.

UCFB recently caught up with co-founder Paul Machin as part of UCFB’s Executive Guest Speaker series to discuss the rise of fan-owned football channels. Commenting on the rise of fan TV, Paul said: “The rise of fan-owned channels is largely down to the increased interest in the sport; with 24-hour news cycles like Sky Sports News, football has now become central to everyone’s lives.”

He continued: “When we started The Redmen TV, in the mainstream you had people talking about Liverpool who didn’t understand Liverpool – that’s really annoying. When footballers who don’t watch the games are trying to pass opinion off as fact, it is very, very annoying.”

The Redmen TV’s formation ignited the birth of several other successful channels including Full-Time Devils, AFTV and CFC Fan TV, but they’ve also helped bridge the gap between supporters, mainstream media and elite clubs through several guest appearances on Sky Sports, combined with a close relationship with Liverpool.

Paul said: “There was a space for hours upon hours of content and coverage that wasn’t being given the time of day on Sky Sports or Match of the Day. The role that fan TV plays is that it allows us to have those conversations that are being had in the real world, but aren’t being covered anywhere.”

Alongside their trailblazing status, The Redmen TV enjoy strong links with UCFB, most notably through BA (Hons) Football Business & Media graduate Ross Chandley, who is now employed as the channel’s Head of Marketing and Social Media.

Highlighting his work at The Redmen TV, Paul added: “Ross has been our shining example of how this arrangement with UCFB can work. What he did for us was he came in as work experience and made himself invaluable to what we did. He left us with no choice but to find permanent employment for him because he became so important to our setup. For me, that’s what we’re always striving to; he’s set the benchmark.”