Blind football fans to benefit from accessible live stream

Newcastle United has become the first football club to launch an audio live stream which is accessible for visually impaired people.

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British Wireless is delighted to announce the launch of a free, accessible live Newcastle United commentary feed on its streamed service.

Our Technology Assistant Dave Beard has been hoping to secure it for a number of years.

Final testing of the link, which has been designed specially for BWBF’s streamed service, took place during the club’s game against Burton last week.

A message has been put on our users’ equipment so they know it is now live and it will be available every time there is a game, both home and away.

While many football clubs do provide free audio commentary online, the feeds are locked behind log-in authentication and wrapped up in flash players which can be very frustrating and almost impossible for people with sight loss to access on their own.

Mr Beard said: “The results of the final test at the weekend were extremely positive – the stream is 100% stable and we didn’t experience any drops during the entire 90 minutes.

“Following on from this, it will now go live to the 800 listeners we have to our streamed service.

“BWBF is extremely grateful to the technology team at Newcastle United which has worked to produce this stream.

“It will have a massive impact on our blind and partially sighted listeners and we hope it will pave the way to even more accessible live football on our streamed service.”

Newcastle United FC’s Head of Safeguarding, Welfare and Equality, Steve Swinyard, said: “We are delighted to be able to work with British Wireless for the Blind Fund in order to make the provision of this service possible.

As an organisation, we are committed to working towards football being accessible to all and we consider this work done to be a real success in this regard.

“I hope the service is used and enjoyed by many fans and adds real value to the overall support experience we offer.”