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Chelsea TV leaving Sky to be exclusively web- and App-based

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Progress? Progress.

Aston Villa v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

In a promising move, Chelsea are apparently taking Chelsea TV off-air with Sky (and cable TV) and making it an exclusively digital offering from July 1. It will be available on the official website, YouTube (clips), or, less helpfully, the 5th Stand app, which the club continue to push and prioritize, much to my annoyance.

Chelsea TV had launched on Sky Digital way back in 2001.

The move should allow the channel to grow and expand in a direction not tied to or influenced by Sky Sports, which was one of the reasons always brought up for why it wasn’t free, for example, like at an increasing number of top teams, or why it was relatively lacking in content when compared to similar club channels from Manchester City or Arsenal. With the operation now set to be wholly within the Chelsea “brand”, perhaps we’ll see improvement along those lines — although we seemed to be on the right track already in recent years before the (re-)introduction of the official app, a paradigm that is far from the forefront of the digital media landscape these days.

Initial reports claimed that Chelsea TV was going off-air completely, but they were quickly corrected (by most) to clarify that it was only the broadcast television portion that was being discontinued. No club can exist these days without an official club channel, paid or free.