After yesterday’s reports of Chelsea going off-air got everyone worked up — somehow that must mean Abramovich is selling or just straight-up liquidating the club, right? — then got corrected to clarify that the channel is just dropping the pay-TV portion of the service and stopping its broadcast on Sky, Chelsea have now confirmed that indeed, the official club channel is going fully digital.
Chelsea TV will be going fully digital, on-demand and subscription-free to all fans on Monday 1 July!— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 17, 2019
Everything you need to know
The service will now only be available via the official website (yay!) and the 5th Stand app (boo!), the latter of which is almost as outdated a concept as broadcasting on actual TV services.
In any case, the best part of the news is that Chelsea TV will now be completely “free” — just have to sign up for an account, consent to giving away some private information, and getting data-mined — and if you subscribed to it either via Sky or the website, you will no longer have to pay after June 30 to watch any part of it, live streams, press conferences, video clips, features, you name it.
It’s unclear if Chelsea will refund at least a portion of the subscription fee for people like me, a subscriber via the website who just got charged the annual $90 subscription renewal fee a couple weeks ago. Thanks, Chelsea TV!