Aug 14, 2018

AFTV? It's all about Arsenal

Arsenal Fan TV is one of the most popular football fan channels on YouTube. Robbie Lyle who hosts the show is an internet sensation and has gathered over 800,000 subscribers since launching the channel in 2012. Other fan channels have sprung up copying the model for other clubs.

Robbie regularly uploads unscripted interviews with guests Claude, Ty, DT and Troopz in which they discuss, debate, and rant about all things Arsenal Football Club. They are known for their unbridled passion and willingness to tear in to their team's own players over poor performances.

Now, however, it can no longer call itself Arsenal Fan TV. The club recently held discussions with Lyle and the channel and its social media accounts have now been rebranded to "AFTV" or "AFTVMedia".

There is some debate as to whether the club actually sent a formal cease and desist letter to Lyle, or if this change is strictly by agreement. Many Twitter users have reported as fact that a cease and desist letter was sent, but so far, no credible source has come forward to confirm that.

As far as we are aware this is the first time that a football club has (by one way or another) caused a fan vlog to change its name. It will be interesting to see if other fan-run vlogs and YouTube channels have similar branding issues moving forwards. Before we all feel too sorry for Mr Lyle and his fan-run football channel (which certainly started as a hobby), we should consider that it is now a significant commercial enterprise. In 2017 it was reported that given the number of videos he uploaded, the average viewership of each, and his (at the time) 600,000 subscribers, Mr Lyle was expected to earn over £400,000 per year from his YouTube activities alone.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

Posted by: in: News, Trade Marks

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