Arsenal have forced the popular media outlet Arsenal Fan TV into a rebrand after talks were held between the club’s hierarchy and the YouTube channel.
It is claimed that the unauthorised use of the copyrighted term ’Arsenal’ for audio and visual recordings was negatively impacting the club.
The channel has over 820,000 YouTube subscribers, but its content appeals to a worldwide audience, demonstrated by the 487.5m views and 285,000 Twitter followers from across the globe. The figures have clearly alarmed senior officials at the Emirates, who have moved to protect the global image of the club through the forced alteration.
The fan platform now called AFTV, which was created by Robbie Lyle, a former BBC radio host, has consequently rebranded its social media channels as @AFTVMedia.
The channel’s popularity remains unaffected, with their most recent interview with former right-back and Invincible Lauren highlighting the willingness of Arsenal players past and present to appear on the channel.
Nevertheless, it has received commensurate criticism throughout its six-year existence, the latest of which came in February from current Arsenal right-back Héctor Bellerín at the Oxford Union when he claimed the platform’s success was “fed off a failure”.
“How can that be a fan? There’s just people hustling, trying to make money their way, which everyone is entitled to do,” the 23-year-old Spaniard stated.
“For us players it doesn’t affect us. If they want to have fun with it then have fun.
“If someone from Arsenal Fan TV says this guy needs to do this or that I’m not going to listen to him. If a coach comes to me and says you’ve done something bad I’m going to take that advice,” he added.