Highland League secretary Rod Houston believes streaming the semi-finals and final of the 2019-20 Highland League Cup can be a big success.
The competition, carried over from last term, will be completed this month with semi-finals between Brora Rangers and Buckie Thistle at Dudgeon Park and Formartine United and Rothes at North Lodge to be played behind closed doors on October 17.
The final will be staged a week later at a venue yet to be announced.
The three ties will be streamed online for supporters to watch on a pay-per-view basis.
Houston said: “We’re pleased we’re able to do this. We’re trying to be innovative by streaming the games for people to watch.
“We will need to generate a wee bit of revenue to help the clubs with the cost of staging and getting to the games.
“The sponsors Utilita are happy that we’re going to complete the tournament and it’s good to have their support.
“Streaming the games is a big step and we’ve got people working on it as we speak.
“We’ll make more information available in the near future.
“We hope the streams can attract a wide audience because we feel these are two outstanding semi-final ties and we would hope it can attract a good audience online. There is a degree of novelty in it, but I think the quality of the teams playing is a huge selling point.”
The Highland League had hoped to be able to begin the 2020-21 season on October 17.
But, with no supporters allowed for the foreseeable future, clubs didn’t see it as financially viable and opted to pause the start of the campaign until at least November 28.
Completing the Highland League Cup behind closed doors is viewed as achievable because there are only three games to be played and four teams involved.
If the new season did kick off on October 17, every club would have been facing playing for a prolonged period without significant matchday income, which isn’t viewed as sustainable.
With Highland League clubs having already started their pre-season preparations, Houston believes scheduling the semi-finals for October 17 suits the four sides in the League Cup.
He added: “One of the reasons we looked at these dates – if the start of the new season was delayed – was because the four clubs have been preparing for October 17 anyway.
“So, instead of preparing for the first league game, they can pick up where we left off in the Highland League Cup instead.
“We’ve been committed to finishing the competition and it sits comfortably with the decision to delay the start of season 2020-21.”