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Streaming club games remains a challenge


Oisín McGovern

MAYO GAA chiefs ‘can’t guarantee that mistakes won’t be made’ in relation to how Mayo GAA TV operates in the future, but ‘we need to make sure that we make things better and learn from other counties’.
That’s according to the County Board’s IT officer, Michael Lang, who is hoping that regular online meetings of IT officers from all around the country where ‘information, best practice and recommendations’ are shared will help Mayo GAA with their plans for online streaming in the future.
County Board chairman Liam Moffatt told a meeting of club delegates in January that Mayo GAA intends to ‘run a more robust streaming service’ this year.
“For so many reasons it’s very technically challenging, but the knowledge and know-how is being rolled out within the association as to how to do it better,” explained Lang, a member of Tourmakeady GAA club.
“Communications infrastructure is big thing. Tyrone said they were only able to broadcast from certain places that had fibre optic broadband. There are some serious things to deal with when you are broadcasting from a place that might have low connectivity.
“It was a completely unprecedented thing.
“When streaming was set up in the last few years they wouldn’t have expected that it would be the main source of participants at a particular game. It might have been ten percent of the attendance at a game, last year it was 100 percent because it was the only way to be there. “The technologies that were set up weren’t robust enough to set up the traffic that they were getting.
“The GAA wouldn’t have had much experience of this type of problem and were very much hit with it last year and learning and troubleshooting as they went along.
“Hopefully this year all of the counties will get together and exchange their knowledge, learn what worked well, learn what didn’t work well and be able to deliver a better service this year coming. It’s no fault of those that were doing their best with it.”
Mayo GAA received some negative publicity from irate Mayo GAA TV subscribers during the course of last year’s club football championships after technical difficulties meant that there were streaming issues during some games.
However, Michael Lang is adamant that the ‘personal abuse’ directed at the former Mayo GAA PRO, Paul Cunnane, ‘wasn’t on at all’ and said that ‘technology can let you down’.
“County board officers get a lot of flak sometimes when they’re just trying to do their best. “People can make mistakes, they’re human. Technology can let you down. Technically what they’re trying to do is very difficult.
“All I can say this year coming is that we’ll try and learn from the lessons and try and do it better. We can’t guarantee that mistakes won’t be made again, we can’t guarantee that the system won’t go down, but we need to make sure that we make things better and learn from other counties.”


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