Sony’s sports technology firm Hawk Eye’s profits soar

Pre-tax profits at Hawk-Eye, Sony’s sports technology firm best known here for its use in adjudicating scores in GAA championships, soared last year by 36% to £4.42m (€5.99m).

New accounts filed by Hawk-Eye Innovations Ltd show that profits leapt as revenues increased 24% from £10m to £12.5m in the 12 months to the end of March 2015.

The rise in business was driven by a massive jump in business outside the UK.

Revenues in the UK slumped from £3.6m to £3m, while sales outside the UK climbed 47% from £6.43m to £9.46m

Hawk-Eye helped determine the fate of the 2014 hurling All-Ireland final in September 2014, even as thousands of Tipperary supporters believed that John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer had won the match for Tipperary with a last-gasp long range free.

However, the Hawk-Eye technology in Croke Park made its most momentous call to date when it ruled the free wide resulting in the final being a draw.

It became known as the Hawk-Eye final. Kilkenny subsequently went on to win the replay.

In all, Hawk-Eye was called on to adjudicate on 11 disputed scores at 15 hurling matches at Croke Park in 2014, and was used five times in 30 football matches.

“The use of the technology has added to our match day experience and first and foremost its strengths lie in assisting our match officials in being as accurate in their calls for scores as they can possibly be,” a GAA spokesman said yesterday.

As used by Croke Park, the technology involves eight high-speed cameras with the ball position triangulated using four cameras covering each end of the stadium.

Hawk-Eye was installed at Croke Park after 86% of delegates at Congress voted in favour of installing it.

Hawk-Eye has long enjoyed a high-public profile through its ball-tracking technology for tennis.

Along with the GAA, Sony’s Hawk-Eye technology is also used in the Premier League in England, Serie A in Italy and the German Bundesliga.

Accumulated profits at Hawk-Eye last year totalled £9.7m, while its cash pile increased from £1.68m to £2.49m.


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