Sky switches sides to avoid eyesore standfor debut match

The roofless Old Stand in Nowlan Park won’t be seen in Sky Sports’ GAA debut next month.

Sky switches sides to avoid eyesore standfor debut match

The British broadcaster has confirmed it will station its main action cameras above the O’Loughlin Road side so that the eyesore is avoided.

It will mean Sky will have to construct its own gantry vantage points as games are usually shot from the New Stand on the Hebron Road.

Part of the roof which covered the 1,800 capacity stand on the O’Loughlin Road side was blown off during a violent storm in February. The remainder of it was removed for health and safety reasons and Kilkenny’s three Division 1A games went ahead at the venue.

“We’re not bringing a roof,” laughed Sky Sports’ director of production Steve Smith. “That’s where the production manager and directors go and deal with the specific detail but I do know about Nowlan Park and the fact it’s redeveloping. The plan is to shoot from that side rather than into that side. We’d much rather show what a great spectacle it is rather than shooting a building site.”

Kilkenny’s official Twitter handle last week posted a photograph of the old steel frame being taken off the Old Stand.

County chairman Ned Quinn confirmed last month a new roof wouldn’t be put in place in time for the visit of Offaly.

All of Sky Sports’ live coverage will be done at games and Smith indicated Gaelic games will benefit from the state-of-the-art analysis treatment as have other sports.

“One of our guys in Sky Sports developed a light-sensitive touch-screen, which is the only one in the world. In order to overcome that production challenge we invented a new technology and by being able to invent that technology it gives us the ability to deploy the touch-screen in Formula One in the drivers’ pits and the paddock. It’s allowed us to go pitchside at the rugby and pitchside at the cricket with the Skycart for the Ashes last summer. We would like to get to a place where we’re getting better insight from players as well as our analysts to give the fans a greater understanding of what’s going on, explaining why things are happening rather than going down the route of clichés.”

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