Mark Landers: There are endless possibilities for GAA streaming

'I wouldn’t be prepared to go for Galway to watch the final but if I can go to a game in Cork then watch the Galway game from home where I can have my Sunday dinner with the kids then great'
Mark Landers: There are endless possibilities for GAA streaming

Mark Landers: 'I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have ended up watching three or four matches over a weekend at home'. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach

Cork’s 1999 All-Ireland winning captain Mark Landers believes the GAA have to tap into the potential of live streaming club championship fixtures.

Due to crowd restrictions, the streaming of club games has exploded since Gaelic games returned at the end of July. Landers hopes the GAA and county boards look to maximising its potential with season passes and making football and hurling packages available that cover a number of counties.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of GAA people about streaming and I’ve been asking them what are they prepared to pay to watch a match,” says the Irish Examiner streaming hurling analyst.

“And the feedback mostly is a fiver or a tenner. But if supporters had the opportunity pay an annual subscription of maybe €100 and can watch any streamed club game then you’re talking serious business because there would be massive interest.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have ended up watching three or four matches over a weekend at home. If a fella can watch games from Cork, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, the final in Galway this weekend, that makes it very attractive.

“Like, I wouldn’t be prepared to go for Galway to watch the final but if I can go to a game in Cork then watch the Galway game from home where I can have my Sunday dinner with the kids then great.”

Counties like Limerick and Derry have already provided season passes, Limerick’s impressive 30-game package available at €100 and Derry charging £30 for a minimum of 10 games. Landers says getting the price point of an annual subscription will be vital.

“This has got to be priced properly. Sky Sports has a monthly fee but it is 24/7 and these club matches obviously aren’t. But if you were able to log in for a game over each day of the weekend you would definitely consider subscribing.

“I mentioned €100 a year as an example, it may be €200 a year but for that you would need to be able watch all of the games and maybe a minimum number of games each weekend during the club championships.

There should be no reason that can’t happen with the technology that exists. It may have to start with one county and an annual subscription for games in that county but it should be able to develop on a national basis.

Landers accepts crowds could be impacted by streaming but insists it has to be supported so as to keep more people engaged.

“It’s going to affect attendances but the greater good here is more people in a club will watch a game on the television rather than getting up and going to it. It does take an awful lot of effort to go to a match now whereas in years before we wouldn’t have taken it on board.

"Diehard supporters will still go to the games but now others who might go to the big games will watch it at home.”

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