Sport

Tyrone GAA: Crime gangs’ pirating operation hitting Tyrone TV revenue hard

The live stream of this year’s Tyrone Championship attracted 15,500 subscriptions from almost 7,000 customers, a significant reduction on the 2022 figures
The live stream of this year’s Tyrone Championship attracted 15,500 subscriptions from almost 7,000 customers, a significant reduction on the 2022 figures TV troubles

Organised crime gangs are behind a pirating operation that has decimated revenue from Tyrone GAA’s live streaming service.

Subscriptions from viewers of live club championship games had dropped dramatically this year due to the interception of streams through the illegal use of Firesticks and apps.

Tyrone GAA’s Information and Technology Officer Gerard Bradley claims the county has been particularly targeted by those individuals and organisations behind the offences.

“The reduction in subscriptions has been clearly identified as being almost entirely due to the activities of organised criminal gangs, with local providers who use modified Firesticks and apps to pirate live streams,” Bradley will tell Tuesday night's county convention.

“The live stream of this year’s championship attracted 15,500 subscriptions from almost 7,000 customers. These figures show a significant reduction on the 2022 figures.

“While Tyrone has been particularly targeted by this criminal activity, all other units including the GAA at central level and other sports are also victims.

“The attendance at matches continued to exceed the number of live stream tickets sold.”

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Tyrone TV led the way once again during 2023 as the only county to live stream every single club championship match.

Fifty games were covered at Senior, Intermediate and Junior level, providing outstanding coverage for supporters all over the world.

“MacAV, a local company continues to deliver excellent video and production for all our live streaming that makes the quality of our product, a market leader,” said Bradley.

“Our commentators and analysts, as always, provided a very professional service that matches and exceeds anything provided by other broadcasters.

While the coverage was of high quality and largely problem-free, one glitch resulted in streaming of the Intermediate Championship final between Pomeroy and Moy being interrupted.

“Unfortunately, due to a technical issue with the CDN the live stream of the Intermediate Final was not delivered during the first half.

“The provider is still investigating the cause of this failure, but it has been clearly established that the live stream was uploaded to their servers and the technical issues were on their side of the delivery.

“All subscribers were refunded their subscriptions, and the match was streamed live on social media.

“We again used a satellite uplink for the Senior football final to ensure the highest level of stability for the upload of the live stream.”

Meanwhile, county PRO Rory Cox hailed the skills of the match commentators who add to the entertainment value with their insightful and expert description of the action.

“We’re hugely appreciative of our commentators and co-commentators who bring the coverage to life. Paddy Hunter, Ger Treacy, Conall Martin, Damian Harvey, Eunan Lindsay and Noel McGinn all stepped up to provide commentary this year,” he said.

“This is no easy task and I thank them for their time, skill and energy.

“The host clubs once again played a vital role in setting up and preparing for the Tyrone TV team. Many thanks to the clubs that set up platforms, ran cables and installed high-speed broadband connections amongst many other tasks.”