With a lot of sport being played currently behind closed doors, there is an increased clamour to allow people to still watch the local team they support. This has placed a large emphasis on streaming and technology to continue to allow sports to be broadcasted to those that want to watch them. Andrew Blair White talks about how these changes are affecting sport.
Heatley Tector is the owner of HBV Studios, who have been involved in the streaming of All Ireland League Rugby games from St Mary’s College, Naas RFC and Young Munster. “It’s a very exciting time to be broadcasting sport as there is a lot of demand for it,” he said. “A lot of these local clubs want to give a chance for members and regular visitors to watch their home games live and try to replicate being at the ground like they normally would.
“It is our job to then go ahead and produce a good service so that the viewer will enjoy and feel good value for getting to watch the game in their home.”
The numbers watching these local games are big with the AIL, GAA and League of Ireland all bringing in good viewing figures. The ‘Watch LOI’ campaign has allowed a lot of season ticket holders of local teams the opportunity to watch every game left in the season after the year was put on hold initially back in March. Since resumption, the streams have been very popular with people anxious to watch their local club and anxious to feel like they are back involved within their own club.
Tector added: “It is the way the world is going these days – there is a lot more technology present and it leads to more matches being streamed.
“The last few years, we have been broadcasting cricket coverage all over Ireland and now we are looking to branch out into other sports. We have got some rugby and also are looking to get into some hockey after this lockdown eases. This is exciting as it broadens what we can offer to each individual client, and we are looking to impress every single client that we work for. That is always our aim.”
However, broadcasting of games at a high level is not cheap. The majority of local clubs are having to rely on donations or good will from members to fund the chance of streaming games. This is a big ask in some local clubs but the good heart of an awful lot of people is showing through in these difficult times. Sponsors of leagues and of teams have stepped up to the plate brilliantly in the last few weeks, making sure that streams can be performed and that entertainment can therefore be provided. It’s a great environment when it works well, with everyone benefiting from the pictures and getting that feeling of normality with watching their local club on the weekend – no matter what the sport.
With the current restrictions potentially lasting for another while longer, there doesn’t seem to be a great chance of fans attending games very soon. Instead, clubs will have to be creative, they will have to try their best to show games to their fan base and more. Perhaps people will be in need of Heatley Tector and HBV Studios, they need a broadcaster to provide quality content.
It’s changing times at the moment, and streaming is the way forward for sport.