GAA coverage in Ireland is set to undergo some major changes in 2023.
Sky Sports, who anchored much of the championship coverage over the last few summers, announced last year that they would no longer be broadcasting games. As a result, a fairly large void was left in the market.
Instead of a traditional broadcaster stepping in to fill that hole, the decision was taken to make GAAGO a larger part of the coverage of the sport.
The streaming service has been on the go for quite a while now, growing in popularity during the covid pandemic when attendance at inter-county games was severely limited or prohibited altogether. It also acted as a good resource for those outside of Ireland that wanted to view championship games, removing the issue RTÉ's geoblocking of some streams due to rights issues.
It will now be taking on a far larger role in exclusively broadcasting championship games inside Ireland.
The streaming service will carry 22 Sam Maguire games, and nine from the hurling championship - as well as seven games from the Tailteann Cup in 2023.
An annual subscription is priced at €79, with individual games passes also available for €12.
GAAGO gets off to questionable start in 2023
One of the issues prior to this year was that GAAGO did not provide broadcast quality streams. They often simply streamed games with live commentary, with very little in the way of punditry or analysis.
That looks set to change, with an impressive lineup of pundits in both codes being announced in recent times.
However, their start to the season has been a poor one.
With the Allianz National Football Leagues getting underway this weekend, they have announced that their app will not be up and running for the next couple of weeks.
GAAGO hitting the ground running! pic.twitter.com/gJCEQXn3TJ
— Patrick McCarron (@pmcarron) January 27, 2023
Ahead of the 2023 inter-county season, we've been working hard on the GAAGO apps to bring you an improved streaming experience.
We'd hoped to have our new updated iOS and Android apps available for you to enjoy the opening weekend of the Allianz Football Leagues but unfortunately the maintenance being carried out needs a little more time so you will not be able to update, login or access content via the apps this weekend.
We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this, but will be releasing the updated apps within the next 2 weeks. When there is a chance that a minority of customers could have an issue using the app then we can't stand by releasing it.
GAAGO is due to show the Division 1 clash between Monaghan and Armagh later this evening.
Customers will still be able to access games via their website, although it had been assumed that the app would be a cornerstone of the service. It certainly makes things a bit more inconvenient for viewers, something is not ideal when you are paying to view individual games.
It will also lead to questions about the product that will be on offer later this summer, during which they will be the only broadcasters available on which to watch certain championship games.
Here's hoping we won't see a repeat of such issues as the season goes on.