GAA confirms media rights arrangements for the next 5 years

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GAA confirms media rights arrangements for the next 5 years

Sky & RTE will share summer games.

Both RTE and Sky will share live GAA championship coverage on television for the next five years. If the reported figures around the money the GAA has managed to secure for it’s television and radio rights arrangements are true, grassroots clubs looks set for a windfall down the line.

It’s the biggest deal in the history of the GAA, and Director General Paraic Duffy believes a fair balance has been struck.

From the 2017 GAA Football and Hurling championships RTÉ television retains access to 31 senior championship games each year including all provincial hurling and football finals, both All-Ireland hurling and two All-Ireland football quarter-finals, and the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals in both football and hurling. Sky Sports have retained rights to 20 games, 14 of them exclusive, including two All-Ireland football quarter-finals. They will, as previously, broadcast the All-Ireland hurling and football semi-finals and finals on a simulcast basis with RTÉ. BBC Northern Ireland will once again broadcast live TV coverage from the Ulster senior football championship.

In all, a total of 45 games will be broadcast live across the GAA Football and Hurling Championships while RTÉ will continue to broadcast the Sunday night highlights programme The Sunday Game. TG4 has retained access to Sunday afternoon Allianz League and club championship games and to broadcast Minor championship games up to and including the finals.  It will therefore, continue to broadcast 85 live and deferred league, club championship, minor and U20/21 championship games each year. TG4 has also retained rights to highlights packages for the Allianz leagues and for inter-county and club championship action. Saturday night Allianz League games will be broadcast on the eir Sport platform.

RTÉ Radio 1 has successfully secured full and exclusive live radio rights for all GAA games including inter-county league and championship action while RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta will again broadcast all-year long as Gaeilge. The GAA’s existing local radio agreement continues with 20 stations around the country and Today FM and Newstalk have both been awarded score flash rights.

In a departure from the previous media rights deal, the GAA has retained its clip rights for all games with plans to leverage them across its own platforms as part of a wider digital content strategy. GAA Football Championship sponsors eir will also have access to these rights in addition to access to the GAA archive. Sky Sports will have clip access for their 14 exclusive games.

Partnerships with Premium Sports (North America – Commercial Premises) and Premier Sports (Britain) have also been renewed.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail said: “We are pleased to confirm media rights arrangements that will keep our games to the fore across the airwaves, both at home and overseas, for the next five years.

“We believe they strike a balance between the need to promote and profile the games on air using modern technology while remaining mindful always of the requirement to encourage people to attend our games in person – support that is the lifeblood of the organisation.

“Gaelic games have never been more heavily promoted and our work with our media partners is an integral part of that process, both through the coverage of the games and their general promotion of our activities.”

Director General Páraic Duffy added: “Broadcasting revenues represent an important funding source for the work of the Association and its units. Other major sporting bodies can participate in lucrative centralised rights pooling and revenue-sharing agreements that are not available to the GAA and it was vital that we achieved the proper value for our rights. Our success in that regard in the allocation of these rights will enable us to boost our investment in games and infrastructural development.

“I am also pleased that gaa.ie has retained its own clip rights which will allow the Association to showcase our games on our own platforms and to promote gaa.ie and our other digital channels as sources of all GAA activity and information.”

Good News for SME’s €70 million lower cost funding for specialist equipment and vehicles

Great news for Irish business. Ballywire Video.

More badly needed credit is becoming available at a lower cost. The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and FEXCO Asset Finance have announced a new funding package of €70 million that will allow Irish SMEs to borrow at a lower cost for specialist equipment and vehicles.

The €70 million fund will be available to SMEs for the finance of business assets which can support growth while facilitating improved cash flow management.

During 2016, SBCI has provided funding to four new lenders, Ulster Bank, First Citizen, Bibby Financial Services and FEXCO and in July announced it had facilitated more than 8,600 loans since being established in early 2015.

SBCI lenders offer lower cost loans across a range of products including working capital, investment, agri-finance, invoice finance, fleet finance and leasing. On average, SMEs receive a discount of 1.5% on market rates for these loans.

Welcoming the news, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan said, “FEXCO’s partnership with the SBCI shows how Government can work together with domestic business to support Irish SMEs. Today’s announcement is another example of the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to increase the availability of credit for SMEs and the provision of supplementary sources of finance.”

Ballywire was delighted to be in attendance as SBCI Chief Executive Officer Nick Ashmore and Mike O’Halloran of FEXCO Asset Finance made the official announcement.


Tragic stories that hit home – ‘What’s Left Behind’.

At the heart of all the content we create at Ballywire are human stories.
They can be about an entrepreneur who has a great idea, even a business capitalising on new trends or technologies. However one of the most touching strands of content we worked on was under the umbrella of Embrace FARM, a support network in Ireland for those affected by fatal and serious agricultural accidents. We worked closely with Bridge PR MD Eugene Hogan whose brother Dermot was tragically a victim of one such accident. The common theme running through each video story was how tragedy came from what could be an ordinary day for anyone, anywhere, and how when on the farm you have to think twice about all your activity or face traumatic family consequences. Such was the case of Padraig Higgins who to this day reflects on the life of his son who tragically passed away in 2008 at the age of just 7. Once the editing and videography was completed and the stories went live they were widely shared on line and even featured on RTE’s Late Late Show. The project may have been completed by Ballywire but the relevance of this content remains as important as ever. Padraig Higgins the father of an ‘extraordinary little fellow’ killed in an accident on his farm heartbrokenly told of how Christmas will never be the same without his 7 year old son.

Farm Safety Week 2016 was supported by the Farm Safety Foundation, Farm Safety Partnerships, the Health and Safety Executive, Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and Health and Safety Authority, Ireland and we are reminded that farming is not child’s play.

The fourth annual Farm Safety Week offered a week of themed practical advice and guidance for farmers and urges farmers to consider “Who Would Fill Your Boots?” if something were to happen to them and never is this more poignant than when an accident happens to a child. This story also appeared on agriland.ie.


Will there ever be a better sporting/brand ambassador?

A sporting icon. A Leader. A Warrior. There are about a thousand words on the list to describe Paul O’Connell. Ballywire was lucky enough to spend a day in the Limerick man’s company for a trip to the North Tipperary town of Nenagh when even more qualities emerged. The man who injected ‘manic aggression’ into Irish rugby and put his body on the line to play through the pain barrier showed his softer side as he mixed with sports fans of all ages.

If you’re on the look out for a brand ambassador the bar set by Paul O’Connell would be a good place to start marking out a criteria. A hero on the pitch, someone who is warm and approachable off it. Sad to see any career cut short by injury and especially so in Paulie’s case. When you’re forming a shortlist of people to partner your brand with, have a look at this Ballywire video created for adidas and ask yourself does this person that we are thinking about signing up have similar qualities? If not, maybe best to go back to the drawing board. From all at Ballywire, enjoy the retirement Paul.

Ballywire goes 360 degrees!

#360Fly review.
It was like christmas morning at Ballywire Towers when this yoke arrived.

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Looks like a snooker ball but it’s one of a new breed of video camera which like a lot of the toys Santa delivers sounds great in principle. A 360° HD video recorder. You’ve heard of a Go Pro? This is aimed at a similar market for action videos. For most the possibility of seeing things in 360 degrees was a concept first observed on Star Trek’s holodeck. However advances in technology have brought the idea closer to a commercial reality. Or to use the tech terms ‘augmented reality’ or ‘virtual reality’.

And there is some amount of money being bet on growth in the sector. A report by US management consultancy Digi-Capital notes there have now been 6 straight quarters of AR/VR investment growth, with a quarter of a billion dollars invested in Q4 2015 alone at nearly 6x the rate of mid-2014. Sure why wouldn’t we try and see if it was a space we could try and muscle in on!

Currently the 360fly is only available in the US at electronics chain Best Buy. However Santy was good and we’ve been trying it out in a real world production environment in Dublin, Ireland. Initially we thought ‘wow it would be great for things like virtual tours of houses for sale or tourist attractions’.

However after a fair bit of ‘fluting’ (Irish term for roadtesting) we finally arrived at a conclusion that you will see later.

The workflow that transformed the media and gave Ballywire it’s unique workflow is the notion of file based recording. This allows for rapid editing and publication on line. Under that workflow you record your piece on a camera smart card drop it onto your desktop, do a quick edit and say publish to youtube.

That’s the approach you’d expect with any recording device but 360 degree workflow is way more challenging in terms of that simple process.

After pressing record at Ballywire HQ – excitement was building about seeing our office in 360 degrees.

Challenge 1

Capturing from the device is not that straight forward.

In theory you download the 360 fly app to your desktop then drag and drop. But wait. You have to be running Apples OSX. No worries we have that box ticked. Except the app keeps crashing. And it doesn’t recognise the camera as a storage device allowing the dragging of the files to the desktop.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 3.11.08 p.m.

Through a series of tutorials and help pages it emerged that you have to effectively livestream the content to your phone to access it once you’ve downloaded their mobile app. Fine did that. Now it’s on the android S6. Still cant see it though.

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Have an idea I will use the Android file transfer. FINALLY got it onto the desktop and will upload it to youtube. Great can’t wait to see this 360 degree shot of the office!

Oh right I have to bring it into the desktop app to export a 360 movie. Better do that. Good job there isn’t a client waiting for their virtual tour!

Lesson 2 Youtube doesn’t recognise 360 footage too quickly and it takes AGES to render it! (Manage client expectation here!)

If you DO want an ACTUAL 360 degree view of the Ballywire office you will need to be reading this in a Google Chrome browser otherwise when you click on the link below you will see this message.
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If you ARE watching in Google Chrome have a squint here. Ballywire quiet as church mice(for a change):

While you’re at it you might as well have a squint behind the scenes at the Jamie Meets recording:

Conclusion

The Fly looks lovely. It reckons it shoots at 1500×1500 at 30fps, but the final footage is not comparable to say, an iPhone 6s or Nexus 6, or any of the flagship phones out today. You won’t be getting those high-end production shots you’ve been dreaming about with the 360fly, and the worflow is a nightmare. It’s a first generation product and it shows great promise for the ability to record everything happening around you at once. Nice idea though. Oh and it works underwater!

What does the future of digital journalism look like?

These are challenging times for traditional media, newspapers especially. Journalists not already wondering about what their futures look like must surely be thinking in that direction now following the announcement by London Independent newspaper owner Evgeny Lebedev that he plans to close the publications daily and Sunday print titles to focus on a digital proposition. With the advent of smart phones and social media nowadays other key questions are who will create the news of tommorrow, and who will pay for it?

Lebedev is predicting that other newspaper closures will likely follow. Media owners are keen to come up with some sort of business model that compensates for the fact that mobile phone owners are buying less newspapers. What do you do? Close down? Try to make a go of digital? What does that even mean? Increasingly people seem to want a video component as part of their news mix and it seems that will be key to the newspaper future business model.

Providing broadcast quality video, Ballywire has worked with all Ireland’s major newspaper groups since the company’s foundation in 2007. Established with a traditional newsroom format, ironically in the time since we opened, despite the proliferation of mobile phones, it’s been the traditional journalistic model of a broadcast tv operator, reporter and producer that has sustained us over the past decade.

We’ve had several different business models with the newspaper groups as they sought to move with the times and add video to their revenue mix. At the time we started domestic video inventory in Ireland was quite limited. And while not a huge amount has changed nowadays some youtube versions of tv ads and amateur material captured on mobile phones makes up quite a lot of what appears on publication portals today.

Another video source utilised by newsdesks is when video is provided on behalf of sponsors who will heavily brand the video which they provide free of charge. A good example of that was a star studded Ballywire adidas predator suite of content from a Predator boot launch at Carton House. The material got quite a bit of pick up as you can see here.

 

Actual video news remains the hardest nut for newspapers to crack. Thats mainly because it’s very difficult to predict day to day where the news is going to make headlines. When The Irish Times took their first steps into the world of digital with Ireland.com, we supplied the first video material. A mix of news, sport, entertainment and culture. Even radio station launches like 4FM!

Several major tv networks now offer news in bite sized format, which is something we also introduced into the Irish market. Ireland in a Minute was published each morning at 8am on independent.ie

 

Seperate to that we also trialled a pilot morning video news on regional radio websites – Ireland/now.

 

Ireland is too small a country for major news providers to fight over and the global heavyweights haven’t bothered with us to date, but what will the future Irish newspapers look like in 10 or 20 years? Maybe it’s time to revive Ireland/now!

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Like rugby? Want to edit video? No money involved though!

Fair play to the team at IP&TV News who got a real global exclusive in the video content and sports space in their latest newsletter.

The question of how to police broadcast content and more to the point monetize it is something bedeviling every media and content publisher today. Broadcast companies pay big bucks for the live experience and the match highlights but often times goals or interesting passages of play end up on social media thanks to everyones capacity now to pause, rewind, record on your mobile phone and upload to wherever. Today the guys in IP&TV News have a revelation that will have sports organizations across the world taking note.

What’s that sez you?

Empowering rugby fans to edit their own video mashups using broadcast quality tv standard footage.

Rugby has been very quick to harness the viewing power of youtube with match highlights available after Six Nations matches. Some of that can be distressing viewing as was the case with our weekend Paris match. But here’s an example of a similar game with happier memories for us.

World Rugby’s Murray Barnett outlined a new departure for a sports organization.

“Let’s say, for instance, that you’re reading a sports article online. If the blogger or journalist in question was looking to illustrate a specific point about a team’s defensive frailties, wouldn’t it make sense for them to be able to offer a video compilation of the incidents under discussion? And what about a fan wanting to make a similar compilation, either to prove a point, or simply share on social?”

Surely this can only be good for the sport? Certainly, with so much sports video out there, and with video editing technology so readily available and easy to use, it makes sense that the ability to do so isn’t confined to the Carraghers and Nevilles of the world.

Murray Barnett stresses that, when it comes to claimed content, there is as much enthusiasm for it as opposition at World Rugby.

He explains: “From the fans’ perspective we’re delighted if a fan goes and puts a mash up of their ten favourite tries from the rugby world cup: that we like. What we don’t like is people trying to monetise off the back of ripping our content off. The Rugbydumps and Rugby Heavens of this world, they’re making money from using our content for free, which other people pay a lot of money for.

“The other issue, which is also important, is quality. We would prefer to give people access to be able to create those mash ups, using our high quality content that we put up on YouTube, rather than have them rip up crappy versions of our content, and reflecting the sport in a bad way.”

Murray revealed that World Rugby is presently exploring a tool for their website that would enable users to access content, do some basic editing, and upload it to YouTube. The copyright, in this instance, would still belong to World Rugby (and so would any advertising revenue), but the chance to customise top quality content, and to post it, would be placed in the hands of the user.

The implications of this kind of approach are potentially huge for sports rights owners. Imagine if every time a fan posted Premier League content online the Premier League would receive revenue. “It helps with the whole fan engagement,” Murray adds, “and the customised content becomes a much richer viewing experience than just plonking up the content that we pump out, because we’re obviously editing for a mass audience but there are lots of very talented people out there.”

You can read the full article here.

In the meantime anyone else looking to edit content for nothing send cvs this way! (Joke!)

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