Time and time again we read and hear complaints about the lack of coverage of your favourite sports or sports personality by TV stations, particularly of course regarding RTE, our National broadcaster.
Many will say that the criticism is indeed justified, others will disagree. Is there an alternative? Here at SportsNewsIreland we recently brought you details of “Pledge Sports” scheme for athletes. Indeed “crowd funding” schemes are now popular throughout Europe as well as in the United States.
Today we look at some other possibilities that would allow for better TV and Live Streaming coverage of events that may be popular in a particular region or nationwide but which would not normally attract any coverage from say RTE or TV3.
For many Irish sporting organisations, clubs and athletes, lack of media coverage is an issue. RTE has limited airtime to cover the top tier sports and the cost of traditional production makes it very difficult for it to be worthwhile for broadcasters to engage in minority and niche sports. However, in this digital era, an emerging trend of live streaming and crowd-funding has started in Ireland, giving power to the people.
In February, the Irish athletics community secured funding for live streaming coverage of their event through online donations. The athletes wanted the event streamed, after Athletics Ireland initiative with live streaming company, Aertv, proved a huge success.
The IUAA were unable to attract a sponsor for their smaller event but through nTrai, a crowd-funding website, they managed to gather over the €1,800 that was required in just two days. The athletes promoted the event via social media and appealed to their community to donate by posting videos through their social media channels.
The campaign worked and Aertv produced the live streaming with givebacks to the community through live commentary on the day. Again fans engaged by posting pictures of themselves watching the live stream and the coverage received fantastic feedback. IUAA wish to repeat the success of this campaign and have initiated a new project to live stream their Track & Field Championships on 12thApril.
David O’Shea, founder of nTrai said, “We are delighted to be hosting the project in conjunction with IUAA and Aertv. The indoor campaign went extremely well and I’m sure the athletes will get behind the project again. It’s a real example of participants helping to make their sport better.”
Philippe Brodeur, director of Aertv said, “Irish sports are often under-represented by the traditional broadcasters. We want to provide a platform for all sports in Ireland and share their passion. Aertv SportsLive can provide fantastic exposure and promotion for all sports and athletes. If budget is a problem for getting coverage, crowd-funding provides the solution and everybody benefits.”
To help support Irish athletes, you can make a donation herehttp://www.ntrai.com/index.
Schemes like this should be closely examined – as indeed Athletics Ireland did, fair dues to them – by National Governing Bodies such as the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) whose membership always understandably complain about lack of coverage of the country’s most successful sport.
AERTV.ie has in fact covered boxing in the recent past, the latest being Worldwide LIVE STREAMING coverage of Katie Taylor’s bouts in Dublin and in Bray against Mira Potkonen and Caroline Veyre. Here you can see at first-hand how the system worked then which allowed not only Irish expats but also Canadian, American and Finnish fight fans to see the action. Full marks to aertv.ie for their initiative. Hopefully the IABA adopts a similar plan to Athletics Ireland and then the boxing community will have their own opportunity to “chip in” and help fund coverage. Worth a trial IABA? Certainly better than having just one event covered every 12 months and then subjected to regular breaks for adverts and chats and zero coverage of the women’s championships.
And of course what applies to boxing can also apply to more or less any sport.