Sky Sports has yet to finalise a decision on using 'augmented sound' for its live GAA championship coverage, starting later this month.
Artificial crowd noise has been embraced by Sky both for the culmination of last season’s delayed Premier League campaign and the start of a new soccer season in England.
The broadcaster indicated today that it is still “working furiously” to find a solution before the start of its GAA championship coverage, with the Leinster SHC clash of Dublin and Laois on Saturday, October 24.
Sky’s director of multi sports, Georgie Faulkner, explained the complications around the issue.
"GAA is very different from a sport like Premiership football. EA Sports have been recording lots of our Premier League football matches for a few years and there was a bank of sounds that we were able to go back and get from them, and then obviously work through it to our live broadcast. It takes a lot of work," said Faulkner at Sky’s championship launch.
“We don’t have that for GAA, so there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to see if we can get to the right point. We found that our customers, our sports fans, have really enjoyed the augmented sound, as we call it.
“That isn’t true for every sport,” she continued. “Boxing is one where we know fans have preferred to hear the punches, hear the corners between rounds and hear what they’re saying to each other. So, we’re very conscious of things being authentic and getting it right.
“So, look, we’re working furiously behind the scenes, working through the technical piece, the resource piece as well – but we are working hard to find a solution.”
It has been confirmed that the broadcaster will televise all 14 of its live games on Sky Sports Mix, available to all Sky customers and other TV platforms. Sky Sports Mix is available in approximately 900,000 homes in Ireland.
Sky 2020 GAA Championship Fixtures
(* denotes exclusively live on Sky Sports Mix)
Saturday October 24
Leinster SHC: Dublin v Laois, 6.0pm *
Saturday October 31
Ulster SFC: Monaghan v Cavan, 1.15pm *
Munster SHC: Cork v Waterford, 3:30pm *
Saturday November 7
All-Ireland SHC Qualifier: 3:45pm *
Leinster SFC: Dublin v Westmeath 6:15pm *
Saturday November 14
Ulster SFC: Donegal/Tyrone vs Armagh/Derry (USFC), 1.15pm *
All-Ireland SHC Qualifier: 3.45pm *
Saturday November 21
All-Ireland SHC Quarter Final: 3:45pm *
Saturday November 28
All-Ireland Hurling Semi Final, 6.0pm
Sunday November 29
All-Ireland Hurling Semi Final, 4.0pm
Saturday December 5
All-Ireland Football Semi Final, 5.30pm
Sunday December 6
All Ireland Football Semi Final, 3.30pm
Sunday December 13
All-Ireland Hurling Final, 3.30pm
Saturday December 19
All-Ireland Football Final, 5.0pm