DERRY GAA fans will be able to enjoy unprecedented coverage of the 2020 Club Championships from the comfort of their own homes this season, thanks to a new dedicated streaming platform being launched on DerryGAA.ie.
The new service, called #WeAreDerry, will livestream at least 10 games from the county's club Football and Hurling Championships and will offer full deferred coverage of the majority of the remaining matches taking place in the Oak Leaf county in 2020.
With social distancing measures in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, attendance at matches is likely to be severely restricted this summer.
But for £30, Gaels in the county – and around the world – will be able to see nine live matches from the Derry Senior Football Championship, two group games, two last 16 matches, two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final.
In addition, the finals of the Intermediate and Junior Football Championship and the county’s Senior Hurling Championship showpiece will also be livestreamed.
The first games to be streamed live on the new service will be Loup’s clash with Bellaghy, this Saturday, August 1, and the second round group game between Glen and Magherafelt, a repeat of last season’s Derry SFC Final.
On top of the impressive slate of live matches, full coverage of the majority of all other Championship games will be available to watch on the #WeAreDerry platform, on-demand, after they have taken place.
As an alternative to the full #WeAreDerry package, live games can be purchased individually for a cost of £5.
Derry GAA Chairperson Stephen Barker is confident that the new service will prove attractive to GAA fans both within and beyond the county.
“Our Championships in Derry are perennially among the most competitive anywhere in Ireland and our games regularly attract supporters from other counties across Ulster. Over 10,000 people saw Magherafelt win our Senior Football final in October 2019," he said.
“As everyone continues to navigate their way through the Covid-19 crisis we feel it is important to ensure as many people as possible have access to our matches.
"Even in the most optimistic scenario, we know that social distancing measures will restrict the numbers of people who can physically go to games – and we are very aware that some of the most vulnerable members of our community will be shielding and completely unable to attend matches.
“Like every county across Ireland, our hurling and football championships are part of the rhythm of summer and autumn. Thanks to our new streaming service, supporters will still be able to see every important pass, block, point and goal that happens in Derry this summer.
"Streaming of live matches is a hot topic at present so the uptake for the upcoming set of games will determine whether or not it has a future for our club championships.
“We don’t take our supporters for granted and we appreciate that their valued contribution to this innovative service will help us invest in facilities and GAA structures across Derry, enabling us to implement the improvements we hope to deliver in the years ahead.”
Barker was also keen to point to the continued generous support of Derry GAA sponsors, despite a difficult 2020 for the business sector:
“Without the fantastic support of all our sponsors, especially through the most recent challenging months, it would be very difficult for us to take on these types of projects. We acknowledge the challenges some of these businesses face currently, yet despite that, they have continued to show enormous generosity to Derry GAA.”
As a special introductory offer, a nine-month Season Pass subscription to the #WeAreDerry streaming platform will cost £30 (normally £5 per month). To subscribe, visit derrygaa.ie/watch.