How Simplestream revamped an existing set of OTT applications for the subscription-based sports service GAAGO owned and operated by RTÉ and GAA.




Editorial Staff


March 21, 2023

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Live and catch-up content, simplified

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is Ireland’s largest sporting organisation, celebrated in the world as one of the great amateur associations. It promotes Gaelic games – including the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, Gaelic handball and rounders – and operates as a cultural organisation too.

The GAA and RTÉ chose Simplestream to revamp an existing set of OTT applications for GAAGO, a subscription-based sports channel aimed at an international market and the Irish fans spread around the globe. The project encompassed the task to simplify a complex video workflow for fully managed live streams and catch-up content. Further to the ingestion and packaging of content for distribution, Simplestream was briefed to provide a solid implementation for existing authentication and subscription purchase patterns.


End-to-end video workflows for brand new apps

Simplestream worked on the revamp of the GAAGO set of OTT services in order to replace an existing service and strengthen it. The foundational aspect of the project is represented by the video content workflows, which are managed across different stages.

  • Simplestream manages the live streams for GAAGO events in partnership with Globecast, the service company selected to support the fully managed events. GAAGO sends to Globecast the SRT stream, which is posted in an HLS format to Simplestream’s origin, controlled by Media Manager.  
  • Simplestream’s proprietary Live Events module then enhances the live stream with the relevant metadata, locations of each stream rendition, thumbnails and pre-prepare the system for catchup generation
  • The live event-related metadata comes from the GAAGO through a system – Mindhut – which delivers all the up-to-date information relevant to fixtures, kick-offs, end-times, etc. Entitlements and authentication workflows are also provided and managed directly by GAAGO. Simplestream implemented the proprietary proxy, MM Auth, to communicate with the customer’s authentication systems, allowing the end-users to login with the same details across all platforms.  
  • Purchases completed within the app are managed through an implementation that transforms the information into a receipt to be posted back to Mindhut.

When not live, all the content distributed through the GAAGO app is catch-up, automatically created within minutes from broadcast through the Live2VOD module within Media Manager. Highlights and historical games are also managed as on demand content.

Finally, the frontend – built via Simplestream’s proprietary App Platform – is constructed with a design-first approach with dedicated app presentation capabilities for seamless content discovery and consumption.


A renewed set of applications and further, future expansion

Simplestream built and delivered a new set of OTT applications for Android and iOS in under 10 weeks. Thanks to the partnership with Globecast, the solution can provide the GAAGO ecosystem with a fully managed, end-to-end offering that goes from live stream ingestion to distribution across multiple platforms.

The simplified architecture built to power live streams – together with automated workflow for the generation of catch-up content within minutes from broadcast – sits at the heart of the backend of the renewed GAAGO app. The frontend solution, built through the award-winning, proprietary App Platform, represents a best-in-class solution for end-users to enjoy their favourite sporting events, live and on demand. The improved workflows for the management of subscriptions and in-app purchases also contribute to make the GAAGO apps stand out and become the go-to solution for fans to access their favourite sports on multiple devices.