GAAGO taps Simplestream, revamps OTT services for global audiences

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) and RTÉ have chosen Simplestream to revamp the existing set of OTT applications, GAAGO.

London, 22/03/2023 - The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) – Ireland’s largest sporting organisation, celebrated in the world for promoting Gaelic games including hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, Gaelic handball, and rounders – and RTÉ have chosen Simplestream to revamp the existing set of OTT applications, GAAGO.

GAAGO is a subscription-based sports channel, originally aimed at an international market and Irish fans spread across the globe. On the back of the recent announcement about live, highlights, and on-demand media rights arrangements for the 2023-27 period, GAAGO will make more games accessible to members and supporters, with a higher profile than ever before, and becoming the only way to watch the relevant sporting events in Ireland.

Simplestream built and delivered a new set of OTT applications for Android and iOS in under 12 weeks. Additionally, new apps for big screen Smart TVs are being developed for tvOS, Android TV, Fire TV, Roky, LG TV, and Samsung TV, and will be rolled out for the 2023 season.

The solution provides the GAAGO ecosystem with a fully managed, end-to-end offering that goes from live stream ingestion to distribution across multiple platforms. It supports multiple business models: subscriptions (SVOD), transactional in-app purchases (TVOD), and pay-per-view (PPV), depending on regional rights.

A blue background banner, including an overview of the devices where the GAAGO OTT service is currently available

At the heart of the new GAAGO apps sits a custom integration between Simplestream’s proprietary Media Manager and GAAGO's existing platform. The product is used as an orchestration layer for multiple services. Authentication, authorisation, and entitlements are proxied between the applications and the customer’s backend service.

Simplestream acts as a ‘middleware’, securely transiting data and allowing access to subscribers, as well as workflows for subscriptions and in-app purchases. All events, both upcoming and live, are ingested into the system alongside on demand assets via an integration with GAAGO's APIs. The simplified architecture also leverages automated workflows for the generation of catch-up content within minutes from broadcast. The frontend solution, built through the award-winning App Platform framework, is a best-in-class solution for end-users to enjoy their favourite sporting events, live and on demand.

As part of the delivery of the project, Simplestream signed a strategic partnership with Globecast, a worldwide leader in content contribution, management, and distribution. Globecast manages the live streams encoding workflows, and provides seamless eyes-on support, including instant Slack and telephone support during live events.

Commenting on the successful launch, Simplestream’s Founder & CEO, Adam Smith, stated:

We are thrilled to have been able to contribute our technology and solutions to GAAGO. The global reach is only set to improve with our partnership and the significant improvements made to their applications. Live event support provided by Globecast also allows us to ensure the continuity of services, regardless of business hours.

Peter McKenna, Director at GAAGO, said:

This new GAAGO-Simplestream integration brings a quality multiplatform experience to GAAGO's direct-to-consumer and white label B2B customers. Viewers expect content to be available across a choice of devices, and expanding our app offering to TV screens is a crucial part of the next phase of GAAGO's development.

The launch of GAAGO marks the first project launch for Simplestream as part of a fully revamped sports proposition. The announcement follows similar projects Simplestream has recently undertaken for broadcasters and content owners in a number of different market sectors like GB News, TalkTV, PBS America, and TVSN.