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WatchLOI streaming service to be discontinued at end of the month

It will be replaced by a new streaming service that has yet to be finalised.

RTÉ's live television coverage will continue following the end of WatchLOI.
RTÉ's live television coverage will continue following the end of WatchLOI.

THE FAI HAVE confirmed that the WatchLOI streaming service will be wound up at the mid-season break from Saturday, 29 May, and will be succeeded with a different streaming service that has yet to be finalised. 

Select games from the Premier Division and FAI Cup will continue to be broadcast live on RTÉ television. 

The service, a venture between the FAI and RTÉ in collaboration with the GAA Go streaming platform, has broadcast live coverage of all League of Ireland Premier Division games since games resumed after the first pandemic lockdown last year. 

Former interim FAI CEO Gary Owens told an Oireachtas Committee last year that revenue from the service was “disappointingly low”, but it returned this year for the opening months of the season as games continued to be staged behind closed doors. 

“We’d like to place on record our thanks and appreciation to RTÉ Sport and GAAGO for their fantastic support of the League of Ireland through WATCHLOI,” said League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon.

“At a time of uncertainty around the restart of the 2020 season, WATCHLOI was created to ensure that we supplied high-quality coverage of the Premier Division to supporters both in Ireland and across the world. I’d also like to thank the production staff and commentators for their fantastic coverage and passion for the league.

“We will be heading in a different direction after the mid-season break with a new streaming platform for supporters and more details will be announced in the coming weeks.”

All of this season’s Premier Division games have been covered live with a commentator and co-commentator, but fans have been left frustrated by the absence of in-game replays. 

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The replacement service has yet to be finalised, though it’s understood it will most likely use the lower-cost AI cameras which are currently being used to stream games from the First Division and Women’s National League. 

The WatchLOI service will broadcast the next three rounds of Premier Division games before it comes to an end. 

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Gavin Cooney

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