Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Rovers score digital prize
Albion Rovers’media team have scooped a top award for their ground-breaking live-streaming work via Pixellot cameras.
Last season forced football behind closed doors in the wake of the Covid pandemic, leaving Rovers unsure as to how fans would watch matches from Cliftonhill.
Teaming up with fellow League Two club Stenhousemuir and long-time supporter Mark Millar - a Coatbridge comic book writer famed for his work on projects like Spider-man and Kick-ass new technology was installed.
A first in Scottish football, the Pixellot system is an Ai-operated camera which keeps coverage of live events going via automated video technology.
The Wee Rovers and the Warriors’work on bringing this to Scotland has now been recognised after they won The Herald Scotland Digitally Transformed Business Award for‘modernising match coverage’in Scottish football.
Ben Kearney, a member of the Albion Rovers media team involved, said:“we won the award in conjunction with Stenhousemuir. It’s a joint-award for modernising match coverage within the SPFL that enabled our fans to watch the team when they wouldn’t have been
able to watch otherwise. We’ve used it for match analysis and shape as well.
“It put the club on the map. We were the trailblazers for this, us and Stenhousemuir.”
Kearney also heaped praise on famous fan Millar for his crucial contribution, adding:“from an Albion Rovers standpoint, we weren’t going to live stream games as we didn’t have the personnel or the money to find someone who could stream the games for us.
“People don’t seem to get that. Mark Millar deserves huge thanks as we couldn’t have afforded the money to get something that wasn’t going into the squad fund.”
Pixellot did come under criticism last season as it endured initial teething problems, but it’s still used by 22 clubs across Scotland.
Kearney says if the tech didn’t present itself, Rovers could be in a worse place now.
He explained:“if it wasn’t for Pixellot, we would have been the only team in the SPFL not livestreaming matches last season. That’s how crucial it was for us. There are still clubs throughout the SPFL who have the Pixellot service in place.
“It’s used for loads of different things. A ll the C hampionship clubs have it so betting companies and things like that can use it for live feeds.
“It was idea that came to the fore as the club needed revenue.”
Kearney adds it’s also been a huge pillar for the community in a dark period, adding:“we have the oldest support in the SPFL, I think, by far.
“We’ve had so many people tells us that the streams saved their weekend and helped their mental health.
“We were being told it got people through weekend’s so you can’t measure how much of an impact it had.”