GAA announces TV rights allocation

Tuesday 01 April 2014 19.22
Sky Sports has secured exclusive Island of Ireland rights to 14 GAA championship games
Sky Sports has secured exclusive Island of Ireland rights to 14 GAA championship games

RTÉ will broadcast 31 games of the All-Ireland Championships, with a further 14 games to be shown on Sky Sports, under a new three-year deal announced by the GAA.

Pay subscription service Sky Sports secured the exclusive Island of Ireland rights to 14 GAA championship games, including two All-Ireland football quarter-finals.

The broadcaster will also screen live the All-Ireland hurling and football semi-finals and finals simultaneously with RTÉ, bringing the total championship games it will screen to 20. 

RTÉ will also broadcast the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals, all six provincial finals in football and hurling and two of the four All-Ireland football quarter-finals.

TV3 has confirmed that it will no longer be broadcasting live GAA Championship matches.

In a statement, TV3's Director of Broadcasting, Niall Cogley, said: "TV3 has been proud to broadcast the GAA Championship free to viewers throughout the country over the past six years.

"TV3 made a very commercial bid for the next three years but this appears to have been superseded by the GAA's preference for a pay television strategy."

Páraic Ó Dufaigh, Director General of the GAA, said: "In the negotiation of these rights, the GAA was guided by a wish to drive the promotion of Gaelic games and we believe the new rights' contracts will provide Gaelic games with their widest-ever global audience reach.

"We look forward to working with all of our broadcast partners in television and radio, and are enthused by the prospect of having our games presented to the highest standards of sports' broadcasting.

"We welcome our new partnership with Sky Sports and firmly believe that their coverage of our games will bring a new excitement to our championships."

TG4 has retained its package of Sunday afternoon Allianz League matches.

It has also been awarded coverage of the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor finals and will cover the AIB Club championships

In a separate development, RTÉ and the GAA are to launch an online international paid-for service offering Gaelic games to audiences worldwide.

GAA President Liam O'Neill this evening welcomed today's announcements.

He said that for the first time ever, GAA games will be available globally.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One News, he said that there was now a partnership between RTÉ Digital and the GAA which means that games will be streamed so that anyone with internet access and a device which can show the games will have access to see them.

Mr O'Neill said that wherever he has travelled over the past five years, he has been asked if the GAA would make its games available.

He said that for the first time ever, the Irish in Australia and indeed the Australians, who he said like gaelic Games, will have all 45 games on Channel Seven free to view.

Read more about the new deal on rte.ie/sport.