TV News

Thursday 24 July 2014

Exclusive: 32,000 viewers in Ireland tune into Sky’s GAA debut

Jason O'Brien

Published 09/06/2014|15:48

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From left: Sky Sports presenter Brian Carney with hurling analysts Jamesie O’Connor and Ollie Canning, and GAA anchor Rachel Wyse in their studio before the Kilkenny v Offaly game at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

SKY Sport’s debut in the GAA market pulled in 32,000 figures, compared to 402,000 that tuned into the Dublin/Laois encounter at Croke Park the following day, independent.ie has learned.

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Kilkenny’s hammering of Offaly at Nowlan Park was a damp squib on the pitch, but off it, the reaction was positive to Sky’s coverage.

The figure of 32,000 does not include people who watched the game in pubs, or those who tuned in from the UK.

Presenters Rachel Wyse and Brian Carney were joined by Jamesie O’Connor and Ollie Canning and Wyse revealed that she was happy with Saturday night’s historic programme.

“It was great to be part of GAA broadcasting history on Saturday and I'm very pleased to hear viewers enjoyed it,” Ms Wyse said.

“I think our coverage is off to a good start and we're looking forward to the rest of the season."

Feedback in the UK was mainly positive also, though viewership figures reveal that there is still a gap to bridge with RTE’s flagship coverage on The Sunday Game.

Information seen by independent.ie show the approximate average of 32,000 viewers that watched events unfold at Nowlan Park resulted in a 2.95pc share of the audience, a significant increase on Sky Sports’ 0.12 pc share for the month of May.

The following day, the Connacht championship encounter between Mayo and Roscommon averaged approximately 252,000 viewers while Dublin and Laois attracted an average viewership of 402,000.

In the region of 221,000 people tuned in the last time Kilkenny played Offaly on RTE.

Sky Sports has said it was pleased how the first broadcast went; saying that they felt it was an “extremely positive start” to their GAA coverage.

The station had declined to reveal how many people tuned in to the broadcast in Ireland or in the UK, and figures for the UK are not yet available.

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