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O’Neill defends GAA decision to introduce Sky package as a ‘trade-off’

Published 01/04/2014 | 18:40

Liam O'Neill
Liam O'Neill

GAA president Liam O’Neill has defended the controversial broadcasting decision to expand the game globally.

Today Sky Sports secured 14 live matches as part of the media rights for the next three years, with TV3 losing out in the latest TV deal.

The decision to introduce a subscription deal has been met with some scepticism as while 1.1 million people in Ireland has access to Sky, not all of those have Sky Sports packages.

O’Neill has this evening defended the decision by the GAA and said that it is for the good of the game.

“For the first time ever, people in Australia will have access to our Championship games for free on Channel Seven, while millions in Britain will also have access to our championship games which will be a huge boost,” he said.

Sky will have access to eight qualifiers, two football quarter-finals and four other games in the provincial series and O’Neill conceded that making 14 games effectively pay-per-view is the trade-off necessary to expand the GAA globally.

“When people see the package in its entirety, they will see we are trying to make the games a global sport ,” he added.

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