Gaelic Football

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Sky Ireland MD: We will have head start on RTE for All-Ireland finals

Published 04/04/2014|11:17

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RTE's Marty Morrissey and Sky presenter Rachel Wyse
1 April 2014; The GAA is pleased to confirm details of its TV and radio broadcast rights to cover the period 2014-2017. Within Ireland, a total of 45 Provincial and All-Ireland championship matches will be broadcast live on television annually for the next three years: a total of 31 games will be shown by RTÉ (as per the last contract) and 14 by Sky Sports. The 31 championship games to be televised by RTÉ include the All-Ireland finals and semi-finals in both codes, the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals, and two of the four All-Ireland football quarter-finals. RTÉ have also secured the rights to all six Provincial championship finals, while the remainder of the 31 games to be shown live on RTE are a mixture of provincial championship and qualifier games. Ulster championship games covered by RTÉ, including the Provincial football final, will also be broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland. Sky Sports has obtained exclusive Island of Ireland rights to 14 championship games. In attendance at the launch are Ard Stiúrthóir of the GAA Páraic Duffy, right, and JD Buckley, Managing Director, Sky Ireland. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Ard Stiúrthóir of the GAA Páraic Duffy, right, and JD Buckley, Managing Director, Sky Ireland. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Sky Ireland Managing Director JD Buckley believes their quality of coverage will give them the edge over RTE when they broadcast the All-Ireland finals simultaneously.

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Sky Sports will air 14 exclusive games in the GAA Championship this year but will o up against RTE when both air the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals in August and September.

"We believe that the quality of coverage that we will be able to bring to the quarter-finals and semi-finals will give us a headstart over RTE," Mr Buckley told Pat Kenny on Newstalk.

"Sky Sports customers expect the best from us and I think out partnership with the GAA is going to allow us to bring Sky Sports treatment to the 20 games, right across the season.

"For the first time ever Sky customers are going to be able to watch live GAA games on the go through the Sky Go App."

There has been  a lot of speculation as to who will front Sky's coverage of Gaelic Games but Buckley was not giving anything away but hinted that they would be experienced in the area of sports journalism.

"This is obviously a massive news piece, it's a big move for the GAA. We think it is going to be really good for the GAA," he added.

"In terms of who we're going to have, all will be revealed. We're going to be announcing our lineup over the coming weeks and you can expect special quality.

"We would tend to go for commentators and analysts who have specific sports experience, I don't think (Paul) Merson will be doing it - put it that way."

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