Thursday 29 September 2016

Pay-per-view Championship deals on Congress chopping block

Published 29/01/2016 | 02:30

Earlier this week director general Paraic Duffy set out reasons in his annual report as to why the GAA should not tie themselves down when it came to negotiating broadcast rights.. Photo: Sportsfile
Earlier this week director general Paraic Duffy set out reasons in his annual report as to why the GAA should not tie themselves down when it came to negotiating broadcast rights.. Photo: Sportsfile

A Dublin motion calling on all televised inter-county championship games to be made available on free-to-air TV has been cleared to be debated and potentially voted on at Congress.

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St Joseph's O'Connell Boys were successful with a motion at the Dublin convention calling for a new rule governing broadcast rights in this way to be enacted.

Because a number of rules are being possibly affected it is anticipated that a two-thirds majority would be required.

The GAA sold a package of games to Sky Sports for exclusive broadcast two years ago and that deal expires after the 2016 Championship. If passed the Dublin motion would come into effect on January 1, 2017.

A similar Clare motion last year was not cleared for Congress because it did not specifically seek to amend a rule or enact one.

At their convention in December Kerry also gave support to a motion from the Beale club calling for all Championship games to be free to air.

Earlier this week director general Paraic Duffy set out reasons in his annual report as to why the GAA should not tie themselves down when it came to negotiating broadcast rights.

Meanwhile two other motions for Championship reform, on top of Central Council's proposed eight-team 'B' Championship, will be discussed at Congress.

A Carlow motion was one of the 18 submissions but now they have gone it alone with their call for a seeded Championship.

First-seeded teams would be the provincial finalists from the previous year, second-seeded teams would be the semi-finalists from the previous year. Third and fourth-seeded teams would be determined by National League placings in the current year.

The format would see the third and fourth-seeded teams play off in round one, with fourth-seeded teams having home advantage. The winners would play second-seeded teams in round two with counties from the same province separated and no duplication where possible. The third round would feature the winner of round two against the top seeds.

Roscommon club Kilmore have proposed a two tier Championship featuring 16 teams after the provincial championships are completed, similar to an idea proposed by former GAA president Sean Kelly.

Placings would be determined by provincial finalists and highest League placings.

However, their motion states in one section that provincial champions go straight through to an All-Ireland quarter-final but appear to contradict that with the inclusion of the provincial winners in the first round of a 'tier 1' Championship.

The recent discussion paper on burnout and fixtures has led to eight motions; inter-county minor dropping from U-18 to U-17, an U-20 summer development football competition replacing the current U-21 format, bringing forward the dates of the All-Ireland finals by two weeks, extra-time in all Championship games except provincial and All-Ireland finals, the abolition of the All-Ireland intermediate hurling championship and the establishment of a new junior championship featuring the second best teams of seven Division 4 (excluding London) counties in addition to Kilkenny and the British champions.

Clare have again submitted a motion seeking all county grounds to be opened to other sports.

Irish Independent

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