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Costello: Setanta target Dublin fans with pay-per-view

DUBLIN GAA chiefs believe their fan base has been "targeted" by Setanta Sports, which is broadcasting three of the Dubs' upcoming National Football League games on its subscription channel.

And John Costello has promised to raise the issue of pay-per-view coverage of GAA games at this month's Central Council meeting. The county board chief executive is concerned that Setanta will be screening three of Dublin's four games on its subscription channel, Setanta Sports One, rather than Setanta Sports Ireland - which is incorporated on the basic cable TV package in most urban areas.

"I know that in other parts of the country there is no choice at all, as all of the Setanta channels are only available on subscription, but I'm disappointed that Dublin appears to have been targeted with three of our four live matches being broadcast on Setanta Sports One. I intend to raise this at Central Council," Costello outlined.

However, Setanta's Niall Cogley countered: "We will, as we always have done, be broadcasting a second match as deferred coverage at nine o'clock. The three Dublin matches on Setanta One will be shown in full at that time on the same evening. It's as simple as this: we asked ourselves was there any reason we shouldn't show the deferred match live on another channel; would anyone be disadvantaged by it?

"Obviously we asked the GAA's opinion and they couldn't see a downside. The matches on Setanta Ireland were picked on their merits as before," Cogley added.

Armchair Dublin fans can see the March 20 clash away to Cork on Setanta Ireland without any extra cost, whereas the home games against Derry (February 13), Monaghan (March 13) and Galway (March 27) are all being shown live' on the subscription channel.

Dublin's opening NFL game this Sunday against Kerry in Killarney will be screened live on TG4.