RTE fences mended in green light for 'GAAGO'
Despite the hostilities which broke out between the parties over coverage of Sky Sports' arrival as a broadcaster for this year's All-Ireland series, the GAA and RTE have struck a new deal for sponsorship of the senior football championships.
GAAGO™ – the new subscription-based online streaming service being launched by the GAA and RTÉ Digital – is to replace Ulster Bank as third sponsorship partners alongside Eircom and SuperValu.
Etihad, Centra and Liberty Insurance will continue as hurling championship sponsors.
GAAGO™, which will be available outside Ireland, will offer live and on-demand GAA games, starting with this year championships. Subscribers will be able to view the games online on any internet-enabled device, including mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
Páraic Duffy, GAA director general, said that as a new brand, GAAGO™ would require significant levels of exposure and awareness and that sponsoring the football championships would help in that process.
Noel Curran, director general at RTÉ, said that the station was delighted to be working with the GAA on the latest venture.
"It will bring an innovative service to GAA supporters around the world. GAAGO™ will serve a need we know exists and will showcase our national games on the international stage," he said.
The link-up comes less than a month after the row between the GAA and RTE over coverage of the Sky Sports deal. GAA president Liam O'Neill accused RTE of a lack of balance in their approach, both on news and sports programmes.
RTE, who acquired the biggest TV rights deal for the championship as well as the internet rights, covered Sky's arrival as a GAA broadcaster in a way that led to accusations that they were merely protecting their own interests rather than carrying out their public service remit.
"These people (RTE) are meant to be our partners. I felt disappointed. There was no part of the RTÉ coverage across their entire platform that was balanced," said O'Neill.
Ulster Bank ended its six-year sponsorship deal for the championships at the end of last year.