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GAA to review number of live games on TV

 

Director-general Tom Ryan indicated in April that the figure would stay as it was under the terms of the existing five-year deal, which is in place until 2021. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Director-general Tom Ryan indicated in April that the figure would stay as it was under the terms of the existing five-year deal, which is in place until 2021. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The number of games being televised live in the 2018 GAA championships will remain at 45 but will be "under review" prior to next year.

Frustration at the TV schedules, which lean heavily towards the provincial hurling round-robin games and the All-Ireland football qualifiers later in the year, heightened over the weekend with Monaghan's win over Tyrone having only deferred coverage on BBC later on Sunday evening.

Provincial football matches have fared badly on the live schedules - just three of the 25 matches prior to the provincial finals being shown live - as hurling takes centre stage.

None of the five games taking place on Saturday evening, including two provincial football semi-finals, Cork/Tipperary and Roscommon/Leitrim, and all four Leinster quarter-finals, including the first game of Dublin's quest for a fourth successive All-Ireland title, are being shown.

With eight extra football quarter-finals and seven extra hurling games (not including the 2017 Leinster round-robin or current Joe McDonagh Cup), the anticipation was that there would be a corresponding increase in the number of live televised games.

But new director-general Tom Ryan indicated in April that the figure would stay as it was under the terms of the existing five-year deal, which is in place until 2021.

It's understood, however, that there can be some flexibility around the scheduling for the remaining three years and this will be looked at ahead of next season.

The GAA opted not to increase the number of live games being broadcast by RTÉ or Sky Sports to see how the new championship formats worked out and to see what impact there was on attendances.

Irish Independent

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