Wednesday 13 December 2017

GAA's controversial Sky Sports deal to be discussed at Congress

The report by GAA director-general Paraic Duffy's annual report is on the Congress agenda, says the association's head of media relations Alan Milton. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
The report by GAA director-general Paraic Duffy's annual report is on the Congress agenda, says the association's head of media relations Alan Milton. Photo: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

GAA Congress will be given every opportunity to discuss the controversial Sky Sports deal.

Clare have complained over the absence from tomorrow week's Congress agenda of their motion, which called for the next round of TV rights to include a provision that any deal with a subscription channel should only involve games also available on terrestrial TV.

That would mean that if Sky want to sign a new deal in 2017, they would not have exclusive access to any games, a scenario which they would be most unlikely to accept.

Alan Milton, GAA head of media relations, said the reason the Clare motion was not included on the Congress agenda was because it did not deal with any specific rule.

Issues such as TV rights are regarded as administrative matters, which are dealt with by Central Council, the body that oversees the running of the GAA on a day-to-day basis.

"There's absolutely no question of trying to prevent a debate on the Sky deal or anything else. The director-general (Paraic Duffy), has devoted a large part of his annual report to media rights. His report is on the Congress agenda for the Friday night and can be gone through in as much detail as anyone feels necessary.

"Delegates will be free to talk about the Sky deal or anything else arising from it for as long as they want," said Milton.

He also pointed out that all the media rights deals - including the first link-up with Sky - were approved by Central Council.

"Every county is represented on Central Council so it's not as if anyone was left out. It's as democratic as Congress," he said.

A total of 65 motions dealing with various rules are on the Congress agenda.

Irish Independent

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