Monday 26 August 2019

'They are driven by nothing other than numbers' - GAA President hits out at RTE over TV strategy

GAA president bemoans national broadcaster for choosing strategy 'driven by numbers'

GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile
GAA president John Horan. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

GAA president John Horan has taken aim at RTÉ and their GAA TV schedule over what he perceives as a strategy which is "driven by numbers".

Horan stated at yesterday's launch of the McDonagh, Ring, Rackard and Meagher Cups that he hopes to provide more exposure to lower-tiered hurling competition but faces stiff resistance from RTÉ and others.

"You'll see yourselves from the games that the TV companies have picked this year for the championship that it's predominantly hurling matches for the first four or five weeks of the actual championship. They are driven by nothing other than numbers on the actual television screen," Horan outlined.

"Dublin played a Leinster (football) championship match which was a foregone conclusion in the last two years, and when I spoke to the head of RTÉ, he said: 'John, we are driven by figures. We'll get over 300,000 watching that game.'

"So, unfortunately, they are driven by numbers, and that's the control they have over it at the moment. But certainly in the next deal, we'll be looking for greater coverage for your actual games in it and the only way we are going to get it is to tie it into a contract and not give them the flexibility of choice."

Horan also believes that football should follow hurling's lead and push ahead with tiered championships.

"Our football counterparts could learn an awful lot from hurling about the benefit of tiered championships.

"Carlow are a shining example to us in terms of the merit of these competitions and the progress which they've made. It's that progression opportunity that these competitions present, and I feel that's a great concept."

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