Friday 20 April 2018

Hurling boosts its fan base as millions tune in across globe

Cork's Christopher Joyce attempts to get away from Clare duo Colm Galvin and Cian Dillon in their Munster SHC clash
Cork's Christopher Joyce attempts to get away from Clare duo Colm Galvin and Cian Dillon in their Munster SHC clash

THE international appeal of the world's fastest field game continues to grow and this year's final will be seen by more people around the world than ever before.

Last year's All-Ireland hurling final was the eighth most viewed programme on Irish television in 2012 with an average domestic audience in excess of 800,000. Thousands more watched the action from pubs, bars and homes across the world.

Improved online access options in dozens of countries across six continents, coupled with the ever-increasing number of Irish people setting up home abroad, means this year's clash of Cork and Clare is set to attract an even larger international audience than ever before.

At home TV3 and RTE will broadcast Sunday's minor and senior hurling finals respectively. However Setanta Sports currently holds the rights to broadcast GAA matches internationally.

Operating across 11 different 'territories', both ex-pats and less-indigenous fans of hurling will be able to watch Sunday's action in more than 30 countries including 20 in sub-Saharan Africa and many other faraway locations.

Setanta Sports spokesman Brian Quinn said the 2013 final was set to be the biggest in the GAA's history in terms of an international audience.

"This year live coverage of the GAA championship finals will be available to a wider audience around the world than ever before," he said.

Irish Independent

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