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GAA Confirm That Swathes Of New Championships Won't Be On TV

GAA Confirm That Swathes Of New Championships Won't Be On TV
By Gavin Cooney
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GAA Director-General Tom Ryan has confirmed that the expansion of the GAA championships will not be met by a commensurate increase in the number of games screened live on television. The 2018 championships will feature more games than ever, with the addition of eight quarter-finals to the football championship and another seven games to the hurling championship.

In spite of the added high-quality games, the number of games screened live on RTE and Sky Sports will remain the same as last year. All parties agreed to screen 45 games live under the last broadcasting agreement, which was struck in December 2016 - an era before Super 8s and Hurling Round-Robins waded into the GAA vernacular.

The GAA's newly-appointed Director-General Tom Ryan confirmed the news at a media briefing at Croke Park this afternoon.

No, we are going to stick with the existing structure of things. We're happy with how the arrangement has worked until now, and we are not looking to change the nuts and bolts of the arrangement.


The GAA reduced the number of live games screened from 50 to 45 games in December 2016. The GAA have often been reluctant to commit to too many of their games being screened live on TV, given that the bulk of their income derives from gate receipts rather than media rights. Last year, gate receipts accounted for 52% of the Association's €65 million revenue, whereas commercial revenues (within which media rights are included) accounted for 29%.

Elsewhere, Ryan responded to claims in the media that he is an "insider" and is therefore ill-equipped to bring change to the GAA in the future.

I think it is probably a little unfair to reach those conclusions before a person has started in their role. I am an insider to the extent that I have worked here for the last ten or 11 years, but that should not necessarily be presented as an impediment when it comes to achieving things, getting things done or perhaps changing things. I'd like to think I have a little bit of insight into how the GAA works, and how change can be brought about in an organisation that is, I suppose, inherently conservative, but that's not a bad thing.

I think have vision to the extent that I think I'm in a good position, as I work at both ends of the spectrum. I'm here trying to do my best from 9am to whatever time it tends to be in the evening trying to do a day job, and I'm also trying to do my best in a small or medium-sized club that faces all the issues that every club in the Association faces, in terms of participation, retaining players and fixtures. [Ryan serves as Treasurer at Faughs GAA Club in Templeogue in Dublin].

It's very easy for me to counter any particular arguement here, but it's not really what I say but it's what I do that's going to count.

When asked the biggest challenge facing the Association as he takes charge, he flagged the impending, revamped championships and then struck on an issue raised by his predecessor Páraic Duffy - rural depopulation.


The biggest immediate challenge is the forthcoming championship season. We have undergone a period of significant debate and arrived at a new format for things, so the summer ahead is going to be very exciting and very different. It presents not just challenges but an opportunity to present ourselves in a new light to people, and I'm really looking forward to that. There are more long-term and fundamental things I think, and you'll see what the outgoing Ard Stiúrthóir presented in his report, and we need to examine organisation and the shift in population from the Western Seaboard to the Eastern Seaboard, and the challenges that poses.

A longer, more in-depth piece from this briefing will be posted on Balls tomorrow morning. 

See Also: Electric Ireland Higher Education GAA Rising Star Teams Named


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