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GAA Give Possible Solution To Broadcasting Problem For New Championships Format

GAA Give Possible Solution To Broadcasting Problem For New Championships Format
By Gavin Cooney

The GAA yesterday published their accounts for 2017, which showed revenue of €65.5 million, marking an increase of 9%. Slightly more than half of this income came directly from gate receipts, showing just how reliant the GAA are on the clicking of turnstiles. This breeds an odd caution among the GAA, to such extent that Finance Director Tom Ryan saw fit to warn that the revamp of championship structures in 2018 will not be the "bonanza" it has promised to be citing the fact that the fans who can be relied upon to attend each of their championship games will find it more difficult to rise to the frequency of games next year.

Regardless of what the Super 8s and the provincial league formats will mean for match-going fans, it will raise issues for those watching on television. It will be necessary to stage games simultaneously in the final rounds of these formats to avoid the GAA being lumbered with their own version of the West Germany/Austria at the 1982 World Cup.

Given that it will be difficult to broadcast these game simultaneously on traditional broadcasters, particularly RTE, the game that is not selected for television may be streamed live on GAAGo.

GAAGo is a joint venture between RTE and the GAA which broadcasts games abroad. Viewers can pay an annual subscription, or else pay for matches individually. It is currently not available in Ireland.

That could all change, however, as Croke Park Stadium Director Peter McKenna explained to Balls.

RTE may not be able to do back to backs, in which case we'll take one of those games, we'll stream it on GAAGO and stream it out live. GAAGO is a joint venture partnership between ourselves and RTE.

In our view we're going to stream that free, on the island.

 

McKenna did clarify that this plan is subject to agreement with RTE.

RTE are our joint partners there, and what we want to make sure of is that people get to see the game. It's our view that this is the best way of doing it. It just shows you the way this market is changing. The additional broadcasting has becoming challenging in a broad number of areas, you can see the rise of Amazon, YouTube and various other sort of (outlets), making games available.

I think the fact that we started to invest in this a number of years ago, getting a level of expertise up, puts us in a nice position to use that expertise now and we've put ourselves front and foremost in being able to do this ourselves.

Whether this will suit a sizeable chunk of rural GAA fans will remain to be seen, given that McKenna's forecast came just hours before Eir pulled out of the tendering process for the National Broadband Plan.

See Also: GPA Respond To "Wrong" Claims That Retired Inter-County Players Are Not Looked After

See Also: All-Ireland Winners Get A Tidy Holiday Fund From The GAA Every Year

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