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Liam O'Neill "Shocked" At Treatment He Received From RTE Over Sky Deal

Liam O'Neill "Shocked" At Treatment He Received From RTE Over Sky Deal
By Conor Neville
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Liam O'Neill has said he is "shocked" at the treatment he and Director General Padraic Duffy received the hands of RTE interviewers over yesterday's media deal.  He accused the national broadcaster of being unbalanced and unprofessional in its coverage of the deal.

An awful lot of the reaction was misinformed because they reacted before the news story. That was a bit unprofessional of some people doing that.

Then, when they got the information, they zoned in on one particular part of the deal. And quite frankly, in relation to last night, we are shocked by the treatment we got from RTÉ. Every single one of the interviews was aggressive.

RTÉ are our partners. They have got 31 of our games. They have radio, we give them access beyond what would be given to broadcasters in other sports and in other countries. We didn't expect them to be in our favour - we weren't looking for that. We were looking for balance and I don't think we got balance last night.


O'Neill admitted to feeling nerves about how the new deal will fare.

The easiest thing to do, if Páraic and I wanted to get through these negotiations, all we had to do was say no, to do what we had always done. But we said we would step out beyond that, and I've admitted last night on RTÉ that when you make a decision like this, of course you are nervous.

Of course you are concerned that it might not turn out as you want it. But the fact of the matter is we have done it now. We've taken that leap of faith and my message to the followers on the ground would be to sit back and enjoy the games.

He acknowledged that some may miss a few games, but asked for that to be in greater context.

I take the point that there are some games that people won't see. But there are some games not being televised anyway. There were games last year that weren't televised at all. But nobody jumped down our neck about that. And there will be games this year that won't be televised.

For example, Laois will play Longford in the championship this year, and at the moment, there is no-one to cover that game. The argument about some games not being available to people isn't a valid argument because there are some games not covered anyway.

But all games are covered, in some way or other, by radio, whether it's local or national. And as well as that, there have been a number of games with Setanta for a number of years anyway. And the same fellas who live in isolated places haven't been able to get those. So there is a lack of consistency in the argument here

The first championship game televised by Sky will be the meeting of Kilkenny and Offaly in the Leinster championship on 7 June.

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