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Micheál Martin Has Weighed In On Growing Complaints About GAAGO

Micheál Martin Has Weighed In On Growing Complaints About GAAGO
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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After the conversation that took place on The Sunday Game last night, it seems that there is a growing displeasure around the way this year's hurling championship has been broadcast.

After Sky exited the GAA business at the end of last season, this year saw some major changes made to the way games would be shown. GAAGO essentially stepped up to take the place of Sky for the championship campaign, showing games online on a pay-per-view basis. Viewers can opt to pay for individual matches, or they can purchase an annual subscription.

However, this has not gone down well in certain quarters. The amount of hurling matches shown on the service in the early stages of the championship was a point of contention for Donal Óg Cusack on RTÉ last night:

You have to ask, 'who is responsible for the promotion of hurling?' Because whoever it is, is not doing a good job of it. The GAA took on the trusteeship of it and it looks like they're actually shrinking the game, not growing it.

You'd have to question are RTÉ and the GAA exploiting hurling?

It looks very much like they're using hurling to get this new venture off the ground whereas it should be the other way around.

We've lost a huge opportunity over the last few weeks and I'd have to say that the GAA has failed hurling at this stage.


This debate is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Micheál Martin weighs in on GAAGO debate

Tánaiste Micheál Martin was asked about the issue earlier today. He shared his belief that all games should be broadcast on free-to-air, especially to benefit older people.

That is a personal view that I have had for a long, long time, and it is the game of hurling that has lost the most in my view because hurling at its best is simply a classic.

Irrespective of anyone's preference for any particular code of sport, everyone loves to watch a great game of hurling. We have had two classics already now in terms of the Clare-Limerick game and the Cork-Tipp game and it just seems that a significant audience didn't get access to that, didn't see hurling at its best.

Anybody who was in Páirc Uí Chaoimh as I was on Saturday night, it was just one of those occasions - sun-drenched, a beautiful new stadium and a great game of hurling between Cork and Tipperary...

Certainly, our senior citizens need to be able to watch these games and, I think, hurling would benefit because if we want to continue to brand hurling as one of the great iconic identifiers of Ireland, one of the great games played at a very high quality, (and) at a very high level of professionalism in terms of the execution of the hurling, we want more and more people to see it.

I think it should be reviewed for the benefit of hurling itself.

This argument has been ongoing ever since Sky first started to broadcast GAA games, although it seems to have ratcheted up a couple of notches since the expansion of GAAGO.

It will be interesting to see how the GAA address the issue in the long-term.


SEE ALSO: Donal Óg Cusack Extremely Critical Of GAA And RTÉ Over GAA Go

Donal Og Cusack on Munster hurling championship



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