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What RTE's 5-Year GAA Broadcasting Deal Will Mean For Fans

What RTE's 5-Year GAA Broadcasting Deal Will Mean For Fans
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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RTE have announced a big expansion to their GAA coverage for the 2023 season, with more Allianz League and club games, as well as a second highlights programme to add to the Sunday Game.

The news comes in the aftermath of Sky Sports announcing on Monday afternoon that their deal with the GAA had come to an end, and gives a clearer indication of where live GAA will be available for 2023.

The RTE GAA announcement also included some intriguing info about live games on the BBC and GAA GO.

RTE GAA: Expanded coverage coming in 2023

Tuesday afternoon brought news of RTE's new broadcast deal with the GAA, which will see the national broadcaster ramp up their live coverage from 2023 onwards. The new agreement will mean more games available for fans throughout the year, as well as a second highlights show to compliment The Sunday Game.

In a deal which will run until 2027, RTE will show 31 live GAA championship games per year, as well as the final of the Joe McDonagh Cup, and the semi-finals and final of the Tailteann Cup. RTE will show nine live camogie matches per year.

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The broadcaster will also ramp up their coverage of the Allianz Leagues (which they will share with TG4) and AIB Club Championships, ensuring a "year-round" presence of live GAA on RTE.

8 May 2022; RTÉ analysts Shane Dowling and Liam Sheedy, left, with presenter Joanne Cantwell during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 3 match between Limerick and Tipperary at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Most intriguingly, there will also be exclusive championship games made available for fans on GAAGO from 2023 onwards, as part of their joint partnership with RTE. It appears as though this will be the ultimate fate of the games originally planned to be broadcasted by Sky Sports.

Speaking on Tuesday's announcement, RTE Head of Sport Declan McBennett said:

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With more live games now available than ever before on RTE combined with extensive radio, digital and highlights rights, this agreement with the GAA represents an enormous step forward in coverage for our national games.

Public service broadcasters are at the very heart of the coverage, and this is ultimately for the benefit of the audience. We view this as a hugely significant deal and a core part of our ongoing effort to bring live sport direct to our audience.

Interestingly, the announcement from the GAA also included details of an expansion of the BBC's broadcasting deal.

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BBC Northern Ireland will continue to show the Ulster Senior Football Championship, while the wider BBC TV network will carry RTE's coverage of at least one All-Ireland final each year, and simulcast coverage of all semi-finals and finals.

The addition of a second highlights show on RTE is a game changer for GAA fans, as The Sunday Game enters an era of change. Des Cahill will depart his role as host ahead of the 2023 season, while punditry regulars Pat Spillane and Colm O'Rourke will also be missing for 2023.

SEE ALSO: The 2007 All-Star Hurling Team: Where Are They Now?

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