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There's A Serious Misunderstanding About How Much The GAA Are Getting From Sky Sports

There's A Serious Misunderstanding About How Much The GAA Are Getting From Sky Sports
By PJ Browne
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In Wednesday's Irish Independent, Colm Keys brought news that the GAA would be renewing its deal with Sky Sports.

The new deal - which will also includes RTÉ - is this time for five years, rather than the three-year term of the previous agreement. According to Keys, the entire media rights deal will be worth €55 million until 2021.

It was abundantly clear from the article that the €55 million which the GAA will receive between 2017 and 2021 is not just from Sky but also other media partners. Still, this detail did not click with some.

Sky GAA deal numbers misunderstood

The Irish Post, the London-based newspaper for the Irish diaspora, yesterday criticised the GAA for what it labeled the association's greed in renewing the deal with Sky Sports. Though the Indo article was not quoted, several times they mentioned that the GAA will receive €11 million per year from Sky. That is incorrect.

Just think about it, €11m per year for 14 exclusive games - it would make no sense.


The Irish Post is not the only outlet to get this wrong. Before interviewing former GAA president Sean Kelly on Newstalk Breakfast on Wednesday morning, Shane Coleman also mentioned the incorrect figure.


Reports in the papers today suggesting that the GAA has renewed its TV rights deal with Sky Sports and RTÉ. It will mean 14 Championship games will not be available free to air. The deal with Sky is thought to be worth €11m a year over five years.

The Irish Examiner and the Irish News also had Sky paying an amount of €55 million.

Much of the debate surrounding the GAA's deal with Sky has been reasonable and sound. On many levels, it makes very little sense. The viewership numbers are terrible.


However, there is a general misunderstanding about how much the GAA coffers will get from Sky. Especially in the case of the Irish Post, if you're going to call the GAA 'greedy', you've got to get the figure correct.

Part of the confusion about why the GAA has renewed the deal with Sky is because the amount they receive from the British broadcaster is apparently not much more than they were getting from TV3 - the predecessor to Sky.

Last year, the GAA took in €11.2 million in total from the sale of media rights. If they were actually getting €11m per year, there would be no need for debate. It would be a monumental amount - one which could certainly front an argument about the GAA becoming obsessed with profits but also an amount which would make it easier to understand why they've done it.


Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

See Also: "Virtual Reality Clones Style!" - The Missteps In RTE's First Year Of Screening Provincial GAA Matches

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