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Sky Sports And The GAA Have Ended Their Broadcasting Agreement

Sky Sports And The GAA Have Ended Their Broadcasting Agreement
By Michael Bolton Updated
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Sky Sports have announced that they are ending their broadcasting partnership with the GAA after nine years of live action.

The landmark partnership has brought GAA to the UK and Irish market since 2014, and was seen as controversial by some GAA supporters at the time.

The shortened intercounty GAA season was presented as a reason for the ending of the partnership. The GAA is currently renegotiating its broadcasting rights for the 2023 season.

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Last season, Sky Sports showed 20 live Championship games, with 14 exclusive to their channel. It is understood that one of the reasons the partnership ended was over the shortened intercounty GAA season.

Sky Sports presented a welcome alternative to RTÉ's championship coverage and with the likes of Jim McGuinness, Peter Canavan and Kieran Donaghy involved, presented often-insightful match analysis.

Sky Ireland chief executive, JD Buckley confirmed the end of Sky Sports partnership with the GAA in a statement this afternoon.

Despite our participation in the broadcast rights bidding process, lengthy negotiations and a strong willingness on both sides to continue our partnership, Sky and the GAA have been unable to reach a renewal agreement. A factor in this decision has been the new shortened GAA season and its knock-on impact on the number of games Sky Sports wanted to broadcast.

“We came on board as official GAA broadcast partner in 2014 and since then, we have made significant investments in GAA – from grassroots initiatives and youth forums; to marketing initiatives and our sponsorship of the annual GAA Development Conference. During that time, our broadcast partnership also brought GAA to new and international audiences, driving growth in support.

“Over the past eight years, Sky Sports GAA raised the bar by delivering modern, alternative coverage and analysis of the GAA Championships, giving viewers greater choice. Our coverage was made possible by exceptionally talented and professional people, both in front of and behind the camera. I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their outstanding contributions.

“I would also like to thank Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, Larry McCarthy, GAA Commercial Director, Peter McKenna, and the wider GAA team for their support, throughout our partnership. Both parties are committed to identifying potential future partnership opportunities.”

It is unclear who may fill the void that is currently left by Sky Sports, with the league campaign set to start at the end of January, and a newly condensed championship set to kick-off in April.

SEE ALSO: The 1997 All-Ireland GAA All-Star Football Team: Where Are They Now?

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