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Kerry GAA Proposal Could Be A Major Hit To Sky Sports' Plans For Irish Market

Kerry GAA Proposal Could Be A Major Hit To Sky Sports' Plans For Irish Market
By PJ Browne Updated

2016 will be the last we see of GAA on Sky Sports - if the Kerry county board have their way, though they are likely not the only ones in opposition to having Championship games behind a paywall.

A motion from the Kingdom proposing that all live Championship matches be shown on free-to-air TV will go before the GAA's annual convention early next year.

Sky's deal, which began with the 2014 season, conculdes at the end of next year's Championship.

Kerry chairman Patrick O'Sullivan told RTÉ of his board's logic.

The feeling is strong on the ground over this.

Not everyone is able to get to games and for those people, radio and television are their main way of staying in touch with what’s happening in the GAA.

You have to see how people in some parts of the country look at this. On the western seaboard it’s very different to Dublin, where the economic upturn has been a lot faster.

The decision to deal with Sky was taken when money was continuing to get a lot tighter for people.

A loss of GAA rights for Sky would be a major hit to their apparent next plans for the Irish market.

Writing in the Sunday Independent, Neil Francis told of how a 'Sky Sports Ireland' channel is near.

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We wait for the next development in this tiny market. Apparently, it is just around the corner: Sky Sports Ireland. Sky has the Pro12, the GAA and now they have pinched the Saturday 3pm Premier League slot from Setanta to broadcast in Ireland. It is only a matter of time before they mop up a few more codes.

Of course, this may not stop Sky launching an Irish focused channel.

After all, last year they launched 'Sky Sports 5' as the home of European football, when in reality, BT Sport had the rights to far more of the continent's European leagues.
Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

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