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Two Counties Want The GAA's Deal With Sky Sports To End Soon

Two Counties Want The GAA's Deal With Sky Sports To End Soon
By Conor Neville Updated

The next GAA Congress will be the scene of a battle over the 'evil' multinational broadcasting conglomeration, Sky Sports.

Three Clare clubs, Eire Og, Clonlara and Scariff (Mike McNamara's club) have succeeded in putting forward a motion for debate calling for matches to be made 'free-to-air' after the current broadcasting arrangements end in 2016.

Donegal are supporting Clare in this endeavour and so we are set for another major battle at the next Congress. This year's All-Ireland football finalists had previously supported the move but appear to have changed their minds.

Obviously, it is impractical to screen every championship match on terrestrial television, so presumably the motion means that every match that is screened cannot be behind the Sky Sports paywall.

President Liam O'Neill, however, believes the Sky deal has worked 'spectacularly well' for the GAA.

The fact of the matter is on balance once the initial hysteria died down people recognised that the Sky component of our media rights deal has worked really spectacularly for the organisation. I think people have to accept that. Naturally, there will be the odd bit of reaction to it and the example has come from Clare. We’ll deal with that motion and let’s see where it goes.

He pointed out that the GAAGo component of the deal was actually more significant than Sky,

The Sky deal attracted a welter of criticism, with the GAA daubed with that old slur, 'the Grab-All Association' in the wake of it's announcement. Hell, the other day Joe Duffy included the Sky deal in his low points of 2014. It pushed Ebola off the list.

Read also: Opinion: Why The Sky Deal Is Good For The GAA

[Irish Examiner]

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