BBC’s weird sporting scheduling last Sunday….

David McNarry’s not the only one hacked off with the strange meandering of the BBC’s sports agenda. Dependent up satellite version of BBC2 NI, I missed the whole of Beeb’s All Ireland Championship campaign… Apparently the Radio Times had billed GAA Analogue and the Finals day of the World Athletics Championship to be available on Digital. A transparently fair compromise, which the BBC did not follow through on. It’s not as though it’s not happened before… Meanwhile, on Sundays, those of us elsewhere on Sky will have to continue to get a BBC2 NI that’s not BBC2 NI…

Adds: it seems the GAA sold the rights to their games outside of Ireland to another broadcaster… so you have to pay ‘through the nose’ to watch the GAA in Britain…

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  • Gael gan Náire

    A semi-serious question for the new non-sectarian UUP/Bandit alliance – would they work for the replacement of GAA on TV with whatever if they get into power?

  • Jonrus

    “The World Championships’ Finals, which have been running all week, are sacrificed for a GAA semi-final being held in another country!”

    Sorry Dave… where are the Athletics being held again?

    Unbelievable.

  • Mick Fealty

    I think you’re putting words into Mr McNarry’s mouth there. This site is getting so stuffed with straw men that it’s getting hard to hold a serious conversation.

  • Mick Fealty

    Sorry, Jonrus that was aimed at GGN.

    Yours is very precise and extremely apposite comment. I would like to hear the same gentleman answer the same question.

  • milo

    Here’s a direct quote from David McNarry:
    “The World Championships’ Finals, which have been running all week, are sacrificed for a GAA semi-final being held in another country!”

    Spot the irony? The World Championships where held where exactly? Outside Strangford?

  • milo

    Sorry I didn’t mean to repeat Jonrus, had this typed before i read his.

  • dantheman

    “Here’s a direct quote from David McNarry:
    “The World Championships’ Finals, which have been running all week, are sacrificed for a GAA semi-final being held in another country!”

    Spot the irony? The World Championships where held where exactly? Outside Strangford?”

    That is hilarious

  • exile

    It’s hard not to despair when you read comments like those spouted by McNarry. We are truly blessed to have such outstanding political representation.

    It’s really heart-warming to see both the Culture Minister and “deputy chair of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Assembly Committee” up at Stormont deliberately go out of their way to offend the GAA’s tens of thousands of members in Ulster.

  • willis

    The pity is that a focussed complaint from David McNarry might have got an apology. Instead of which he seems to have gone off on one.

    I’m still confused though:

    Why does the Deputy Chair of the Stormont Media Committee not know the difference between Freeview and Satellite Digital?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/digital/tv/compare.shtml

    and

    Why does he not know that Digital Satellite is available from Freesat as well as Sky?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/digital/tv/tv_nonsubs.shtml#freesat

    Does he not have a fast internet connection because he could have watched the Athletics being streamed by the BBC? (no rights issues, unlike GAA)

  • John

    That quote from McNarry is PRICELESS! Seems the UUP are trying to out-TUV the DUP and the TUV.

    I of course am incensed myself that the GAA semi-final on BBC2NI was sacrificed on Satellite (which I can get in England)to show an event which had been monopolising the airwaves ALL week AND was being held in a foreign country. I’m writing in jest of course, but it seems our unionist “brethren” are so xenophobic they see Germany as less of a foreign country than the land they live in.

    I did watch my fair share of the athletics, and it was available online anyway, so what is his problem?

    Just more bigotry and intolerance…

  • west belfast

    Mick

    if you have sky watch GAA on channel 162 (RTE 2).

  • skullion

    Typical of the Gaa to spoil Mr mcNarry’s sunday viewing.Is their nothing this organisation won’t stoop to in their quest to enrage unionists.No doubt they’ll have scheduled the All Ireland finals on the same day as the Strangord Lacrosse juvenile 1st round preliminary qualifires.Grrr.

  • willis

    West belfast

    I could be wrong, but since Mick is on the other island I don’t think he has that option. Your Sky card options are post code related.

  • willis

    There is another story here which an intelligent UUP/DUP/TUV flak (oxymorom time) might want to pick up on.

    Control of the Freeview Red button (4 extra channels) is centrally controlled by London. We could have had more extensive coverage of the NW200 or a lot of sports we have the rights to if we all got together.

  • Driftwood

    No proof readers on our local party websites? David refers to the Croke vs Tyrone game? Presumably he meant Cork?
    As for the GB/NI relay team, I’d genuinely like to know if any NI runners were competing.

    Athletics usually bore me but seeing Bolt break those records at 100m and 200m was pretty cool.

  • John East Belfast

    Those knocking McNarry for his world championship v another country comment wise up.

    This was no George Bush type comment and it is not hard for anyone with half a brain to appreciate the difference and point he was making.

    ie the “World” Championships were compromised for an apparently “national” sporting event when it was no such thing for all the viewers.

    Indeed I dont want to take away the significance of the event for the GAA supporters but even setting aside the political angle you need to realise that for the majority of viewers there is no contest between world athletics and a GAA semi final.

  • exile

    [i]you need to realise that for the majority of viewers there is no contest between world athletics and a GAA semi final. [/i]

    Assuming that by “viewers” you mean those in the six counties, I would seriously dispute your claim. Do you have any evidence to substantiate it? There were 30,000 Tyrone fans in the stadium alone.

    Do you honestly think that nationalists in the north had any desire to cheer “Team GB” on? In fact, I’d hazard a guess that for the majority of people interest in the championships waned significantly after Bolt competed in the relay race.

  • willis

    Out of interest.

    How has the demise of Setanta affected the GB rights wrt GAA?

  • John East Belfast

    exile

    “Assuming that by “viewers” you mean those in the six counties..”

    Of course we are talking about the BBC !

    For starters you could count the number of Protestants who would choose GAA over Gardners World let alone World Athletics on the fingers of one hand. For sports minded Protestants that there would be no contest between world athletics and GAA.

    That leaves the Catholics a high proportion of which would have an interest – I am not sure how GAA works but would the other 5 counties be interested in watching Tyrone ? There is usually sporting rivalry in such things.

    That leaves Tyrone – with 30k in the stadium how many does that leave ?

    Not to mention RTE – which I thought was the “national” station anyway so would you not prefer that to the Brit Broadcasting Corporation ?

    In other words there was no need for the BBC to abandon a World sporting event for another minority interest International event

  • Jonrus

    John are you proposing that more people in the North would want to watch the athletics than the Tyrone game?

    Irrespective of whether the BBC made a bags of it

  • exile

    [i]the number of Protestants who would choose GAA over Gardners World let alone World Athletics on the fingers of one hand…

    I am not sure how GAA works but would the other 5 counties be interested in watching Tyrone ? There is usually sporting rivalry in such things.[/i]

    Sorry John, but after that I’m afraid I just can’t take you seriously and fear that it would be a waste of time to continue engaging with you. Maybe some time out of east Belfast would do you the world of good.

    Good night.

  • willis

    JEB

    C’mon we should all be able to watch what we want. The BBC has 2 Analogue channels, 6 Freeview channels and dear only knows how many DSat channels. Surely everyone in the land mass served by Brougher, Limavady and Divis could be happy with their sport on Sunday. Unless they regarded complaining about sport coverage as a participation sport on its own.

    Personally I was in London. Helen at the Globe was really good, that was Saturday though.

  • John

    JEB did you follow Mick’s second link?

    From the BBC:

    “BBC Northern Ireland aims to provide audiences with a diverse range of sports output, which includes a mix of local and network programming. Unfortunately the fixture dates for external events occasionally coincide which means we sometimes have to make difficult scheduling decisions. We try to minimise the disruption caused to our audience and in this particular instance we moved away from the network schedule to provide coverage from the GAA’s Ulster Senior Football Championship Quarter Final at Breffni Park, a fixture that involved Cavan and Armagh.

    We accept that some viewers would have wanted to continue watching events at Queen’s Club and we used an on-air announcement and accompanying screen captions to indicate that the tennis coverage could be accessed on the digital platforms and online at bbc.co.uk/sport. We realise not every viewer will have been able to obtain these services and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. It was unavoidable in the circumstances and resulted from scheduling decisions that were outside our control. Our GAA coverage attracted increased viewing figures in Northern Ireland (the audience more than doubled) and was delivered as part of an enhanced BBC commitment to programming in this area.

  • Sam Thompson

    I am not sure how GAA works but would the other 5 counties be interested in watching Tyrone ? There is usually sporting rivalry in such things.

    Sorry John, but after that I’m afraid I just can’t take you seriously and fear that it would be a waste of time to continue engaging with you. Maybe some time out of east Belfast would do you the world of good.

    exile – the man asked a question – so rather than refusing to engage, why not answer his question? and then he will know the answer?

  • John East Belfast

    exile

    Which bit cant you take seriously ?

    The bit that Protestants would rather watch Gardeners World than GAA ? – I am totally in the position to comment on the validity of that.

    As for Inter GAA sporting rivalry between near neighbours that was a genuine query.
    In football Rangers – Celtic, Chelsea – Fulham, Man U – Man City they dont watch each other in qualifying matches.
    Maybe that doesnt exist in GAA to the same extent

  • Jonrus

    Not really John, some specific county rivalries but by and large a good game of football is a good game of football.

    In saying that most Ulster counties same to hate Tyrone and I was definitely cheering on Cork!

    I think you’re off with the remark about protestants though, I think it depends where you’re from. I know a few who enjoy the odd game.

  • iluvni

    Is it acceptable that the BBC covers games of an Association (some of) whose member clubs endorse the activites of terrorists?
    Not in my opinion.

  • Jonrus

    Can you make specific examples iluvni?

  • WindsorRocker

    Surely the whole BBC2NI different content on different platforms was because BBC2NI on digital satellite can be picked up right across the UK and as the GB rights had been sold to someone else who broadcast on digital satellite, that platform could not have the GAA shown on BBC2NI…

    However, on analogue and digital terrestrial, BBC2NI can only be picked up within Northern Ireland so there was no impediment to showing the GAA on those two platforms.

    If there were no separate rights for GB, the GAA would have been on BBC2NI on digital satellite too.

    So McNarry complains about a situation where one of our digital platforms was spared the GAA because of our integral links to the rest of the UK….. nice one Dave….. really clutching at straws.

  • willis

    iluvni

    Is it acceptable that BBCNI covers pipe band competitions where some of the contestants may have accompanied parades where other bands may have supported terrorists?

    I think it is ok.

  • Seimi

    ‘In football Rangers – Celtic, Chelsea – Fulham, Man U – Man City they dont watch each other in qualifying matches.’

    John – your not actually being serious here are you? Nobody watches a soccer match unless their team is involved? Is that what your saying? Really?

  • John

    I don’t really understand the issue with BBC2 NI Satellite – I have definitely watched a couple of Ulster Championship games on it this year… Plus, you can watch the full programmes on the iPlayer.

    Actually, I don’t see the Tyrone Cork game anywhere on iPlayer – maybe this is a recent development.

  • Tim

    “Is it acceptable that the BBC covers games of an Association (some of) whose member clubs endorse the activites of terrorists?”

    iluvni

    So should the BBC stop showing Glentoran games because some within the club have no problem holding political stunts in memory of the political leader of the UVF?

    Should the BBC stop showing Ni games as the IFA president and other members of the association are members of the Orange Order, who’s parades feature banners and bands that endorse the activities of terrorists?

  • pacman

    Perhaps David would’ve preferred this:

    Btw, having watched a bit of the athletics, it struck me that shouldn’t the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team be correctly renamed the Great Britain and Just Over Half of Northern Ireland Team and then the other side of the coin could be The Republic of Ireland and Just Under Half of the North of Ireland Team. 😉

    Anyway, back to the point, the utter jealousy and hatred of the success of the GAA in the North continues unabated for most unionists. But then maybe that’s why it is so successful here.

  • milo

    John East Belfast, the majority of GAA people in Ulster support the Ulster team that’s still left in the All-Ireland competition, there has been a culture of begrudgery towards Tyrone in recent years facilitated by their sucess and a saturation in GAA coverage, so even the Tyrone begrudger would have watched the game to see them beat. so practically every GAA follower with more than a modicum of interest in the match would have watched, listened or kept up to date with the match in some capacity.
    I would imagine they wouldn’t have watched it on BBC though, as the RTE coverage is infinitely better. That said, the GAA is still the largest partcipated and spectated sport in Ulster. So it’s only right that the BBC covered it.

    On another note, at half-time in the match there was a super relay sprint across the Croke pitch involving the four provinces of Ireland to highlight the massive role athletics played in the early formation of the GAA. For McNarry’s information, all the participants on the Ulster relay time at Croker (they came second by the way) were from Ulster. How many were from Ulster at Berlin? i don’t know but I’m guessing none. I stand to be corrected.

    I hope David gets to see the cricket today at Stormont, of course cricket is just complicated rounders. Rounders is one of the four official games of the GAA. I’ll leave that for another day.

  • pacman

    Milo

    I agree that RTE’s coverage is superior (if only for Joe Brolly’s retorts to Pat Spillane) but we should endeavour to watch it on the Beeb if only to ensure that future coverage (and future annoyance of the likes of McNarry) are ensured through high ratings.

  • Jonrus

    The picture is far far better for me on BBC. I still watch it on RTÉ for the commentary though

  • milo

    Pacman, as much as I agree with your comment in theory, as an ardent red hand (gael not commando) I was at the match and taped the rte coverage as much for the spillane-brolly playground rivalry and to miss Jarlath Burns on bbc. Still haven’t brough myself to watch the macth again though.
    I think David McNarry’s root anger is directed at referee John Bannon, as is my own. The better team won though.

  • Neil

    Regarding the inter county rivalry, being from Antrim I rarely get to cheer on my county due to the fact that we rarely get far. The same goes for Down, Fermanagh & Derry. As a consequence I, and I believe most other NI GAA fans end up supporting the Northern teams or the team playing Tyrone/Armagh etc. IOW you always throw your support behind one of the teams, not as in football where the rivalry prevents that from happening.

  • GGN

    On a point of information, in GAA it is the norm and is considered proper that ones alligences switch to which ever team from your own province remains in the competition.

    This convention has becomed strained in recent years due to fatigue with Tyrone’s successes but I believe it is the norm and should remain so.

    Ná Ultaigh Abú.

  • pacman

    All very well GGN, but as a Down man, them Armagh ones are hard to listen to. 😉

  • willis

    The Belfast Telegraph (currently off line again!) is reporting that BBCNI will not be covering the All Ireland Finals, reasonable enough as there are no NI teams taking part.

    The News Letter carries the McNarry story again with a BBC response.

    http://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/BBC-pushes-an-allIreland-agenda.5584160.jp

    When contacted by the News Letter, a BBC Northern Ireland spokeswoman refused to comment on the signal issue.

    She said: “The GAA all-Ireland semi finals were announced in the press last week and in TV listings.

    “A television trail ran for five days in the lead up to Sunday’s match as well as on air announcements on the day of the match.

    “Coverage of the World Athletics Championships was available for viewing on digital satellite and also via the BBC Sport online site.”