GAA concludes a lucrative deal with Sky Sports…

This is an interesting move from the GAA

Sky Sports has obtained exclusive Island of Ireland rights to 14 Championship games.
These consist of eight Saturday evening matches in the All-Ireland qualifiers, two All-Ireland football championship quarter-finals, and two Saturday evening and two Sunday Provincial championship games.
Confirmed fixtures which will be broadcast on Sky include Kilkenny v Offaly and Dublin v Wexford in the Leinster SHC; Sligo v Galway/London in the Connacht SFC; and Armagh/Cavan v Down/Tyrone/Monaghan in the Ulster SFC.
Sky Sports will also broadcast live the All-Ireland Hurling and Football semi-finals and finals, thus making 20 live games available to its subscribers throughout Britain and Ireland.
In addition the GAA revealed that fans in Australia will be able to watch all 45 games live on Channel 7.

The Aussie deal seems like a good one to me. The game is already relatively popular there, though few play it as a first choice code, it’s favoured as a second or third sport for the high level ball handling skills.

The Sky deal (because of the injection of big money), less so…

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  • Droch_Bhuachaill

    Whenever I visited the UK i never had a problem find someplace to watch a game. I think the best thing to come out of this deal could be an inprovement in RTÉs standard in reaction to SKY (Brolly/Spillane bickering while O’Rourke shakes his head like a dissappointed parent is getting tiresome)

  • What it could mean is that northerners will have to sign up to Sky if they want to watch All Ireland semi finals or finals. Which kind of makes a mockery of the All Ireland dimension. If it happens in the same way as soccer, when RTÉ’s broadcast of Republic of Ireland international fixtures is blocked in the six counties because Sky owns the rights.

  • Kensei

    How exactly can they justify not paying their players if they selling rights to Sky? Seems nuts.

  • Cant understand it….its not that long ago one county (was it Cork?) were castigated for playing in shirts not made by an Irish company.
    But I think GAA seriously gettimg above itself.
    My 6 year old grandson at his first ever evening of training.
    But the 11 year old has to wait for his transfer to be “official”.
    His Transfer…honest to God.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    The real deal will be for the next contract. In 3 years a lot of the fuss will have died down and then we could be talking big bucks. That’s of course assuming it will be successful but if Sky can get an audience for fat lads playing darts they’ll surely get one for hurling.

  • Gopher

    It’s just a case of being assimilated into British culture. Darts is successful due to the large amount of gambling on the events which compensates for being “a fat lads game” (and is cheap for sky). GAA will be used as padding round Football, Rugby and Golf so expect fixture timing to change to suit Sky. If GAA can get anyone beyond the emotional attachment to watch it or generate gambling revenue expect to move up the pecking order, if not it’s padding.

  • WindsorRocker

    Interesting. UK rights (including NI) to Sky for some games with ROI rights to RTE. So even when people want to watch their national game they will get a reminder that they and their leaders administer a part of the UK. Oh the irony. I wondered what the DCAL minister was referring to as a partitionist attitude amongst broadcasters…… It’s called the legal reality darlin.

    Having said that I think the GAA will have this angle covered, surely……..

  • megatron

    Not sure you have the detail exactly right there windsorRocker but you aren’t really trying to engage in conversation so who cares….

    I think there are a couple of points:

    (i) The GAA spinning isnt helping – ensuring broadcasting to ex-pats in britain and austrailia is worthwhile but does not imply you have to have some games not free to air in Ireland

    (ii) The GAA’s job is not to maximise revenue and not sure why they need to be so “commercially sensitive”. The members are owed an honest explanation of why the decision was made.

    All that said I do think there is a reasonable argument in favour of this deal…not least you need to remind RTE that they have competitors. Roy Keane always said he never would have gotten a fair deal at Man Utd unless he was prepared to walk away. It is also useful to have the games broadcast widely in the UK – I suspect they will attract some audience in the summer when premier league is on holidays.

  • SK

    .”So even when people want to watch their national game they will get a reminder that they and their leaders administer a part of the UK”

    “It’s just a case of being assimilated into British culture.”

    Our Orange friends are suffering from a case of the green eyed monster by the looks of it.

  • WindsorRocker


    Green eyed monster?

    The unionists won’t be the ones who will go mad when they switch on RTE on All Ireland Final Day only to discover it’s blocked because SKY have the UK rights.

  • Dec


    You’d have a point if anyone’s nationality was dependent on sporting broadcasting rights.

  • Mark

    Seems to have touched a nerve alright . Don’t see many documentaries / live events on the various SKY owned channels about parades ( only joking ) .

    The talent amoung GAA players who could have made it as professional soccer / rugby players must be interesting . I remember Kevin Moran truning pro after winning a couple of All Irelands to play for Man Utd . If he didn’t come off after spilting his or his opontents’ head open , he was being sent off for breaking a limb ( Dalglish’s jaw comes to mind ) or bleeding through a bandage . They didn’t know what to make of him .

    Maybe some of our friends accross the water could learn a thing or two about playing an amateur game for the love of it and not for the money or fame …….. says a Man Utd fan .

  • Gopher

    I love this forum everyone thinks you have an axe to grind.

    I would imagine there is a large ethnically Irish population in the UK perhaps even larger than the ethnically Irish population of the ROI. SKY will put on a polished product and Sky will attempt to make that product as accessible as possible, the fixtures will be screened at a time that suits SKY. RTE’s coverage will start to look a bit parochial in comparison, Sky Sports News will run features throughout the day of games. GAA will effectively be assimilated into the British Sporting Calender. That dont alter the fact your Irish but you cant say it does not alter GAA.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Going by no. of passport holders and Irish born, I’d say there are about half a million ‘ethnic Irish’ in Britain, Gopher which is a bit less than the population of the ROI (Even if you want to include NI’s ‘Irish’ as well it’s still a good bit short).

    No, despite their talk of the diaspora et al, the GAA are going bald headed for people who have no Irish connection at all. Maybe people a bit like me in a way, someone who’s never been to a rugby league match in my life but who watches it on Sky whenever I get a chance. The GAA may well be incorporated into the British sporting calendar. Great. And it will alter the GAA, hopefully more positive than negative.

  • Charles_Gould

    Is it possible the game will go professional?

  • ForkHandles

    Oh no ! Does this mean pay per view IRA commemorations ?
    That means the dreaded “English people” providing commentary on how terrorists were actually really great n’all !!!

  • Mick – Sky wasn’t reckoned to have paid bigger sums that normal for the rights. GAA’s not greedy. Explanation on Evening Extra (on Wednesday evening?) was that many ex-pats in GB and beyond complain they can only see games in an Irish pub but not at home. This hooks into that market for relatively little pain back home. And for Sky, it keeps Irish viewers subscribed all year (when they tend to cancel at the end of the football season and take a few month’s break)

  • Gopher

    @Tochais Síoraí I think we only disagree on how many generations SKY and the GAA believe it takes for “ethnic Irish” to lose their attachment to Gaelic games. Between my two other posts you will find I am in concord with what you are saying.

    @ Charles

    That is entirely up to the players

  • WindsorRocker


    People’s personal feelings of nationality have nothing to do with sports broadcasting rights but it’s the manifestation of that nationality in their everyday lives that would be the issue.

    The potential blocking of RTE in NI in these occasions would be a manifestation to someone who feels exclusively Irish, who denies their automatic British citizenship, that they do indeed live outside the country they owe their allegiance to.