RTÉ is to step up the number of GAA matches it broadcasts this year and for the next three years. It will now show four games from the Allianz National League that will be broadcast simultaneously on eir Sport.
The subscription channel has been the sole broadcaster on Saturday night games in the League since it first got involved as Setanta Sport in 2005.
It won the rights to Saturday night games again in the last round of media rights negotiation two years ago but this move could be seen as the start of a step away from maintaining exclusivity.
The two channels last year reached agreement on shared broadcasting of this year’s Rugby World Cup, mirroring the same agreement they had for the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2017.
eir Sport will announce early next week the roster of games they will broadcast, expected to be at least two games every weekend throughout the League campaign. Following on from that we would expect to learn which four of them will also be shown on RTÉ.
While eir sport will act as host broadcaster, RTÉ will have its own editorial, presentation and punditry teams to bring its own style and expertise to the coverage.
RTÉ’s will also step in to start showing live coverage from the AIB Club Championships, alongside TG4 who will remain as the principal broadcaster of the Club game, including the Finals in March, as well as in Ladies Football.
The news of RTÉ’s increased level of coverage, midstream in terms of media rights packages will be good for the fans, and for the sponsors, with Allianz and AIB no doubt very pleased to be benefitting from the additional exposure that the free to air coverage will bring.
“The profile and interest in both the Allianz Leagues and AIB Club Championships have grown significantly in recent years and this enhanced arrangement with eir sport and RTÉ will ensure even greater exposure to our games for the foreseeable future,” said GAA Commercial and Stadium Director Peter McKenna.
“eir sport are delighted to continue to broadcast live and exclusive coverage of our national games during this year’s Allianz Leagues and up until 2022,” added Susan Brady, Managing Director of eir sport.
“We will offer GAA fans more matches and more choice on Saturday nights than anywhere else and it’s all available free to view for eir broadband customers.”
“We are delighted to have come to this agreement to give Irish sports fans the best possible choice and content.”
“In increasing RTÉ’s live coverage of Gaelic Games across the GAA calendar year, we are reaffirming our commitment to bringing national moments to a national audience, free-to-air and guaranteeing coverage on RTÉ television for nine months of the year for the next three years,” said RTÉ Head of Sport Declan McBennett.
Image Credit: Inpho.ie James Crombie