RTÉ revealed it’s Autumn and Spring season yesterday and sport as expected plays a central part.
The importance of sporting coverage was evident in Director General Dee Forbe’s welcome speech to those of us gathered for the unveiling.
Talking about how the RTÉ campus and organisation was in a process of the transformation she spoke of the broadcaster’s overriding aim being to produce great programming across all channels and all areas of Irish society.
Referencing the summer she listed off six key areas that had or would be lifting the nation. The order of them came in the shape of the World Cup, the Athletics from Berlin, the Hockey from London, the wonderful Hurling Championship, the Papal Visit and the Rose of Tralee.
All live, all free to air and the important element being that who could have imagined hockey and athletics in a non-Olympic year topping the bill in such fashion.
It has been some summer of sport in 2018, some baptism for Declan McBennett who took over from Ryle Nugent as Head of Sport in June.
But as in the final line of The Game, the hurling documentary that was shown in recent weeks to universal acclaim, there is better yet to come.
The All Ireland Finals in Hurling, Football and Camogie are almost upon us. On All-Ireland Hurling Final day, The Dressing Room on Sunday Sport will air on RTÉ Player and RTÉ News Now as well as Radio One with Jacqui Hurley and Darren Frehill joined by a panel for a very different type of discussion around this year’s match.
Ground-breaking films and documentaries this season include Prayers of the Faithful the story of the most un-fancied team to ever win an All-Ireland football title as Offaly beat a Kerry team considered to be the greatest in GAA history.
Ireland’s Greatest Sportsperson will see the search for Ireland’s greatest sportsperson from the 1960s to the 2000s with Des Cahill and Evanne Ní Chuilinn, and Darragh Maloney will once again celebrate the heroes of Irish sport at The RTÉ Sport Awards.
Some of the highlights for the months ahead as the days shorten include:
- Guinness Series – Irish men’s Rugby team take on Argentina, New Zealand, and the USA at the Aviva Stadium in November
- Women’s 6 Nations, begins February
- The All-Ireland Hurling Final, August 19th
- The All-Ireland Camogie Final, September 9th
- The All-Ireland Football Final, September 2nd
- The Republic of Ireland’s UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifiers from March 2019
- UEFA Champions League Live moves to Tuesday nights
- FAI Cup Finals Day, November 4
- World Rowing Championships from Bulgaria (9 – 16 September)
- Christmas Racing from Leopardstown (26- 29 December)