Sky Sports is to show 20 games during the course of the GAA Championship season in this the first of a new five year deal with the Association.
14 of these will be exclusive and will include Dublin’s opening match in Leinster on June 3rd, Kilkenny’s likely Leinster clash with Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford one week later and two football quarter finals back to back on Saturday August 5th.
The extended promotional video for the Sky coverage focuses heavily on the quality of analysts including former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness, Tyrone legend Peter Canavan, Clare’s two-time All-Ireland SHC star Jamesie O’Connor, Kilkenny’s nine-time All-Ireland SHC champion JJ Delaney, and Monaghan footballer Dick Clerkin.
“After 17 years playing inter-county football with Monaghan, I hope I’ll be able to bring some expertise and analysis to the Sky punditry team,” said Clerkin.
“This year’s championship has all the hallmarks of a highly competitive campaign and I look forward to being right in the thick of it.”
“This is my third year with Sky and I’m delighted to be back,” added Jim McGuinness.
“My time with Sky has coincided with back to back titles for the Dubs, so it’s going to be fascinating to see if they can make it three in a row.”
“if they can – they’ll have made some history, but there are teams, particularly Kerry, who will be desperate to stop them, so it will make for a very interesting Championship.”
Sky Sports’ investment in Gaelic Games extends beyond the Championship, and includes several grassroots partnerships with the GAA such as GAA Super Games Centres, GAA Youth Forum, and GAA Coaching Conference.
“Our partnership with the GAA has gone from strength to strength and we’re really excited by this being the first season in our new five-year partnership deal,” said Sky Ireland Managing Director JD Buckley.
“Our insightful line up of GAA experts will truly bring viewers inside the game like never before. We are excited about the future and how Sky Sports can continue to stand out with continuous innovation, knowledge and expertise at the heart of our GAA coverage.”
Perhaps in a nod to concerns expressed about the cost of pay per view television restricting access for some to the games, Sky has announced that new and existing Sky Sports customers can, from this Friday (19 May), enjoy half price Sky Sports for 6 months.
And for the first time ever, GAA fans can now see all the action instantly and without a contract via NOWTV.com from €10.